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Dianthus, Perennial

Dianthus

Dianthus, Perennial Plant Features

This large family of sun-loving, easy-care bloomers includes compact forms, occasionally called pinks, and taller forms that include carnations. Because they are tolerant of cool weather, perennial dianthus are reliable spring bloomers that will, if it doesn't get too hot, continue to bloom through most of the summer. All perennial dianthus have pretty blue-green foliage that looks terrific paired with their deliciously fragrant pink, white, rose, yellow, red, or bi-colored flowers. Butterflies love the nectar-rich blooms, too. Use perennial dianthus in mixed containers or plant them in drifts or clumps in your flower border or rock garden. Dianthus is also deer resistant. Hardy from zones 4-8.

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Discover more perennials for fragrance. 

Dianthus, Perennial Growing Instructions

All perennial dianthus grow best in full sun. Plant them early in the season so they can become well established before hot weather strikes. They like rich, well drained soil and you may have to stake taller members of the family to keep them from toppling. Perennial dianthus will struggle if planted in wet soil. 

Dianthus is not recommended for human or animal consumption.


  • Light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors

    Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow

  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Special Features

    Attracts butterflies
    Attracts hummingbirds
    Colorful foliage
    Deer/rabbit resistant
    Fragrant flowers/foliage


Complement your Dianthus, Perennial with these varieties:
Columbine
Enjoy a festival of spring bloom by pairing Perennial Dianthus with Columbine.

Geranium, Perennial
The brightly colored blooms of Cranesbill Geranium make a bold partner for the more pastel flowers of Perennial Dianthus.

Artemisia
With its silver-gray foliage, Artemisia is the perfect partner for Dianthus with its blue-green leaves.


Varieties: Our Favorites

Dianthus 'Beauties Kate' Beauties Kate

Dianthus 'Beauties Kate'

Beauties Kate perennial dianthus is a charming selection that shows off large and fragrant, hot-pink flowers in spring. It grows 6 inches tall and wide. Zones 4-8

Dianthus 'Early Bird Fizzy' Early Bird Fizzy

Dianthus 'Early Bird Fizzy'

Get a jump on the season with ‘Early Bird Fizzy’ dianthus. Blooming in the early spring, this perky dianthus produces quantities of extra double, lavender flowers with maroon centers. The plants grow 8 inches tall so you can use them in containers or at the border’s edge. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Early Bird Pop Star' Early Bird Pop Star

Dianthus 'Early Bird Pop Star'

A top performer in our South Carolina Trial Garden, Early Bird Pop Star shows off strongly fragrant lavender-pink blooms marked with a red-pink center. It grows 8 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Early Bird Radiance' Early Bird Radiance

Dianthus 'Early Bird Radiance'

Early Bird Radiance starts flowering in spring with gorgeous double red flowers that rebloom through summer if the spent blossoms are removed. It grows 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Early Bird Sherbet' Early Bird Sherbet

Dianthus 'Early Bird Sherbet'

Cool spring weather won’t stop ‘Early Bird Sherbet’ perennial dianthus from blooming its head off. This cute-as-a-button variety grows just 4 inches tall, but its double pink flowers and rich, blue-green leaves can have a big impact in your rock garden or border edge. Zones 5-8

Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch' Firewitch

Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch'

This award-winning variety shows off pretty blue-green foliage and brilliant pink, frilled flowers. It grows 6 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Plus, it’s fragrant! Zones 3-8

Dianthus 'Grenadin Red' Grenadin Red

Dianthus 'Grenadin Red'

Grenadin Red dianthus is a stunning selection with rich crimson-red flowers in late spring and early summer. The blossoms hold up well in bouquets. It grows 24 inches tall and wide. Zones 7-8

Dianthus 'Jolt Cherry' Jolt Cherry

Dianthus 'Jolt Cherry'

Jolt Cherry dianthus can be grown as an annual or perennial. It's loved for its bright pinkish-red flowers and heat tolerance, allowing it to bloom later into summer than older varieties. It grows 20 inches tall and 16 inches wide. Zones 7-10

Dianthus 'Jolt Pink' Jolt Pink

Dianthus 'Jolt Pink'

Part of the new generation of dianthus, Jolt Pink offers outstanding heat tolerance, so it to continues bloom later than other varieties. It grows 20 inches tall and 16 inches wide. Zones 7-10 as a perennial

Dianthus 'Kahori' Kahori

Dianthus 'Kahori'

A ground-hugging favorite, ‘Kahori’ dianthus grows just 6 inches tall, but smothers itself in pretty, fragrant pink blooms throughout the summer. It’s ideal for rock gardens or containers. Zones 3-8

Dianthus 'Peppermint Star' Peppermint Star

Dianthus 'Peppermint Star'

Fragrant, pink flowers with red centers make ‘Peppermint Star’ dianthus a terrific choice for rock gardens, border edge, or container. The plants can grow 9 inches tall and produce a lovely, spicy scent. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Raspberry Swirl' Raspberry Swirl

Dianthus 'Raspberry Swirl'

A truly memorable variety, ‘Raspberry Swirl’ dianthus produces amazing pink flowers, each one with maroon picotee and eye. The flower stalks are held above loose-clusters of rich, blue-green leaves. It grows 7 inches tall. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Rosy Cheeks' Rosy Cheeks

Dianthus 'Rosy Cheeks'

The highly fragrant, pink double flowers of ‘Rosy Cheeks’ dianthus will delight you all summer long. Growing 14 inches tall, this easy-care dianthus is often treated as an annual. Zones 5-9

Dianthus 'Ruby's Tuesday' Ruby's Tuesday

Dianthus 'Ruby's Tuesday'

A red-flowering carnation, ‘Ruby Tuesday’ dianthus blooms its head off all summer long, producing bright red, fragrant flowers over blue-green foliage. It grows 2 feet tall and is often treated as an annual. Zones 6-8

Dianthus 'Scent First Eternity' Scent First Eternity

Dianthus 'Scent First Eternity'

Scent First Eternity is powerfully fragrant and bears a profusion of rose-pink blooms (which appear into the summer if you remove the faded flowers). It grows 8 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Scent First Passion' Scent First Passion

Dianthus 'Scent First Passion'

There are many reasons why you’ll fall in love with ‘Scent First’ dianthus: it offers beautiful and fragrant scarlet, rose-bud-like flowers all summer long. It’s an award-winning variety that grows 12 inches tall. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Scent First Raspberry Surprise' Scent First Raspberry Surprise

Dianthus 'Scent First Raspberry Surprise'

As joyously fragrant as its name suggests, Scent First Raspberry Surprise shows off soft pink blossoms with a rich raspberry-red center. It grows 10 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Scent First Romance' Scent First Romance

Dianthus 'Scent First Romance'

Bearing beautiful -- and strongly fragrant -- salmon-pink flowers in late spring and early summer, Scent First Romance grows 9 inches tall and spreads 14 inches wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Scent First Sugar Plum' Scent First Sugar Plum

Dianthus 'Scent First Sugar Plum'

Scent First Sugar Plum dianthus features rosy-pink with darker raspberry-pink accents. It grows 12 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Scent First Tickled Pink' Scent First Tickled Pink

Dianthus 'Scent First Tickled Pink'

Scent First Tickled Pink has it all: It's pretty, the flowers are deliciously fragrant, it's a good cut flower, it attracts butterflies, and it's easy to grow. This variety shows off lavender-pink blooms and grows 9 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Zones 5-8

Dianthus 'Sunflor Chocolate' Sunflor Chocolate

Dianthus 'Sunflor Chocolate'

Showing off dark red flowers, silver foliage, and bearing a delightful fragrance, Sunflor Chocolate is ideal for the front of garden beds and borders. It grows 16 inches tall and wide. Zones 6-8

Dianthus 'Star Single Superstar' Superstar

Dianthus 'Star Single Superstar'

A top pick from our South Carolina Trial Garden, Star Single Superstar shows off single pink flowers marked with red-pink centers. It's fragrant, heat-tolerant, and blooms for weeks. Zones 5-8