2006 perennial of the year: Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Feuerhexe’ (Firewitch)

The 2006 choice is Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Feuerhexe’ (Firewitch) – one of the Cheddar Pinks from the Caryophyllaceae family. Dianthus are a large group of plants –mostly sun loving, usually low growing, evergreen and long bloomers, too. Dianthus like well drained soil, with pH being on the basic to alkaline side. Avoid mulching with thick layers of organic matter, especially in winter.

‘Firewitch’ in particular does well as a ground cover, rock garden plant or an edger plant and enjoys full sun, but tolerates light shade. It offers deep blue-green foliage, and magenta blooms in mid-spring, with a spicy, clove-like fragrance.

This plant grows only about 6 inches or 15cm tall. Snip off the deadheads to encourage reblooming later in the summer. Hardy to zone 3; a tough plant – you may want to ensure that ‘Firewitch’ gets good snow cover as it’s evergreen.

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