Dianthus ‘Candy Floss’ –
A production machine for blooms
Dianthus ‘Candy Floss’ is a production machine for making sweet, sugar pink, highly perfumed, flowers.
A neat, compact cushion of silver-grey foliage perfectly sets off the flouncy, fringed pink blooms .
‘Candy Floss’ is a politely behaved, old fashioned “Picotee Pink”, even though it has been bred in recent decades.
So this careful breeding has created generous masses of flowers, blooming over an extended period, combined with that much loved old fashioned look.
Blooming begins in mid spring and continues through to mid summer.
The neat mound is 30cm high in flower x 40cm. wide approx.
A pocket rocket of perfume
The scent is deliciously sweet and spicy and carries well on the air. So a small vase of these marvellous cut flowers can scent the whole room.
‘Candy Floss’ is excellent in decorative pots. Here the silver foliage mound is attractive all year round. Thus the superbly scented flowers become your bonus.
‘Candy Floss’ is full of delights when planted along a sunny path because of the wonderful perfume and colour. Likewise multiple plants make such a neat and pleasurable garden front edge or groundcover.
Hardy, easy & water-wise
Complete success is yours if you plant in a Full Sun position, and make sure the soil is well drained.
A happy Dianthus is guaranteed by a dressing of lime in spring and autumn, unless you already garden on naturally alkaline, lime soils.
They are very hardy in summer drought periods, and frost; and basks in heat. Definitely a water-wise plant.
Generous bloomers on lean rations
Dianthus are perfectly suited to seaside garden, windy sites, rocky soil, gravel, sandy or poor soils, as these conditions mimic their native habitats.
Consequently most Dianthus prefer to be treated lean and mean and not overfed. Overfeeding will only cause lush foliage and lesser flowering, whereas we desire compact, neat, very silver foliage, and abundant flowering.
Waterlogging will kill them stone dead, so do make sure they are well drained.
The only maintenance required is perhaps a light trim after flowering if you wish to tidy up.
The clove scented petals are deliciously edible and so can be used as a garnish in salads, for flavoring fruit salads, and candied for sweet treats.
You can also make jams, jellies and cordials from the petals, in the same way rose petals are used.
For culinary purposes Dianthus petals should be pulled from the calyx and the bitter white piece at the base of the petal cut off.
Plus the wonderful perfume makes dried petals an essential perfume ingredient for potpourri and scented sachets.
– Height with flowers: 30cm. approx. in flower. The silver foliage mound is lower.
– Width: Foliage mound is 40cm. diameter, and a rounded cushion shape.
– Position: Full Sun.
– Soil: Perfectly suited to seaside garden, windy sites, rocky soil, gravel, sandy or poor soils.
– Fragrance: Exceptional. Sweet and spicy.
– Frost: Very hardy even in hard frosts.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial mound.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and butterflies are drawn to the flowers like magnets.
– Care: Very easy to grow, and little to no maintenance required.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Rabbits and deer are not particularly attracted to them thank heavens. I might become murderous if they ate mine.
– Origin: The name Dianthus means “flower of the gods”, from the Greek words dios for “god” and anthos for “flower”.
– History; The legendary Whetman family bred delightful ‘Candy Floss’ in England. The Whetmans bred old fashioned “Picotees”, (also known as “Garden Pinks”) over several generations, and the family were responsible for collecting and preserving many beautiful old varieties in the face of modern fashionable changes. I was lucky enough to visit the Whetmans just before their nursery finally closed, and see their collection before it was taken over by big horticultural business.
– Traditional usage: Poor quality beers and wine were flavoured (or disguised) by the addition of perfumed Dianthus petals in former times. Dianthus have also been used over many centuries for traditional herbal medicine in both European and Chinese cultures.