Garden Perennials – How to Divide & Transplant Dianthus


There are numerous types of dianthus, so there’s one for almost any garden situation.

Many types have flowers with a fragrant, spicy scent and notched petals.

Common dianthus include Sweet William, Pinks, and Carnations.

Dianthus are a type of carnation that can be both divided and transplanted and this video shows you how to do it. Most dianthus have pink, red, or white flowers with notched petals.


When growing the dianthus, the plant can be chopped all the way down to the ground if the greens look good. Trim the dead growth on the dianthus once or twice a summer with instructions from a sustainable gardener in this video series on flower gardening and plant care.


~ How To Grow Carnations From Cuttings ~

Sweet Williams are biennial or short-lived perennials covered with bicolour flowers in late spring. Pinks are low-growing Dianthus suitable for rock gardens. Carnations are taller and good for bouquets but tend to be less hardy than other dianthus. This guide shows you How To Grow Carnations From Cuttings.


Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil, preferably with neutral to alkaline soil pH. Dianthus won’t tolerate wet soils, especially in winter.

Planting Instructions

  • Plant in spring or autumn, spacing plants 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the type.
  • Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost.
  • Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant’s container.
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
  • Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently.
  • Water thoroughly.


  • Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  • Stake tall varieties to keep them upright.
  • Remove spent blooms on tall varieties, or cut back mounding plants after bloom to encourage rebloom.
  • After the first severe frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line.
  • Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps.

Our cat used to like Dianthus too!