Divide and Conquer! How to Divide Established Dianthus Plants


“I have a huge Dianthus flower plant and wondering if it should be
divided and when to do it?  Any other help with this is greatly appreciated.
Thank you much for all your help. Thanks, Gigi”

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Hi Gigi,

Thank you for the email regarding your dianthus.  Dianthus can be easily divided –much easier than other perennials.  The best time to divide is after the plant has blossomed.  While most perennials can be divided when they are dormant, dianthus is one of those that you don’t want to divide when dormant because they bloom so early in spring.

Cut back any dead flowers and their stems so that the plants will not be trying to produce seeds and causing stress to the plant after division.  What you are going to want to do is excavate the whole clump and separate ‘clumps’ of the plant mass gently by hand. Make sure that each ‘clump’ of plant has both a good root system and a sizable amount of shoot growth.  Plant where desired and irrigate well.

I hope this information helps you out, and thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “Divide and Conquer! How to Divide Established Dianthus Plants

  1. Pingback: Propagating and Grafting Cherry Trees « Horticulture Talk!

    • I cut them back more than just below the flower. Depending on the type of Dianthus you have, it varies a bit…

      –For Sweet William, Carnations (those with the bluish/gray frosted appearance to their stems), or Annual Pinks (Dianthus with only one flush of blooms per year or with a flush in spring and again in fall), you want to cut them down to the height that the rest of your foliage is. Usually, you will have a mound of foliage with flower stems coming up out of it. You want to make sure that you make it look like a mound of foliage again.
      –For Annual Dianthus that you would purchase as a bedding plant at a greenhouse, the flowers are usually on a mostly leafless stem. You want to carefully follow the stem back into the mound of foliage and clip it about 1/2 to 1 inch from the stem it came out from. This will encourage more blooms throughout the summer. Just make sure you are careful and do not cut the rest of the foliage around it.

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