Pinks (scented) and carnations (unscented) are easy to propagate from ‘pipings’. These are made from soft tips of strong, flowerless shoots, around five pairs of leaves in length.
Summer is the ideal time for taking cuttings, as plant cells divide quickly, promoting root growth. Propagating plants by cuttings is an easy and cheap way of replacing straggly, old plants.
For best results, take cuttings first thing in the morning when the plants are less likely to wilt, and pot them up as soon as you can, keeping them out of strong sunlight.
Follow these easy steps on how to take carnation cuttings.
You Will Need
- Pinks (Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’)
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- A sharp knife
- Small pots
Snip 10cm lengths from the tops of healthy, non-flowering shoots and pinch off all the leaves from the bottom half.
Prepare cuttings by trimming with a sharp knife just below the node where a pair of leaves joins the stem. Make a 2mm cut in the base of each cutting and remove the lowest leaf pair.
Fill a pot or seed tray with sieved multi-purpose compost. Push the cuttings in around 10mm deep, spacing them evenly so that the leaves aren’t touching.
Use a watering can, fitted with a fine rose to drench the compost. Cover with a plastic bag and pop on a windowsill to root. After a few weeks, when the cuttings are growing strongly, pot each one up individually to grow on.
Uncover the cuttings every few days. This will allow fresh air to circulate the plants and reduce the risk of fungal infection. When new leaves start to grow, leave the cover off permanently.