Description

Rough weather is no problem for this little powerhouse

Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner 1982

Ever since the Telstar series of dianthus arrived on the scene, gardeners have been entranced and prizes have been flying—on both sides of the Atlantic. Here in America, Telstar Picotee won the All-America Selection, our highest award for a seed. In Europe, both Telstar Crimson and Telstar Mix (the same one we're offering here) won the Fleuroselect Gold Medal, an honor given only to a few seed varieties—ever. Telstar began a whole new breeding program for dianthus, and to our mind, it remains the absolute tops.

So what's the big deal? Well, Telstars combine two species of Dianthus: Sweet William (D. barbatus) and China Pinks (D. chinensis). This gives them both hardiness and floriferousness, not to mention superior color, fragrance, and branching. They bloom in both spring and fall (and right through summer in cooler areas). They're perennial, though we prefer to grow them as annuals because their first year is their best. And most of all, they're tough.

Telstar was bred specifically to put up with rough weather of all kinds. Heat, humidity, rain, wind, even drought—it's all water under the bridge for this mighty little dianthus. Where others stop blooming when spring gives way too abruptly to summer heat, Telstar shrugs it off and keeps opening new blooms. When late-afternoon summer thunderstorms leave others scraggly, waterlogged, and prone to mildew, Telstar only smells the sweeter. (Well, not really, but it does keep blooming.) And when fall arrives early, then lapses back into Indian Summer, then hits you with a cold snap, Telstar weathers the changes. Very few others can, and none as beautifully.

So let's look at these plants. The mix contains a nice variety of colors, including several of the famous picotee shades; all the colors complement one another with hues of pink, red, purple, and white, including many bicolors. The flowers are single, about an inch wide, and neatly pinked, as if someone had taken shears to their petal edges and notched them perfectly. The blooms sit atop needle-thin green leaves on very well-branched plants about 8 to 10 inches high and wide, and they will return in force if you shear the plants back by about 2 inches after the first wave of bloom.

Redolent of cloves, the blooms are great for cutting as well as for enjoyment in the garden or container. They are the perfect buttonhole flower (going to a wedding, christening, or graduation, anyone), and make lovely little nosegays for the breakfast table. You'll have flowers to spare, too, because Telstar approaches blooming as it does everything else: with over-the-top vigor.

Use Telstar in containers of all kinds as well as the sunny annual bed. It goes straight from spring into summer in most climates, and if planted out in fall from an indoor summer sowing, will outlast most other fall-blooming annuals. You will love this unstoppable performer.

Sow Telstar in a Bio Dome Seed Starter Kit or seed flat at about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, covering the seeds with a thin layer of soil and wrapping the flat in plastic wrap to increase the humidity. (If you're using the Dome, no problem; just drop one seed in each bio sponge and keep the dome on, vents closed, until germination.) The seeds should sprout in just a few days, at which time you can lower the temperature and remove the dome/plastic wrap for better air circulation. Transplant at about a month.

Telstar is going to become your dianthus of choice the very first season you grow it. Share with your gardening buddies and have fun finding new places to show off these little wonder plants.

Details

Skip Product Specs
Genus Dianthus
Species chinensis
Variety Telstar™ Hybrid Mix
Item Form Pack of 250
Bloom Start To End Late Spring - Late Fall
Habit Dwarf
Seeds Per Pack 250
Plant Height 8 in - 10 in
Plant Width 8 in - 10 in
Bloom Size 1 in
Additional Characteristics Award Winner, Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Cool Season, Cut-and-Come-Again, Easy Care Plants, Evergreen, Flower, Fragrance, Free Bloomer, Long Bloomers, Needs Deadheading, Rose Companions
Bloom Color Coral, Dark Rose, Light Magenta, Light Purple, Light Red, Mix, Multi-Color, Pink, Salmon, White
Foliage Color Light Green
Light Requirements Full Sun, Part Shade
Moisture Requirements Dry, Moist,  well-drained
Resistance Cold Hardy, Disease Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant, Pest Resistant
Soil Tolerance Clay, Normal,  loamy, Poor, Sandy
Uses Baskets, Beds, Border, Containers, Cut Flowers, Outdoor

No Reviews Yet

Leave a Review