Alphabetical Plant Listing

Pretty Perennial Dianthus for Rock Gardens

Dianthus deltoides, Dianthus gratianopolinatus, Maiden Pinks, Cheddar Pinks


Prized for the beauty of their blooms and their sweet clove fragrance, Dianthus is a massive genus of 300 species of flowering plants, native mainly to Europe and Asia. They range from the classic Sweet William of cottage gardens to the highly prized florist' Carnations and include the charming rock garden miniatures.

  • Numerous Dianthus species and cultivar are wonderful subjects in rock gardens. Rewardingly floriferous, they form beautiful, tight mounds of bright and colorful, sometimes uniquely patterned flowers, that are hard to beat in terms of floral display. Their foliage is equally attractive, often glaucous blue and evergreen.
  • The main bloom period is spring to early summer, but some Dianthus rebloom later in the season or keep flowering into fall if regularly deadheaded.
  • Easy and accommodating, Dianthus enjoy sunny shaded sites with well-drained soils. Good drainage is critical and you should avoid planting Dianthus where the soil is continuously soggy. The biggest cultivation issue with Dianthus is crown rot. Thus do not mulch in the winter with compost. A gravel grit mulch such as pea gravel or chicken grit is a good topping for around Dianthus cushions to prevent the foliage from sitting on the ground.

Below is a list of wonderful species and cultivars for your rock garden.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dianthus
Exposure Full Sun
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden
Compare All Dianthus Great Plant Combination Ideas with Dianthus Guides with Dianthus

jaranya021 / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dianthus
Exposure Full Sun
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden
Compare All Dianthus Great Plant Combination Ideas with Dianthus Guides with Dianthus

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.