LSU AgCenter Horticulturist
If you’re looking for something to add just the right spark to your landscape this fall, look no further.
The LSU AgCenter has selected Jolt dianthus (Dianthus barbatus interspecific) as a 2019 fall Louisiana Super Plant. This cool-season bedding plant is great for full sun to partial sun exposure. Jolt has an upright and mounding growth habit, with plants growing 16 to 18 inches tall with a 12-to-14-inch spread. Jolt dianthus is an excellent bloomer for your landscape this fall, and its gorgeous blooms should last from October to May.
Some of the best cool-season bedding plants we have available in Louisiana are interspecific dianthus, and the Jolt series is no exception. Jolt offers a more compact interspecific dianthus when compared to Amazon dianthus (also named a Louisiana Super Plant in 2010). Jolt dianthus will continue to bloom and look good well into early summer when other dianthus throw in the towel, giving you that extra push to carry your landscape into the warm season.
Jolt dianthus can be planted in early fall in Louisiana landscapes. Like most of the common bedding plants we use in Louisiana landscapes, they are susceptible to extreme freezing temperatures in winter, so be sure to take appropriate actions if it gets too cold. However, Jolt dianthus will continue through normal Louisiana winters. Jolt can also be planted in late winter, around February, for an amazing pop of color throughout the spring and early summer.
Aside from the striking bloom colors, which come in Cherry, Pink and Pink Magic, Jolt dianthus have excellent dark green foliage that provides additional pop to the bloom color. Jolt is also great for attracting butterflies to any landscape.
AgCenter trials at the Hammond Research Station have found Jolt tolerates the heat better than most interspecific dianthus, and it is an easy-care plant with minimal maintenance needs. This dianthus is a very reliable performer in all areas of Louisiana.
Jolt dianthus grows in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11.
Plant them 8 to 12 inches apart in raised beds and ensure adequate water. To ensure continuous high- quality flowering, plant in full sun in a well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Another perk of Jolt is that it does not require deadheading, although this will encourage new blooms. With its upright mounding habit, Jolt can be grown as a border planting in landscape beds, or it can be used in containers. Jolt dianthus also makes great cut flowers for arrangements.
Jolt is a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require much care. You can use a slow-release fertilizer incorporated into the soil at planting time to ensure uniform growth. You can also supplement with liquid feed as needed to keep plants looking their best. Jolt dianthus can be seed-grown or purchased in spring from local nurseries.
Jolt dianthus is available in three vibrant colors: Jolt Cherry, Jolt Pink and Jolt Pink Magic.
For more information on Jolt dianthus and other Louisiana Super Plants, contact your LSU AgCenter parish office or visit www.LSUAgCenter.com/SuperPlants.
The Louisiana Super Plant program is an AgCenter educational and marketing campaign that highlights tough and beautiful plants that perform well throughout the state of Louisiana. Moreover, the Louisiana Super Plant program is endorsed by Certified Louisiana, which is a Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry program that promotes locally produced agricultural products.
Each spring and fall, AgCenter horticulturists announce the Louisiana Super Plant selections for that year. Louisiana Super Plants have a proven track record with many years of reliable performance in Louisiana landscapes and have gone through several years of university evaluations and observations. Look Jolt dianthus and all the other Louisiana Super Plants at your local nurseries and garden centers.
Jolt Cherry dianthus, Jolt Pink Magic dianthus and Jolt pink dianthus lined up in containers show the differences in coloration. Photo by Ashley Edwards/LSU AgCenter
Amazon dianthus on left and Jolt dianthus grown side-by-side illustrate the differences in height. Photo by Ashley Edwards/LSU AgCenter
Jolt Cherry dianthus grows in a trial garden at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station. Photo by Ashley Edwards/LSU AgCenter