Dianthus Natural Habitat
To answer the question “can dianthus survive frost?” it is necessary to understand the natural habitat of this flower. In nature, there are more than 300 species of dianthus that are commonly found within the Europe and Asia regions.
Few dianthus species can be found in other regions, such as Africa and the Arctic.
This flower is especially popular in the Mediterranean region. It can cope with both hot and cold weather. The most important thing is to grow it in neutral or alkaline soil.
The soil also needs to be well-drained for it to flourish. Thus, it can be concluded that as long as you maintain those conditions, dianthus will be able to survive the cold climate.
What Kind of Cold Climate Can Dianthus Tolerate?
Despite being a hardy flower, you need to be mindful of the kind of cold climate this plant can tolerate. Can dianthus survive frost? It can, but only the light one.
When the frost becomes severe, the flower will likely die. The same thing occurs with hot climates. The hardy flower can only withstand hot temperatures up to a certain level.
A place with mild winter is nice for growing dianthus. It means that the place will not experience temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit or that it can adjust the environment when the temperature drops to that point. Severe frost will damage the plant’s structure.
The Best Dianthus Varieties to Grow in the Frost
What kind of dianthus can withstand frost? There is a dianthus species native to the North American regions of Alaska and Yukon called Boreal Carnation.
Those two regions are known to have cold climates, and seeing that Boreal Carnation can grow in that area, it is a great choice of dianthus to withstand frost.
Another recommended variety of dianthus for the cold area is Sweet William. This variety is known to be very hardy despite having a short lifespan.
Usually, people will start planting the Sweet William in late winter so that it can begin to grow throughout the spring. All you need to do throughout the winter is keep the plant from being exposed to a deep freeze.
Protecting Dianthus Against the Frost
How can dianthus survive frost? You need to take some protective measures against it.. First, is by applying a layer of mulch (about 4 inches thick), around the base of the plant.
This action must be done before any frost hits the ground. The mulch will maintain the temperature of the plant. However, you must remember to remove the mulch once the winter season ends so the dianthus can grow.
When the temperature drops too low to your liking, you can further place a blanket around the base of the plant. This plant also needs warmth from the sun, so you need to position the plant where sunlight will hit.
If you are unsure of how the plant will handle the outdoors, it is safer to place it inside until the worst of the cold passes.
Dianthus Nutrition During the Winter
You need to pay attention to the water supply provided to the dianthus. This plant does not need plenty of water as excess water can rot its roots.
In the winter, the water supply needs to be cut back even more unless you want them to freeze from the inside and die. All you need to do is ensure the plant remains moist throughout the cold season.
For fertilizer, since the plant is going dormant during the winter season, you do not need to go excessive as well. Typically, the best fertilizer for dianthus is the liquid type.
The recommended ratio of fertilizer is 20-10-10. Using a slow-release tool to apply the fertilizer is also highly suggested. Fertilizing is mostly done during the spring for dianthus.
Accompanying Plants for Dianthus in Frost Season
Gardeners are recommended to plant dianthus with some companions. Accompanying plants have so many benefits for your dianthus. It can chase pests away; in dianthus, the most common pets are aphids and spider mites.
Additionally, plant companions can provide nutrients necessary for the strength of dianthus during the winter. The most compatible plants to grow with dianthus include kale, dusty miller, and ornamental cabbage.
However, you must be aware that dianthus is not a flowering plant to grow in a crowded space. To grow the plant as singles, you need to provide 11 inches of space on either side.
The same amount of space should also be provided for dianthus planted in the row system. This space will allow the spread of dianthus, which can reach 18 inches wide.