Dianthus Chinensis (China Pink)
Do you like small flower plants? And if they are also very easy to care for? If so, surely you will love the Dianthus Chinensis (China Pink) . It has the perfect size to be able to be cultivated throughout its life in pot, although it can also be in the garden without problem.
All you need is sun, lots of sun, and water. Only with this you will see that it is very simple to have a more cheerful and colorful space. But if you want to know how to have it perfect, and not only good, follow our advice on its care and maintenance .
Origin and characteristics
The carnation, whose scientific name is Dianthus chinensis , is a herbaceous perennifolia plant native to the north of China, Korea, Mongolia and southeast of Russia that reaches a height between 30 and 50 centimeters . It is formed by upright stems from which sprout gray-green, thin leaves, about 3-5cm long by 2-4mm wide.
The flowers, which spring from spring to summer, measure 2-3cm in diameter, solitary or in small groups. They can be white, pink, red, purple, or bicolor.
Care and maintenance
Our protagonist is a plant suitable for beginners. If you want to get one, we recommend providing the following care:
It can be in any corner, but it is important that it is exposed to direct sunlight since otherwise it will not have a good development (its stems will be weak and may not bloom).
During the summer you have to water very often, but the rest of the year you have to space the water. Thus, in general, it will be irrigated almost daily in the warmer months and every 3-4 days the rest . In the case of having it in a pot, remember to remove the water left over after ten minutes of watering to prevent the roots from rotting.
From the beginning of spring until the end of summer / beginning of autumn it is highly recommended to fertilize it with a liquid fertilizer for flower plants, or with guano .
You have to cut the withered flowers and the stems that are drying . It is also advisable to reduce its height – no more than 5 cm – in order to have a plant with more stems at the beginning of spring or in autumn.
Time of planting or transplant
The best time to plant or transplant the carnation is in the spring , when temperatures start to rise above 15ºC. If you have it in a pot, you have to transplant it every 2-3 years.
This beautiful plant is multiplied by seeds , being the ideal time in spring. To do this, you have to follow this step :
- The first thing is to go buy an envelope with seeds at any nursery or gardening store. Its price is very economical: with two dollars we can have, at least, ten seedlings.
- Once at home I advise to put the seeds in a glass of water for 24 hours; In this way, we will be able to know which will germinate with total security -will be those that sink- and which will have more difficulties.
- Then, we choose the seedbed: it can be seed tray, pot, peat pellets, milk containers, yogurt cups … Regardless of what we use, it must have at least one hole so that the water that comes out quickly.
- Then, we fill it with universal culture substrate mixed with 30% pearlite , arlite or similar.
- Next, we spread a maximum of 3 seeds in each pot / alveolus / container / peat pellet and cover them with a very thin layer of substrate.
- Finally, we water with a sprayer and put a label with the name of the plant and the date of sowing.
Now what will remain is to place the seedbed outside, in full sun, and keep the substrate always moist but not waterlogged. Thus, they will germinate in 7-14 days at a temperature of 16-20ºC .
It does not usually have pests, but if the cultivation conditions do not end up being the most appropriate, we can see that it has:
- Aphids : they are parasites of about 0,5cm of green, yellow or brown color that are pruned in the flower buds and in the most tender buds. By doing so, they feed on them, causing specks of a light green color.
- Pillbugs : can be cottony type or limpet type. They are deposited on the underside of the leaves, causing also spots.
- Suckers : are larvae of insects of the family Aphrophora. They make a liquid to protect themselves and then emit bubbles.
As it is a rather small plant, all these pests can be removed by hand or with a swab moistened with pharmacy alcohol.
If it is watered in excess it can have fungi , especially Phytophthora. It is important to water when necessary, avoiding puddling. In the event that the plant does not grow, have the yellow leaves, and a sad look, you have to treat it with fungicide and space the irrigations.
Clavelina can be grown outdoors all year round in warm, temperate climates. Resists cold and frost well up to -6 degrees Celsius .