These flowers are often pink, but are sometimes shades of red or white as well. Sometimes flowers are marked with several in colors. Some are shaped like small carnations to which pinks are related while the others have fewer petals, sometimes with ragged edges. Some have a pleasant clovelike scent. The foliage is often very pretty, usually in shades of grayish or bluish green. Moreover pinks are normally short and many grow close to the ground in matlike carpets.

The tallest are rarely more than one and half feet high. They normally flowers in spring or early summer, but some continue to produce blooms all summer, especially if cut back. Maiden pink called Dianthus deltoides produce tiny single dark pink or white flowers on short stems in late spring, and self-sows. Gras pink (D. plumarius) is usually about a foot tall, with bliish foliage and multicolored flowers. Cheddar pink (D. gratianopolitanus also called D. caesius), is a low growing spreading pink flower with grayish leaves the variety “Tiny Rubies” is very low and abundant with bright pink flowers. D. x allwoodii hybrids such as “Doris” and “Ian” have larger flowers and are hardy only to but the low growing variety “Alpinus” is hardy. In warm climates you can grow carnations, also called clover pinks (D. caryophyllus). Sweet William (D. Barbatus) is a tender perennial best treated as a biennial or self-sowing annual.

How to Grow Pinks Dianthus

All pinks need excellent drainage and prefer slightly alkaline soil. Do not mulch the crowns. Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom, and cut back long stemmed varieties if they get dry and scraggly in midsummer. Mat forming varieties can be left alone unless they take up too much space, but clump forming ones such as carnations and the Dianthus x allwoodii hybrids may need to be divided every few years to keep them attractive and vigorous. They can also be increased by layering or taking cuttings.dianthus-barbatus-fl-pnw

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