Dianthus ‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’

Dianthus00We’ve added ‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’ to our dianthus line because we’ve noticed more and more that mixes get sales. In a sense, it is easy to see the value comparison: a tray of one color vs. a tray of three colors—more variety for the same price. ‘Merlot Mix’ is an exceptional choice because it includes equal amounts of high-contrast colors: red, pink and white.

‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’ is a prime candidate for strong frontline sales for genetic reasons as well. Flower size stands out in particular—it features a nice, big, juicy blossom. This dianthus is a cross between a chinensis (prolific bloomer) and a barbatus (cold-hardy), so it blooms prolifically in cooler weather—always a good thing.


Also known as sweet William, it becomes available just as the bulk of the pansies have shipped and is a popular item throughout the spring. We often recommend it as the next color sale for early spring because it thrives in the cool nights and is so darn reliable. Sweet William is a great beginner plant—it has a nice tufted grass-like habit and will bloom without fail throughout the spring and early summer. It’s a great value for someone just getting into gardening.


Culturally, the Merlot is a nice moundy variety that grows about 8–10 inches high. Plants stay put—perfect for neat, tidy gardens where everything has a designated spot. If you squeeze them together, dianthus will form a nice gray-green grassy carpet that looks remarkably well-manicured. Full sun is required for plants to bloom to their maximum potential; partial shade will cut back on the flower power.

We grow other dianthus varieties as well:

  • The Elation series (strong landscape performer)
  • The Amazon series (taller, about 18–24 inches)
  • The Super Parfait series (striking bicolors)

As we mentioned, we’ve noticed a market swing toward mixes in our other crops. We feel that ‘Floral Lace Merlot Mix’ is the strongest contender for best dianthus sales—it’s a crop you should include in your spring dianthus order.