my dianthus

v1rtu0s1ty(5a)June 3, 2008

hi folks,

I was told that when flowers have died, I should dead head it. Right now, 90% of the flowers are gone. Should I cut the top 4 inch now?

Thanks,

Neil

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Now or wait until they're all gone. Doesn't really matter.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 6:02AM
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primgal36

You can cut them back, most likely you'll get more blooms, dianthus get scraggly if you don't cut them back, at least that's been my experience, it seems better for them when you do as with most perennials in general.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 6:03AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

just the spent flowers right and not top 4 inches correct?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:20AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

oh my god, looks like I cut the buds. I'm confused! I'm very sure that it was flowers before and now what I am seeing is a large bud that has a shape like a candle's fire. I cut them.

Are they going to grow back?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:59AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I'm not sure what you mean by a large bud shaped like a candle flame.

Here's a picture of dianthus "Bath's Pink" in bud:

Here's the same garden in full flower one week later:

When you do cut it down, take off the top three-four inches as suggested. I literally take a scissor that I keep for this purpose and just grab huge handfulls and snip.

If you did cut off the buds, you might get some rebloom this season, but probably not to the original full extent.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:30AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

I took a picture of it so you can see what it looks like and if what I cut was fine.

Give me few minutes, my camera ran out of battery power. I'm charging it now. LOL.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:39AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Here are the pictures. If you look at some pictures, there are small purple buds. Not sure if those are the buds. Those are the ones I refered to earlier as candle flame shape.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:34AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Also, when I bought the dianthus last month, they already have flowers. It's only one month old. Is it fine to deadhead them?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:17AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Dead head them......the sooner the better they won't make more bloom if you don't remove the old.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:43AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Thank you so much!!! :) Am I correct that we should always deadhead them once all the flowers are dead/spent? I mean, let say by end of this June it flowers again then on July, flowers are dead.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:51AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Those aren't buds, you have a picture of there. Those are what will be seed pods if you leave them on the stem. If you wish to collect seed, let them turn completely brown before harvesting. If you aren't interested in the seeds, snip away.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:20PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

What I really want to happen is for them to spread heavily and have a beautiful bloom as well. So snip it away then?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:26PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

I finished the deadheading. WOOHOO!!!

By the way, I can't believe how rigid the stems have become. When I bought it last month, it was very soft. But today, it's like a miniature bamboo. :D

Oh, will the cut top part that landed on the soil grow? I left it there because you told me that they're seeds.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 5:16PM
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paveggie(z5-6)

"looks like new is coming out" is the faded flower & potential seed pod - snip.

"should this be cut?" looks like a fresh bud - don't snip.

The exterior of past flowers will be browning (as those you cut in first photo) , while the new buds will be green.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 2:28AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Awesome paveggie! I left them in the ground because I was hoping they will sprout. Will they?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 8:01AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Probably not, if you cut the seed pods off before they have a chance to mature. Once the seed pods turn completely brown (and crunchy, not soft), then the seeds are ripe, and you could try breaking the pods open and sprinkling the seeds around. Yes, it is a little unattractive for a while, but you don't have to leave ALL of the seed pods on. Just enough to harvest a few seeds. Maybe leave a few on at the back of the plant where they won't be noticed.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 6:53PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Thanks! I will look at it again tomorrow. Some are still covered and not mature. :( Some were brown.

What if we let them all brown and then cut them, is it still going to rebloom the same year?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:46PM
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carrie630(z7bNC)

They are really very easy to grow from seed. I took all my seeds last year and put them in huge containers filled with potting soil (wintersowing, but did it in the spring) and in a few weeks, planted more right back into my garden beds. It was like buying new plants. They bloomed this year.

Carrie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:34PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Usually when you shear off the old blooms, you will get some rebloom, but it won't be as spectacular as the first flush.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:49PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Ok, I'm going to pick up the brown ones before they get eaten by the birds.

Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 12:35AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

a2zmom,

What is that tall grass behind your dianthus?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 9:29AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

Not grass at all - just daffodil foliage which will start yellowing soon. I put up with a few weeks of it looking awful because I love the early spring color.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:48AM
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rocket99ryan_windstream_net

My Dianthus are beautiful. I planted a 12 pack about eigth years ago and now they have spread. I have more grass growing in them then my yard. I pull the long blades of grass and within days it's back. Can any one tell me why?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 12:52AM
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flowercrazy2

How do i add a picture to show you?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 12:59AM
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faerycat(5)

Laurie, I have a similar problem among my irises and creeping phlox. The problem is getting the whole grass plant out (really tough in the phlox, since it's hard to see down into it to tell where the grass originates). A lot of grasses spread by runners and if even a little bit of root is left it grows back (sigh). Since I'm averse to using chemical weed control in my garden, I just keep plucking...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:55PM
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rocket99ryan_windstream_net

My Flowers are not Weeds, So i do not use Weed killers either. Thanks for the advice and happy Plucking.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 2:12AM
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icyveins(5b Indiana)

a2zmom: I had the same problem with my daffodil foilage and was contemplating moving them out of my perennial beds until I saw this in a magazine: grab fist sized clumps of foilage that are near each other and braid them together. Tuck the top of the braid under the base, down by the soil. It will look like a little braided knot and it will stay in place. This keeps the ratty daffodil foilage out of view but still allows it to collect nutrients for the next year. Since they're tucked into my other perennials, you can only see the little knots if you walk right up on them. Makes for interesting conversation :)

I wish I could show you a pic but my bro-in-law borrowed the camera yesterday. My little knots are starting to decompose at this point and they'll be gone by July 4th.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 1:10PM
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keema

Regarding Earlier Post:"They are really very easy to grow from seed. I took all my seeds last year and put them in huge containers filled with potting soil (wintersowing, but did it in the spring) and in a few weeks, planted more right back into my garden beds. It was like buying new plants. They bloomed this year.
Carrie"

****Carrie*** what time of year did you do this? Do you think it would work to do this now? Did you actually open up the seed pod, or plant as is? Any words of wisdom?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 11:42AM
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keema

PS- Can anyone tell me how to post pics? Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 11:45AM
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cheerpeople

Those look like mine.
If you want to grow more you can do so by the seeds AND by the cuttings.

I just do what another GWer said I cut it back to a nice even height by grabbing handfuls. That leaves me with handfuls of cuttings that are a foot long. I plant what I want and freecycled the rest to other gardeners to plant. The cuttings will bloom next year, They will look sad this year. **Be sure to water if mother nature doesn't.

Before planting the cuttings tho you can shear off the seed pods. The ones that are ripe will have a small opening on the top for the seeds to spill out- about as big around as a toothpick. You can plant the seeds now in zone 5 anyway. They will germinate this summer.

Karen

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 10:17AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

hey folks, glad I found my thread again. I posted earlier about a picture and I was asking if what I found were seeds. I reread my thread again and found my answers from HIGHALTTRANSPLANT. Here is the pic of the seeds. These are just few. My kids helped me too. I just told them, well, let's see what happens. They look like seeds to me. :D

However, not sure if what I did was right.
1. removed the mulch
2. tilled the soil
3. dropped the seeds
4. pressed the soil lightly
5. put a light layer of topsoil
6. replaced the mulch
7. watered

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 10:15PM
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greentfinger(9/10)

This was first Dianthus we ever had. Third year and growing great.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:15AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

I can't believe my dianthus is still flowering. Also, I have good news. The tons of seeds I sowed almost 10 days ago are coming out now. Hopefully, it's dianthus and not weeds. :D hehehe. I'll post a pic of the tiny seedling.

Anyways, I think I took this picture August 1, 3 days ago. It's the one close to the lawn.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 12:25PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Congratulations! Your patience with those seeds paid off!

I just collected seed from one of my Dianthus this week, and wanted to add that when the seeds are fully ripe, the pod will open up at the end, in preparation for dispersing the seeds, then all you have to do is hold a bowl underneath, clip the pods, turn them upside down, and all of the ripe seed will come tumbling out. BTW, this is a job my kids really enjoy!

Bonnie

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 4:13PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Thanks highalttransplant! Here is another picture of my dianthus seeds that I'm pre-germinating via wet paper towel. Today is the 12th day. I now have 2 germination as shown on the picture. WOOHOO!!!

I should move them soon out of that paper towel or they might rot.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 11:33PM
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shaytala

I've read all the comments....I simply cannot find the seed! I just cut about 20 spent and dried flowers...I opened several of the "pods" like shown above...I find nothing there....How large are the seeds in comparison to petunia seeds...what am I missising? I'm relocating so would like to harvest...found in the past year I really love this plant...I live in Albuq and they did great here...easy care...no replanting etc...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 2:10PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Shaytala, the seeds are larger than petunia seeds, at least a 1/16" across.

Here is a shot that shows one pod that is opened up on the end. Notice that there are buds that haven't flowered yet, on the same cluster as the ripe seedpod.

The second shot, I have dumped the pod out, and the seeds are lying next to it.

If you are not finding any seeds when you hold the ripe seedpods upside and shake, it's possible that the seeds have already fallen out.

Hope this helps!

Bonnie

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 3:51PM
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