Dianthus's bright pink, red or lavender flowers with ruffled edges have been popular with gardeners for centuries. Some flowers in the Dianthus genus include maiden pinks, sweet william and carnations. Different dianthus flowers may bloom profusely throughout the summer, or blossom production may wax and wane. Deadheading, or the removal of spent blossoms, will help ensure constant flowers in your garden throughout the growing season. Deadheading dianthus allows the plants to direct their energy into growing more blossoms and denser foliage instead of producing seeds.
Wait until the petals of your dianthus have started to fade, wilt or fall off before you deadhead. You may also cut dianthus in full bloom to bring indoors in a bouquet, and that will serve the same purpose as deadheading.
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Use pruning shears or a pair of scissors to cut the faded flower stem back to the base, just above the nearest set of leaves. You may cut a few leaves for bouquets, but make sure the plant has some leaves left for photosynthesis.
Collect the dead flower stalks in a basket or bucket to carry to the compost pile. Place any cut flowers intended for a bouquet into water immediately.
Continue to monitor your dianthus over the course of the summer and fall. Depending on the species, some dianthus flowers may only need to be deadheaded once or twice during the growing season, while others may need attention every week.