This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.
“Fire Star” maiden pink
Dianthus “Fire Star”
Size: Foliage grows 5 to 7 inches tall; flowers top out at 8 to 10 inches.
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Bloom season: Fragrant red flowers with a deeper crimson eye that bloom three to five per stem, from spring through frost.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: None; remove spent flowers to prompt more summer bloom.
Water needs: Medium; once established, water once a week or as needed.
Snapshot: This hybrid dianthus offers a lot of flower without much space – or water. Narrow evergreen leaves form a compact mound. Planted in a row, it makes a handsome border. Starting in spring, this perennial produces sweet-smelling ruby-colored blooms that sit just above the foliage.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.