Some plants are happy in Baltic temperatures; others keel over at the first sign of a chilly breeze. When you are hunkering down for the cold months, spare a thought for your garden plants – how to prepare dianthus for winter? Let’s find out together.
What You'll Learn Today
How Cold Can Dianthus Tolerate?
Dianthus is a relatively hardy plant – it can cope with the cooler temperatures, as long as they don’t get too cold.
They are frost tolerant up to a point, but you will probably find that prolonged periods of ice and frost will damage them.
You will probably find that your dianthus will go completely dormant if the temperature drops below 40 degrees F.
These little beauties will need to be covered with a frost blanket, fleece, mulch or bark chips when the temperatures drop consistently for a long time.
Conversely, they can also go dormant if the temperatures get too hot in the summer! They’re pretty easygoing, but keep an eye on them if it gets too cold.
This little informative article tells you a lot about dianthus, as well as its temperature requirements.
How Do You Look After Dianthus In Winter?
Although this plant is fairly hardy and can survive most conditions, it will not cope well being left out through Arctic conditions.
Dianthus can tolerate freezing temperatures – yes, it really is that hardy! But being kept frozen for long periods will damage it.
- Once the cooler weather has arrived at the end of autumn, trim your dianthus back so that it is close to the ground.
- Use a pair of sharp, clean secateurs, and place the trimmings in a compost bin so that they don’t cause the plant to mold.
- Removing the stems in this way will prevent them, and the leaves, from being burnt and damaged by the frosts.
- Surround the base of the plant with mulch or bark chips – this will help keep the plant warm, as well as give it a few extra nutrients.
- If you live in an area which gets really harsh winters, place a layer of straw over the whole plant to keep it protected.
- Avoid watering too much in winter – getting waterlogged plus being cold is a sure fire way to kill off your pretty plant!
- Once the warm weather in spring appears, you will be rewarded by some vigorous, healthy growth again.
- If your dianthus are in pots, you can simply bring them indoors or place them in a greenhouse to keep them protected from the worst of the weather.
- You can also choose to wrap the pots in fabric or fleece to keep out the cold, if you cannot bring your dianthus inside.
This video will show you some tips and tricks on how to care for dianthus, and a little more information on one particularly winter hardy version:
Is Dianthus Frost Hardy?
Many plants will keel over and die at the first signs of the colder weather, let alone a frost and icy winds!
Luckily, dianthus is hardier than this. This gutsy little plant can cope with a light frost and it will still survive.
However, very long periods of frost, snow and icy winds will not do it any good at all, and it may need some extra protection.
If you know that there are some hard frosts on the way, do your best to keep dianthus protected and warm, to help it survive.
The best option is to bring your dianthus indoors, or at least move it to a greenhouse, but this is not always an option!
If your dianthus is planted in the ground, or you don’t have a greenhouse, you will need to protect the soil against the coldest temperatures.
You can use mulch, straw, bark chippings, or even a frost blanket, to keep your dianthus alive and ready to spring back when the weather warms (excuse the pun!)
Placing down a layer of protective material will keep the roots protected from a hard frost, to give the plant more of a chance.
Another benefit of covering the plant is it stops the water from stagnating around the roots; as we know, dianthus doesn’t like to get its feet too wet!
If you keep your dianthus in a pot, cover the pot and the base of the roots with fleece, in order to stop it from getting too chilly.
What Is The Lowest Temperature Dianthus Can Handle?
A light frost won’t kill your dianthus. However, if temperatures dip below 40 degrees F for prolonged periods, this can cause some trouble.
If you are aware of a long cold snap approaching, you should take steps to keep your dianthus protected:
- Straw. Covering your plant with a layer of insulating material will help keep the roots warm enough to survive.
- Mulch. In the same way as straw, mulch can help to seal in some of the warmth in the soil.
- Bark chippings. Readily available at most garden stores, bark chippings will keep your dianthus protected from the worst of the weather.
- Sheep fleece. This is an amazing natural insulator, that will keep your dianthus roots warm and protected from the worst weather.
- Frost blanket. These handy little things will help your dianthus to retain enough heat in its soil to keep it alive through the worst weather.
- Bring it inside. If you have dianthus in a pot, you should take it to a sheltered place where it will be warmer.
A light frost and a bit of normal winter won’t do your dianthus much harm, but if you know the barometer is dipping sharply then it’s time to dig out something to keep your dianthus a little warmer.
Winter can be a tough time for plants, and dianthus is no exception (here are plants that pair well). But, once you know how to prepare dianthus for winter you can keep it going!
Dianthus is pretty hardy, but you may need to give it a little helping hand in the depths of winter. Now you know how, you can enjoy this little plant to its fullest, all year round!