The standard dianthus, also known as the carnation, is a member of the larger dianthus family of flowering plants, which also includes pinks and Sweet Williams. Carnations are often sold as a cut flowers for their frilly, attractive petals and pleasant fragrance and can also be grown in the home garden environment. To preserve the colour and style of the flowers a certain dianthus plant produces, propagate the plant from softwood cuttings in late spring or summer after flowering has finished.
Combine equal amounts of potting soil and sand to create a good rooting mixture. Fill a large planting tray with the mixture.
Remove any flowers that have finished blooming to prevent the plants from seeding and to encourage lateral growth.
Cut stems of softwood first year growth about 6 to 8 inches long with four or five leaves using the razor knife. Make the cut diagonally through the stem just below a growth node on each stem.
Strip off the leaves from the bottom third of the stem. Wet the end of each cutting and dip it in rooting compound powder.
Poke a hole in the center of the soil in each cell in the tray with the pencil. Insert the cut end of the cutting into the hole, being careful not to knock off the rooting compound. Press the soil down around the cutting. Repeat this step with the rest of the cuttings.
Water the cuttings thoroughly, so that the soil is moist. Place the tray in a large plastic bag. Poke several holes in the bag with the pencil for ventilation. Seal the bag with the rubber band.
Open the bag every other day and mist the cuttings in the bag with water from a spray bottle. Seal the bag again. The cuttings should root in two to three weeks.
Remove the tray from the bag when the cuttings begin to put out new growth. Transplant each new cutting to a 3-inch plant pot filled with potting soil or up to three cutting in a 6-inch pot.