Debbie Arrington

Life After Lawn: Tiny Rubies becomes garden gem

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Tiny Rubies cheddar pink

Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Tiny Rubies’

Size: 4 to 5 inches tall to 1 foot wide

Bloom season: Masses of double pink flowers cover the foliage in spring and early summer.

Exposure: Full sun

Pruning needs: Cut back flower stalks after blooming.

Water needs: Low; once established, water once or twice a month.

Snapshot: Tiny Rubies is a water-wise garden gem. This compact low-growing perennial forms an evergreen cushion of olive-green foliage that looks good as edging along paths or in the rock garden. In spring, the entire plant is covered with masses of brilliant, tiny pink flowers – delighting beneficial insects. An added plus: Those pretty flowers smell like cloves.

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