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A picture of a Clove Pinks

Clove Pinks

Dianthus caryophyllus

Also known as

Wild Carnation, Gillyflower, Border Carnation, Carnation, Divine-Flower

Dianthus caryophyllus Chabaud 'Magenta', Elfenau by Sandstein (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Clove Pinks

Some red Dianthus caryophyllus flowers on a plant
Some pink Dianthus caryophyllus flowers on a plant in a garden
Some pink Dianthus caryophyllus flowers on a plant in a garden
Some pink Dianthus caryophyllus flowers on a plant in a garden

Clove Pinks Overview

Dianthus caryophyllus is also known by the common name carnation. Historically this species has been cultivated for more than 2000 years. It is used medicinally, cosmetically, culinarily and as an insect repellant. The fragrant flowers are a favourite in many gardens, they make lovely cut flowers and are even listed in the top 10 cut flowers of the world, to grow at home!

Common problems with Clove Pinks

Carnation fly, handpicking or a pirimiphos-methyl based spray can help. Planting garlic alongside plants may be an effective deterrent. Outdoor plants are unlikely to be seriously troubled by disease. Plants grown in greenhouses are more vulnerable to diseases like rust, leaf spot and wilt.

Clove Pinks Companion Plants

Strawberries, potatoes, eggplant, garlic, mustard, sweet peppers, soya beans

How to harvest Clove Pinks

Deadhead flowers to keep this carnation blooming longer. Cutting side flower shoots will encourage the central bud grow into a larger flower.

How to propagate Clove Pinks


Softwood cuttings should be taken from non-flowering shoots in late winter for best results. Requires a well-drained medium like sand. Remove the leaves from the last two to three nodes of the base. Cuttings require good light and cool temperatures. Replant in 30 days.


Sow in a well-drained soil just under the surface. Propagation outdoors is also possible in the early spring.


Special features of Clove Pinks

Attracts useful insects

Nectar attracts butterflies and bees.

Attracts birds

Fragrant flowers attract nectar feeders like hummingbirds and insect eating birds too.

Repels harmful insects

An extract from the seeds repels antropods and interfere with metamorphose process in moths.

Pot plant

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Clove Pinks

Medicinal, cosmetic, culinary, insect repellant


Carnations are used in teas for stress reduction and to steady the nerves. Different species of Dianthus are used for different treatments in Japan, China and Africa.


A spicy, floral taste. Ideal for adding to cakes or for use as decoration. Could be used as a colourful garnish to add to soups or salads.