Dianthus flowers are used in a variety of home gardens. They grow quickly from seed and are simple to grow. Their bright flowers range from solid to variegated in a rainbow spectrum of color choices. Since there are 300 varieties of dianthus available, you will have no problem finding one that will add a splash of color to your garden from a mail-order seed catalog. Pick the dead flowers, save the seeds for next year’s planting and at the same time encourage the plant to continue blooming.
Bury the seeds under 1/4 inch of commercial seed planting medium or a mix of equal parts of perlite and peat moss in a shallow tray 2 or 3 inches deep. Start the seeds in the early spring about 6 weeks before the last frost in your area.
Water the container from the bottom by setting it into a sink filled with about 1 inch of water for about 10 minutes. Lift, drain slightly until the water stops dripping, and place the container in a sunny window.
Cover the whole container with a clear plastic bag that will let the light in but keep the soil moist. Remove it after about 10 days when the seeds start sprouting.
Water the seedlings every few days so that the soil stays moist. Add 1 tsp. of general liquid plant fertilizer to a gallon of water and fertilize the seedlings once a week after they are about 10 days old.
Transplant the dianthus seedlings outside in the spring, keeping the soil around their roots by sliding a spoon under them and lifting them from the container.
Set the seedlings into holes deep enough to hold the roots and keep the plant at the same planting depth. Gently press the soil so that it is firm around the stem and continue the watering and fertilizing schedule.