Pink flowers with a handsome bluish-grey foliage that is showy in its own right.

About Dianthus

It’s easy to get confused when shopping for dianthus plants for the garden, as the genus encompasses plants that behave as annuals, perennials, and biennials. While each of these has its place in the flower garden, if you're looking for the heirloom pinks that grew in grandma's garden, you'll want to make room in your landscaping for the perennial dianthus flower.

Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, dianthus plants feature handsome bluish-grey foliage that is showy in its own right when the plants are not in bloom. The foliage is narrow—even grass-like—and plants may exhibit a mounded shape, an erect habit, or a trailing habit. When choosing varieties of dianthus for your landscape, don't be confused by the name “pinks.” While many varieties do have pink flowers, this nickname comes from the fringed edges of the flower petals.

Dianthus plants grow fast and are best started in the spring after all risk of frost has passed. Seedlings can emerge in as little as eight days, and a new plant can be fully in bloom in under three months. Blooms are heaviest in late spring, with some possible rebloom into fall. Dianthus blooms may be single or double, but all have the same jagged-edged petals. All dianthus plants are toxic to pets.

Common Name Dianthus flowers, pinks, garden pinks, cheddar pinks, clove pinks, gillyflower
Botanical Name D. plumarius, D. superbus, D. deltoides
Family Caryophyllaceae
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Height 15-91 CM (6"-36")
Mature Width 15-61 CM (6"-24")
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Moist but well-drained
Soil pH Neutral to acidic
Bloom Time Spring, Summer, Fall