Keep stocked up on this easy-grow perennial by taking cuttings now.
Garden pinks (dianthus) will flower for several months through the summer and look great in the garden or containers. They also make good cut flowers for the house and to keep the plants flowering continuously you need to either pick the stems or deadhead on a regular basis. The popularity of this easy to grow perennial has increased over recent years and there are some really good varieties in a range of pastel and bright colours. To grow them in the garden they need a sunny position and a well-drained soil. Although a perennial plant, they are not naturally long-lived and after three or four years the plants start to become leggy and woody at their base. When this happens, the plants lose their vigour and flowering will slow down. To keep your stock of pinks healthy you can easily propagate them through the summer months by taking short cuttings. Given the correct conditions they will root without any problems and can be grown on through the summer until they are large enough to plant in the garden.
Prepare the cuttings from short, healthy non-flowering shoots and trim them to length and root them in a well-drained compost in small pots or cell trays. Stand the cutting in a shaded place out of direct sunlight and mist occasionally.