Growing Dianthus In Pots

Pretty Dianthus or “Pinks” as they are often called are perfect for planting in containers and window boxes. They can be grown alone or mix well with other plants for a cottage garden feel. They also have a sweet spicy scent so are a nice addition to seating areas, window boxes and entryways.  They love to spread so they can easily fill a container during a growing season so keep that in mind when spacing with other plants. They can be added to larger hanging basket arrangements as the center element or focus plant.

Planting Dianthus in Pots

Dianthus works well as a container plant and can be planted in the spring and summer for a touch of romantic texture and color. They like a partial shade spot, which means three to six hours of sunlight each day. They do not do well in direct, hot sun locations. They also need lots of drainage. Make sure your container has extra drainage holes or a layer of gravel in the bottom. Dianthus does not like its roots to sit in water. The best material for planters is a porous one that can breathe and will not become waterlogged.

Best Soil For Dianthus in Pots

Choose a rich potting mix that is a little on the alkaline side. You can also add some slow release fertilizer to the mix. Make sure your potting soil is well mixed. You want to make it as easy as possible for your young plants to grow and thrive. You can add a thin layer of mulch to the top of your container to help with moisture retention. But be sure your plants are not smothered.

Caring For Dianthus in Planters

Dianthus are easy to care for in planters. Keep the soil moist with daily or every other day watering and fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks with a good slow release fertilizer. Deadheading your plants will also keep them growing and healthy. In hanging baskets you may need to pull up and divide if they are taking over other plants and running out of growing room. 

Watering Dianthus in Pots

Dianthus does not like to be “too wet” but they do need to be watered regularly. A consistent watering schedule will benefit your plants the most. Make sure that the soil remains moist but not soggy or boggy. If you feel your plants are getting too much water it is best to cut back on the amount of water. During times of rain you may not need to water them at all. 

Fertilizing Dianthus in Pots

You may need to fertilize or feed your plants in containers more often than those that are planted in the ground. This is due to the fact that your container is a closed environment and the plant roots have less room to stretch out and grow. A regular monthly feeding schedule after the initial planting should work for most containers. Keeping your dianthus thriving and blooming.

Winter Care For Dianthus in Pots

In most parts of the country Dianthus is grown as a hardy annual but with some extra care you may be able to over winter your plants. When temperatures drop you will want to give your containers some extra protection and move them to a warmer location. You can move them next to the house or inside a greenhouse for the winter months. 

You may also want to take the opportunity to dig up and divide your plants and repot them for the next growing season. Your dianthus plants will still need the basics of food, light and water. If you are storing them inside the garage or basement make sure they are not in total darkness. Use a grow light or place next to a south-facing window over winter.

Growing Dianthus Indoors

Dianthus is a garden plant and does not really make a good houseplant. For short periods of time you can bring your potted plants inside to enjoy. But they will be much happier outdoors. Indoor growing conditions are just not the same and in the winter months many houses are heated which can be very drying to your plants. If you do wish to enjoy them inside, place them on trays of pebbles filled with water and spray with water weekly to add moisture to your home environment.