How to Grow and Care for Carnation Flowers
Annual, Perennial, Dianthus
Carnations are very popular as boutonnieres, in corsages, bouquets, and in
a wide range of floral arrangements. They grow big, full blooms on strong,
straight stems. Their blooms last a long time.
Carnations are fairly easy to grow. I am sometimes amazed that more people
don't grow these great and versatile flowers. They can be planted in flower
beds or containers. They produce a spicy clove-like fragrance, and the most
common colors are white, red, and pink.
Did you know? Carnations are often called "Pinks" in the garden. To
create a carnation from the multiple flowers on the stem, pinch off all flowers
on the stem except the center or terminal bud.
Florists tint Carnations into any single or multi-color imaginable for
everything from weddings to Saint Patrick's Day and proms. Yes, the white
carnations are used for tinting.
Carnations are grown from seed. Carnation seeds can be directly seeded into
your flower garden, or started indoors for transplanting later. If planting
outdoors, sow them early in the spring. But, make sure the soil is not too
When sowing seeds, cover lightly with 1/4 inches of fine soil. Space seeds
or seedlings 12" apart.
If you are growing perennials, you can propagate them from cuttings or by
division. Once your plants have been established, they can be propagated
by separation in the fall.
How to Grow Carnation Plants:
Carnations plants are very easy to grow. They prefer full sun and a rich,
well drained soil. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.
Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a month.
Carnations will grow 16-18" and make great borders or edging. Space plants
Once your Carnations are established, they will grow well and bloom from
the spring and throughout the summer. The perennial varieties are hardy.
They will withstand light frosts before going dormant for the winter. Perennials
should be mulched for winter protection against extreme cold temperatures.
Insect and Disease:
Carnations have few problems with insects and disease. If insect or disease
problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and
fungicide as appropriate.
to Grow Carnation Flower Plants