Plant Guide

Dianthus barbatus 'Heart Attack'

Pronunciation: die-AN-thus bar-BAY-tuss
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Cultivar: 'Heart Attack'
Common Name: Perennial Sweet William
Plant Type:
  • perennial

Height to: 12"
Width to: 12"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8

Bloom Description: very striking blood-red flowers, spring south to early summer in the north over a long period; small carnation-like flowers in flat-topped clusters 3-5" wide
Bloom Season:
  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid summer

Sun Exposure:
  • full sun

Soil Type: well-drained
Pests and Diseases:

few significant, in moist conditions watch for slugs and snails, in poorly drained soils watch for crown rot, possibly rust late in season

Propagation: division spring, seeds

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: dark green, strap-like or lance-shaped to 4" long

Landscape habit, uses: fronts of border, massed, rock gardens, containers; combines well with corydalis (yellow or blue cultivars), allium, fringed bleeding heart (D. eximia), rockcress, perennial sages

Other interest: unique in performing well in heat and humidity of south as well as having cold hardiness; from former employee James Stevenson of Plant Delights Nursery around 1990, introduced in 2001; unlike others in the species this one is perennial

Other culture: deadheading promotes perennial growth, may reseed otherwise Source: perry's Perennial Pages, University of Vermont

Submitted by: Pectiwiccan
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