The ancestors of most cottage pinks descend from wild species native to well-drained grasslands, cliff sides, and mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. Spiky leaves frequently indicate adaptation to aridity, and cottage pinks are often subject to leaf diseases and crown rot in very moist, humid climates. Under such conditions, growing pinks in containers or raised beds, and regular applications of a neem-based fungicide, can be useful; so can selecting tolerant varieties.
Cottage pinks are good for cut-flower arrangements and so are often included in borders alongside other old-fashioned cottage flowers.
Pick of the Pinks
‘Bat’s Double Red’. Large double rose-mauveflowers; USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5–8
‘Birmingham’. Long-stemmed double white blossoms; Zones 4–9
‘Chomley Farran’. Doublestriped red and lavender flowers; Zones 5–10
‘Pomegranate Kiss’. Frilly cherry-red blossoms; Zones 4–9
‘Purpleton’. Double purple-pink blossoms, long-blooming if deadheaded; Zones 3–10
‘Rose de Mai’. Clay-tolerant, early-bloomingheirloom with double mauve flowers; Zones 4–9
‘Scent First’. Long-blooming double red blossoms; Zones 5–9