Content Detail

Cheddar pink plants are often used in cottage, fairy, butterfly, pollinator, and rock gardens. These vivid flowers are pink, purple, red, burgundy, or white. They are showy and have a strong, pleasant clove scent. The evergreen foliage adds to the appeal of cheddar pink, especially when the plant is allowed to grow over the edges of rock walls. These are late spring to late summer perennial plants that are easy to grow, dependable, and noninvasive.

  • Family (English) Pink
  • Family (botanic) Caryophyllaceae
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches), Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Pink, Purple, Red, White
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Wildlife Butterflies, Insect pollinators

Size and method of spreading:

Cheddar pink tends to be approximately three-quarters to 1 foot tall and one and a half to 2 feet wide. In ideal conditions, cheddar pink will self-seed. 

Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)

Native to Cheddar Grove in England. 

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Cheddar pink attracts butterflies, moths, and bees.

Leaf description:

Cheddar pink has leaves that are long and narrow with parallel edges (linear), bluish grayish to green, and evergreen. They grow in pairs along the same radius (an opposite arrangement), and have a waxy feel with no hairs. 

Flower description:

The flowers of cheddar pink can vary greatly in color from white, pink, purple, red, and burgundy, and often have an eye ring in a darker color. They typically have 4 or 5 petals and grow in loose branching groups of flowers with the flowers that top the main stem being the first to bloom. The flowers appear above the foliage. 

Fruit description:

Cheddar pink plants have black, dry fruit that have a seam along the side where they open to let the seeds out (capsule fruit). Fruit appears in the summer and fall.

Plant care:

Deadheading can be an effective way to extend the blooms of cheddar pink. These plants can tolerate short periods of drought, but they do need regular watering during extended drought periods. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Some pests known to be an issue for cheddar pink include aphids, mites, and thrips. Cheddar pink is also affected by leaf spots, stem rot, viruses, rusts, fungal wilt, and bacterial blight. Crown rot may be an issue if cheddar pink is grown in conditions that are too wet and poorly draining. 


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