In my garden I have 4 Dianthus gratianapolitanus ‘Cheddar Pink’ on a mound with good drainage. An herbaceous perennial with deep pink flowers float over a lovely grayish green leaves, they form nice clumps of evergreen ground cover. These incredibly spicy clove scented flowers bloom in early summer.
herbaceous – an annual or perennial with a flexible stem (non-woody). These include flowering plants like herbs and grasses. These plants usually die back in fall though some are evergreen.Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Dianthus gratianopolitanus species is part of the Caryophyllaceae family. Native to England’s Cheddar Gorge, a limestone gorge in the southeast. The common name of Cheddar Pinks is derived from it’s home.
This year I want to increase the number of plants I have. Instead of buying more, I’ll use a method for taking soft cuttings. Most herbaceous perennials can be duplicated this way. You want to avoid conditions that will cause the cutting to rot. Choosing a compost adding 50% vermiculite to keep it light.
- Select a nice healthy stem without a flowering shoot.
- Strip off lower leaves so that there is free space at the bottom of the stem and this will keep them from rotting.
- Put it into a light compost, water and leave out of direct sunlight.
- In about eight weeks time you should see some roots. You can then transfer it to a larger pot.
- This should have compost with a bit of fertilizer. When you pot it up keep the soil level the same.
- Pinch out the center lead, this will encourage side shoots and give you a healthy bushy plant with lots of flowers.