Clove pink spring care

Asked April 16, 2016, 8:22 PM EDT

1) Should I or can I prune off the brown parts of my clove pinks? 2) I divided and replanted these pinks 2 years ago, but they have not really been blooming. Can you tell me what I should look for or what I should do? Is it possible they are planted too deep? Thanks.

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

Dead leaves can be pruned away anytime. The recommendation is to cut them down to 1-2 inches after they have been killed by frost in the fall.
For blooms the amount of water, fertilizer and sunlight are important, I would try to make those optimal.

My clove pinks are essentially green all winter. They spread out from the center about 8 - 9 inches without rooting. It is now only about 1 - 2 inches tall. Should I prune it back to a few inches from the crown? In the past, before dividing them 2 years ago, I never did any pruning and they were great. By the way, the original plant is at least 14 years old.

Thanks again.

I provided the advice for clove pinks dianthus since that was the most common plant identified by "clove pinks". Common names for plants can make things confusing. I would not prune something that is as short as yours. If your plants have not needed any pruning in 14 years don't prune. I think with tender loving care your transplants will recover the adage is 1st year they sleep, 2nd year the creep, third year they leap. Be sure to keep them watered. Some plants also do better in mild climates and struggle in hot weather. Last summer was very hot and dry for July and August. It was pretty hard for plants that do better in cool weather.