The Complete Guide for Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus (Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’) Care

The Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus, otherwise known as the Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ or Hardy Carnation ‘King of the Blacks’, Dianthus ‘King of the Blacks’, Dianthus ‘Grenadin King of Blacks’, Clove Pink ‘King of the Blacks’, is a rather well known perennial plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this perennial will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its gray-green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

In order to take proper care of your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, chalk, and loam.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Dianthus 'Sunflor Chocolate' plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family, the genus Dianthus and the species Caryophyllus, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ (dy-AN-thus).

As with other Dianthus’s, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year. 

Growing Region

The Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus is a plant native to the Mediterranean area but exact range unknown.

You might be wondering why your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 6 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3, H1.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.


But what exactly does this mean for your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ can grow up to 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) and 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm) in 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm). 

These dimensions make the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus a relatively medium perennial compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 12″ (30cm) free so the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Dianthus 'Sunflor Chocolate' care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, chalk, and loam.

This is why most experts agree that the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus requires soil with clay, high organic matter, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this perennial will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a herbaceous plant, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus will die back to the ground every year. 

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), and during the summer (early, mid).


You can expect your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer).

In particular, this perennial is well known for its fragrant, flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus produces some beautiful red, or variegated,red/burgundy,orange, gold/yellowpink,purple/lavender, and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus have a beautiful gray-green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Dianthus 'Sunflor Chocolate' up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus is well known for being able to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ will be fine.


Does your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Dianthus ‘Sunflor Chocolate’ owners agree that this perennial will look great in most mediterranean, cottage and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage styles. 

In particular, the Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a container, border, mass planting, coastal exposure, cutting garden, or a rock garden.


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Sunflor® Chocolate Dianthus, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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