Growth Facts

Neon Star Pinks
Dianthus 'Neon Star' pp 14549
Bold color on this petite plant makes sunny gardens pop.
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Like a neon sign that proclaims, “Butterfly Café!” If you like bold, sassy color in your garden (and butterflies), then Neon Star Pinks is the Spirit for you. This little flower powerhouse will electrify your garden with the most shockingly intense, eye-popping, magenta-pink blossoms you’ve ever seen. Beginning in spring and continuing for weeks, its parade of zesty blooms will enliven your borders and attract pollinators, too. Cool blue-gray foliage provides a soothing backdrop to the feisty flowers. With its dapper evergreen foliage, Neon Star maintains a demure presence in the winter, giving no hint of the party that will recommence in spring.

Growth Facts

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The Story

Pinks are a group of perky Spirits found mostly in Europe and Asia. Although many of them have pink flowers, you might be surprised to learn that that’s not the reason for their name. Pinks get their name from the jagged edges of their petals—the blooms look like they’ve been cut with pinking shears! Their botanical name is Dianthus, which means “flower of the gods.” Gardeners have cherished Pinks for ages, but recent advancements in plant breeding have given gardeners Pinks that are much better performers than what your grandma grew. Neon Star is a British introduction from 2002.

The Details

Although Neon Star is a modern hybrid, it still retains some of what makes the old-fashioned Pinks so special—fragrance! Neon Star has a subtle sweet scent with a hint of cloves. Plant it near your outdoor sitting area so you can enjoy its fresh, clean fragrance on warm spring days and summer evenings.

How to Grow

Neon Star Pinks is an easy Spirit to grow, provided a few basic needs are met. First, this plant loves full sun. A southern or western exposure will give it the bright light it craves. Second, it requires well-drained soil. No wet feet for this one. Neon Star Pinks has low water needs once established, and it tolerates moderate periods of drought with no ill effects. Shear off the spent flowers to encourage new ones to form. The evergreen plants hold up well through all but the worst winters. If any unsightly foliage appears, remove it prior to new growth in early spring.

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