Updated at: 20-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

You can use dianthus to create a beautiful garden border or mass plantings. They can also be used in rock gardens to retain walls and as a ground cover. However, finding enough plants to cover such a large area might be a challenge. One option is to grow the plants from seed. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Propagating from seed, cuttings, and dividing adult plants are the most common methods. The best approach to propagate plants will be determined by the type of plant you have (and how developed it is). Although perennial dianthus are best propagated via cuttings, annual dianthus are best grown from seeds.

Propagating Dianthus From Cuttings

Propagation from cuttings is most effective in the early spring, but it is possible to do it at any time during the growth season. If you take cuttings while the plant is in bloom, you will have a decreased success rate. You’ll have a better chance if you remove any of the blossoms from the cuttings. Remove the top 2 to 3 inches of a stem with sterilized shears or clippers. Smaller cuttings are more likely to produce roots before the top section of the plant is stressed out, increasing your chances of success.

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After you’ve made your cut, gently remove the leaves off the stem’s lower half. Next, you’ll need some soil. We propose a 10% peat moss/90% perlite mixture for the best moisture retention. Puncture a few small holes in the ground and plant your stems. Make sure the stems don’t fall over by firmly packing them in place. When propagating dianthus, no root hormone is required.

Make sure the soil is completely submerged in water. To help the cuttings establish roots, keep them out of the sun and wind as much as possible while you wait. In about six weeks or so, the roots will begin to develop. Keep the soil moist until you see roots starting to sprout, and then stop watering. Don’t let the soil to become completely dry, but don’t keep it completely wet either.

Propagating Dianthus From Seeds

Carnations can be propagated by seed if you leave the flowers alone and don’t cut them off or pinch them off at the base. Seeds are formed from discarded blooms. As soon as the seeds are mature, you can either gather them or let them naturally disperse. Do not put new seedlings outside until after the threat of frost has gone in May if you collect the seeds.

Place the seeds approximately 1/8 inch thick and 12 to 18 inches apart in a single layer. To keep the soil moist but not saturated, shower the seeds with a light mist of water every day. Within 7-14 days, the seeds will begin to sprout.

Dividing Dianthus

It’s simple to divide mature dianthus plants. Early spring is the optimum time to do this because the plant is actively growing but not producing blossoms. To save energy for root growth following transplantation, wait until the plants have flowered their first time before deadheading to prevent flower production. In order to ensure that new roots are established before they go dormant for the winter, do not divide the plants too late in the season. During the early morning hours, the roots are more hydrated and less vulnerable to harm, making this the perfect time to divide the plants.

A few days before chopping the plant up, be sure to fully water it. Make sure the new area is ready in advance so the plant doesn’t have to be out of the earth for an excessive amount of time. Make sure the new plant has at least 12 square inches of room to grow in. To avoid the spread of bacteria, make sure you’re using sterile equipment. Daffodils can endure some rough treatment because of their robust root structure. At least six inches beneath the plant, you should try to get as much of the root ball as possible. Root balls of the newly produced plants should be placed in holes that have already been dug up. For the first month, water the young plants at least once a week to help them establish themselves.

Every three to five years, divide dianthus. As a result, the plants will remain healthy and continue to blossom in profusion year after year.

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How to care for Dianthus

You can grow Dianthus with ease. They require a bright, open area with well-drained soil. Plants will rot and flower less if they are partially shaded by overhanging shrubs or perennials, and if the soil is too damp, they will die. Add a lot of horticultural grit to heavy clay soils. The moisture level of an organic mulch can cause the dianthus plant to decay, therefore avoid using it as a feeding medium. By the end of summer plants can become straggly and mess, although this can be avoided by deadheading hard as the flowers fade throughout the summer, it is also a good idea to cut them back by about a third at the end of the season. As for myself, I’ll be finishing mine in the first week of September.

After a few years, Dianthus plants grow woody and spreading. Dig them up and plant fresh ones when that happens. The average lifespan of modern hybrids is only two years, and this includes those promoted as “long-flowering” or “perpetual flowering.” Using a John Innes No.2 loam-based compost combined with horticultural grit, dianthus thrive in pots.

How to propagate dianthus

It’s not difficult to grow Dianthus. Taken between June and September, cuttings will root fast and produce healthy plants the following year. Pipings can be taken by holding a non-flowering shoot in one hand and the rest of the stem in the other, then squeezing them together. A cutting is created by removing the lowest leaves. According to Mark Trenear, satisfactory cuttings can be obtained by soaking the piping in water overnight. Insert them into a cuttings compost around the pot’s edge. I like composts made from loam rather than coir or peat. Keep in a cool, shady location outside, such as a cold frame or a greenhouse.

Once they’ve rooted, the pipings can be transplanted into 9cm pots of potting soil and nurtured on till spring.

Pink pinks

British Dianthus has been referred to as “pink” since the 15th century. The exact origin of the name itself is unknown, however it is widely accepted that it refers to the pinking of the petals’ edges. If it comes from the Dutch name for a condition that causes bleeding in the eyes, this would explain why many pinks have red centers. It wasn’t until the early years of the 17th century that the name was first used to denote a color between red and white. Using the plant’s name as a synonym for anything with the same color is a sign of its widespread use.

Taking the cuttings

Always choose healthy plants for cuttings because a cutting can be considered a “clone” of its mother. Your secateurs should also be sanitized to prevent the spread of bacteria.

It is the tip of the dianthus stem that is used to make a cutting. Our preference is to utilize 5-7cm (2-3′′) long cuts. Because there is less stem and foliage to take care of with little cuts, this is an advantage. Roots are more vulnerable to stress if the cutting is too large.

We’ve found that our smaller cuttings grow roots more quickly than larger cuttings, and so outperform larger cuttings sooner.

Make a cutting, and then remove around half of its foliage. This must be done carefully because these tip cuttings are prone to fracturing. Remove the stem by removing the lower leaves half (see above pictures).

Striking the roots

Mixing perlite and peat moss, we strike the roots. Peat moss and perlite, both of which are excellent at retaining water, make up the bulk of the mixture.

In a seedling tray, we mix up the propagation mix. In order to ensure that the cuttings don’t fall out of the mix, we first dampen the mix with a bit of water.

We used a small bamboo skewer to make a small hole and then inserted the cuttings into the mixture after lightly carving a straight line.

There is no need to add a rooting hormone or other rooting agent to Dianthus cuttings before putting them in the propagation mixture.

After inserting all of the cuttings, thoroughly water the mixture. We make sure the seedling trays drainage holes are completely soaked with this first water, so that water flows easily out of the seedling trays.

The cuttings must be kept wet and out of direct sunshine and wind as they wait for roots to form. Cuttings exposed to wind and sun will quickly dry out and die if they don’t develop roots.

Previously, we kept cuttings on our back porch, but now we store them in the greenhouse. This shielded us from the sun’s rays and protected us from the breeze.

Within six weeks, these cuttings had sprouted roots. This is a critical moment to keep them hydrated.

Potting the cuttings

Once the cuttings grow roots, they can be planted in the ground. When starting new plants, we make sure to utilize a high-quality potting mix. Organic compounds, trace elements, and efficient water retention are all necessary for a healthy ecosystem.

Cuttings are placed in 50mm(2′′) pots. With hundreds of cuttings, we can pack several different plants into an area that is only a few square feet. Additionally, the little pot gives an adequate root system yet a wonderful small hole for planting in the garden.

We prefer to use a seasol solution to water the cuttings well after they’ve been potted. You can have a healthy root system established in a shorter period of time by using this method.

One should return to the protected area after watering the newly potted dianthus. You can plant the seedlings outside in the garden once the roots have grown and the plant is showing signs of life.

It took only one month for these cuttings to fill the container and more than double in size after being replanted with our potting soil mix.

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How To Propagate Dianthus Comprehensive Guide

Option #1. Seeds

Seeds from Dianthus’ capsule-like fruits can be collected, however handling them carelessly can result in injury. You can keep the seeds in a dark and cool place by sealing the container and putting it in a dark place.

If you start dianthus seeds indoors six weeks before the first frost, the process is pretty simple and safe. Fill a starter tray halfway with a mixture of potting soil, peat moss, compost, and sand. Fill the rest After sowing the seeds, moisten the medium and softly cover them with a cloth.

The dianthus should germinate in 10 days or fewer if you keep the trays in a well-lit area away from direct sunshine. As long as they don’t come into contact with drafts or other harsh situations, they’re fine. The seedlings can then be transplanted when they are around 4 inches tall.

Option #2. Cuttings

It is possible to grow dianthus clones from cuttings or divisions, and both methods have their advantages. Unlike seeds, you can guarantee that the features of your parent plant will be preserved in the offspring. However, you must ensure that the parent plant you intend to use is in good health in order to prevent stress once cuttings have been taken.

Taking dianthus cuttings at the right time of year is critical. After the plants have done flowering in June or July, the optimum time to do so is on a gloomy day. If you’re going to take a cutting from your parent plant, make sure it’s well-watered first.

Rooting hormone powder can be applied to the end of a healthy cutting with leaf nodes. Use a starting pot filled with a mixture of vermiculite and sand, and after inserting the stem, ensure that it is well-supported. Keep it wet by covering it with plastic and putting it in a light location until it has new leaves.

Option #3. Division

If you’re going with division, you’ll have the best results with dianthus perennials. Divide your dianthus plant early in the spring when it is still actively developing as part of routine maintenance. This is a fantastic method to expand your collection of a variety that you enjoy.

To cut dianthus in half:

  1. In order to lift the root ball without injuring it, dig a hole around the plant’s perimeter.
  2. Get three sections out of each root by removing the soil from around the roots.
  3. Discard any dead tissue and begin transplanting the healthy pieces as soon as feasible.

Planting should be done at the same depth as the plants are now developing, and each division should be supported by pushing soil around its roots. When starting a new plant from seed or cuttings, it’s important to keep the soil moist. Prepare the medium with moist potting soil or the same material it’s made from if you’re planting in the garden to keep the divisions from drying out before planting them.

Caring For Dianthus

After you’ve propagated your dianthus, you’ll want to know how to keep it healthy and resistant to environmental stressors. They tend to be careless about where they put things. Because of this, you can choose a location with healthy and well-draining soil either in full sun or light shade after establishment.

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made when caring for dianthus. It’s best to water dianthus just when the medium is dry, much like other flowering plants. Alternatively, you can use a label-recommended slow-release fertilizer or feed them every six weeks.

To be safe, it’s best to learn the exact requirements of the dianthus variety you’re using. Some dianthus plants, for example, necessitate deadheading because they self-seed. Some varieties, on the other hand, may not necessitate any additional upkeep.


When it comes to floral plants, Dianthus is hard to beat. Regardless of the variation, learning how to reproduce dianthus will offer you the freedom to grow more of this lovely plant. When it comes to dianthus, you’ll appreciate the fact that it may be grown from either the roots, cuttings, or division.

Sowing seeds indoors can help you avoid the obstacles of the weather. No pre-germination treatment is required, and dianthus will root in a week. On the other side, people who already have mature plants can benefit from cuttings or division.

Cuttings from a healthy dianthus parent plant can be immediately rooted. It is possible to create fresh dianthus plants from pieces of plants that are three years old or older. Dianthus is an easy plant to grow if you start it in an optimal location like a greenhouse before moving it outside.