(=’Feuerhexe’) A selection of the Border Pinks, a group of Dianthus that are a favorite for planting in rock gardens or using as a border edging. This outstanding variety forms a low clump of grassy blue-grey foliage, with a long summer display of fragrant single magenta-pink blooms. Shear plants back lightly after blooming to maintain a tight, compact habit. Plants require good drainage and are an excellent choice for hot dry sites or gravelly soils. Combines beautifully with other low alpine plants. Attractive to butterflies. Evergreen. Selected as the 2006 PERENNIAL PLANT of the YEAR.
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Plant in spring or fall, spacing plants 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the type. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant’s container. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Stake tall varieties to keep them upright. Remove spent blooms on tall varieties, or shear back mounding plants after bloom to encourage rebloom. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line. Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps.
Perennial geranium – The grassy foliage of pinks combines well with coarser geranium leaves. Magenta to blue blooms of geranium coordinate beautifully with the pink, white, and rose shades of pinks.
Coralbells – Coral bells make a wonderful backup plant for groundcover pinks or a great foreground plant for taller types.
Iris – Irises and dianthus are a classic cottage garden combination. Their heady fragrances can perfume an entire yard.