Maureen Thiessen, Edwards, Ashley, Abdi, Damon, Fields, Jeb S.
Amazon dianthus is a cool-season perennial in the Louisiana climate. Well known for the dense, vivid blooms it provides, this plant offers excellent fall, winter and spring color to carry you through the cool season and is an especially excellent choice for the cutting garden.
The Amazon series was created by hybridizing Dianthus chinensis with Dianthus barbatus, creating a plant with larger blooms, taller stalks and more striking colors than typically observed in dianthus species. Like its relatives, Amazon dianthus is cold hardy to temperatures in the teens and is a reliable bloomer until midsummer. The best time to plant Amazon is between October and March when it is a bit cooler. Dianthus do not take kindly to being wet, so it is recommended to select a sunny to partly sunny location with adequate drainage. A container or raised bed planting is also common and provides heightened control over growing conditions. Flowering transplants can be readily found in nurseries throughout Louisiana as the fall approaches.
The habit of Amazon dianthus makes it an excellent flower for cut arrangements The foliage adds beautiful texture to landscapes and bouquets, with slender, dark green leaves forming on tall and upright stems that do not become leggy. Bunches of single, jagged-edged flowers almost create a canopy over the foliage. The palette of colors includes Neon Cherry, Neon Purple and Rose Magic. While the neon colors are especially intense, Rose Magic is unique in that flowers bloom white and slowly transform into an intense rosy color. All stages of color appear in each bloom cluster, creating a lovely variegated look. As the flowers fade, spent clusters should be removed to encourage repeat blooming.
Amazon dianthus has very few pest problems if proper cultural practices are employed. Crown rot can occur in soggy locations, so avoid over-irrigating. In summer, plants will begin to deteriorate and are best replaced with summer annuals. However, this plant is more heat tolerant than other dianthus and can last into May or June.
Amazon dianthus is an excellent flower for cut flower arrangements. LSU AgCenter file photo
Amazon dianthus is cold hardy to temperatures in the teens.
The Rose Magic color of Amazon dianthus is unique in that flowers bloom white and slowly transform into an intense rosy color. LSU AgCenter file photos