How To Overwinter Dianthus

Question From: Marysville, Michigan, United States
Q: I planted perennial dianthus in spring 2018 in a flower bed with full sun. I covered the bed with burlap. And not one plant survived into 2019. I again planted perennial dianthus in spring, 2019. Plants have bloomed beautifully all season. What is the best way to protect the plants through the winter, and have them reappear next spring? Thank you for your guidance.

A: I think the burlap was your undoing. Dianthus requires fast draining soil. A winter mulch of gravel is often suggested. Do not fertilize these plants. A hand full of compost spread over the surface of the soil in spring is sufficient. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy