HOW TO STAY IN THE PINK
Take cuttings and plant out last year’s pinks, says Ruth
MEMBERS of the pink family – carnations, dianthus and sweet Williams – are excellent additions to any garden. Whether they are in pots or edging a border, they bring colour and scent from late spring through to autumn.
They are remarkably easy-going plants and are relatively simple to propagate. Last year I took some dianthus cuttings and I want to do the same this year from one of my established plants.
On this page I show you how to take cuttings and also how to plant out any you took last year (you can put newly bought plants in the ground in the same way).
The word dianthus (which is Latin for ‘divine flower’) is an umbrella term for the family of pinks and carnations. Pinks are short-lived perennials that often fail after around three years, while carnations are larger, less hardy and have less-fragrant flowers.
Sweet Williams are also dianthus (Dianthus barbatus) and they can grow to 24in (60cm) tall. Sweet Williams are great plants for a wildlife garden as they attract many helpful pollinators.
Plant out pinks in a sunny, sheltered site with freedraining, fertile soil
Dianthus are wonderful summer flowers
Water well after planting out