Dianthus can be annuals, evergreen perennials or subshrubs with narrow, often greyish leaves and showy flowers that are frequently fragrant
D. barbatus is a biennial or short-lived perennial with prostrate rosettes of wide, lanceolate green leaves and stiff, erect stems, thickened at the nodes, to 40-60cm tall, bearing many-flowered, terminal, flattened heads. Flowers come in many colours from white to darkest red, often in bicolour combinations, with the darker eyes and toothed petals characteristic of pinks and carnations. Many named selections exist.
Most bedding plants are annual, which means they only grow and flower for one year. They are discarded at the end of the season, and the following year new plants will be grown. This gives you the freedom to change your bedding displays every year for a different visual effect.
To pot up your seedlings and plant plugs, first water the plants well. Lift them out of the soil, handling them by the leaves rather than the stems. If you damage a leaf, it will grow back. But if you damage the stem, you’ll lose the plant.
Plant them into their new pot to the same depth as before, then firm down the compost and use a liquid feed to water them in.
In late spring or early summer when all risk of frost is passed, plant out your new bedding plants to their final positions in your garden.