Dianthus 'Feuerhexe' FIREWITCH
Common Name: cheddar pink 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Bright magenta
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants require lots of sun for good flowers, but prefer cool summer temperatures. Plants generally perform best in organically rich, gritty loams in neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Good drainage is essential, but incorporating leaf mold and other organic material into the soil helps retain some moisture which is often needed in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Consider shearing plants back after main flush of bloom in order to tidy the planting and to promote additional bloom in late summer or early fall.

'Feuerhexe' tolerates heat and humidity (as well as some drought) better than other cultivars of dianthus.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Perennial dianthus, commonly called carnations or pinks, are loosely-tufted, herbaceous perennials that features fragrant, often double flowers on stiff stems clad with narrow, linear, gray-green leaves. Most hybrid carnations are crosses between three species: D. caryophyllus, D. gratianopolitanus, and D. plumarius. There are thousands of carnation cultivars and hybrids which have been developed over time for use in both outdoor gardens or under glass for the cut flower industry. Extensive breeding has produced cultivars in almost every shade of pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, and white, and ranging in size from 6” tall up to long-stemmed plants rising to as much as 4’ tall.

Large-flowered carnations today are divided for organizational purposes into two different groupings: (1) border carnations (fragrant double flowers on stems rising to 16” tall) for use in outdoor gardens and (2) florist’s carnations (fragrant double flowers on stems rising to 3-4’ tall) primarily grown in greenhouses for supplying the florist trade.

Genus name comes from the Greek words dios meaning divine and anthos meaning flower.

The common name of pink for plants in the genus Dianthus is in probable reference to the fringed flower petal margins (they appear to have been cut with pinking shears) and not to flower color.

'Feurerhexe', commonly sold undet the trade name of FIREWITCH, is a mat-forming cheddar pink that produces numerous, scented, bright magenta flowers singly atop wiry stems (to 6" tall) arising from tufted mounds of grassy, deep blue, linear foliage. Blooms in spring with some intermittent repeat bloom in summer.

Problems

Crown rot may occur in wet, poorly-drained conditions.

Garden Uses

Provides masses of color and good contrast for the rock garden or small border front. Good edging plant. Dense mats may be grown together to form an interesting ground cover. May also be grown on difficult sites such as stone walls.