These stunning new Dianthus (pinks), from Whetman Pinks are expected to cause a storm at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 19– 23) and QVC viewers can be among the first gardeners in the world to grow these fantastic plants.
The Dianthus ‘Cocktail’ cottage garden pinks have amazing flowers – each one is single, stunning, sweetly fragrant and huge, up to 5cm across. They are long flowering, great for picking because they last for ages as cut flowers. They are perennial, which means, once established, they will delight you with their scented flowers for years to come. What’s more, they’re very easy. In other words, they are truly one of the best plants that anyone can grow!
Top growing tips
- Whetman Pinks are supplied as well-rooted young plug plants; pot them up individually into 9cm pots using a good, free draining multi-purpose compost. Grow the plants on indoors for a few weeks in a cool, light spot and once they have established a good root system in their pots, they can then be planted outside.
- They are ideal for containers. Plant one pink per 20cm wide pot (using either a quality free draining multi-purpose compost or John Innes no 2 potting compost), or for extra quick results, plant three into a 35cm wide container and place in a sunny spot on the patio. Alternatively, plant in the garden in full sun in well-drained soil, spacing them about 35cm apart. They’ll grow to around 45cm high.
Although they are drought tolerant plants, it’s important to water them regularly to help them establish. For very best results feed them regularly with a high potash plant food, like Flower Power.
- In the first season, each plant should produce at least five stems of five flowers, and in the second season you should be rewarded with at least double the number of these wonderfully perfumed flowers.
- Remove the flowers as they fade and when a stem has no further flowers on it, cut or break it at the base of the plant to maintain a neat tidy shape.
- Pinks are generally pest resistant but slugs and snails can attack them, especially early in the season. Keep them at bay with organic, children, pet and wildlife friendly slug pellets. Occasionally, aphids (greenfly and blackfly) or red spider can be a problem, these can be kept in check safely by using Plant Invigorator spray.
The ‘Cocktail’ collection from Whetman Pinks launches on QVC on Monday 4 May as Today’s Special Value at 12am and will appear in Richard’s shows at 9am-11am, 3pm-4pm and 6pm-7pm.