Carnations, scientifically known as Dianthus caryophyllus, are beautiful and fragrant flowers that are popular for both garden cultivation and as cut flowers.

This perennial plant boasts ruffled, ball-shaped blooms that delight with their spicy fragrance.

Their allure doesn’t stop at their good looks, for carnations are also hardy, relatively easy to grow, and can add a dash of color to any garden.

Let’s navigate the path of growing and caring for these floral gems together.

Annual Vegetative Calendar for Carnations

Carnations, with their rich fragrance and a plethora of colors, are a popular choice for gardeners looking to add both beauty and aroma to their gardens.

Let’s navigate through the year with a detailed vegetative calendar tailored for the care of Carnations.


MarchSoil PreparationPrepare the soil by incorporating organic matter and ensuring it is well-draining with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.
Sowing/PlantingStart seeds indoors or plant out young plants after the last frost when the soil has warmed.
AprilWateringBegin regular watering as the plants establish, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
FertilizationApply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to encourage strong root and foliage development.
MayPest & Disease ControlMonitor for pests such as aphids and fungal diseases. Treat promptly with appropriate measures.


JuneMulchingApply mulch to conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds.
JulyDeadheadingRegularly remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and prevent seed formation.
AugustWatering & FeedingContinue watering deeply and less frequently to promote root growth. Apply a high-potassium fertilizer to support blooming.


SeptemberMonitoringBegin to reduce watering as temperatures cool. Monitor for pests and diseases, treating as necessary.
OctoberDivisionDivide and replant overcrowded clumps to rejuvenate plants and increase flowering the following year.
NovemberWinter PreparationIn colder regions, apply a protective layer of mulch to insulate against freezing temperatures.


DecemberRest PeriodAllow plants to rest. Minimize watering, but do not let the soil completely dry out.
JanuaryPlanningPlan for the upcoming season. Order seeds or plants and prepare for early sowing or planting.
FebruaryEarly SowingStart seeds indoors in preparation for spring planting. Ensure they have enough light and warmth.

Caring for Carnations involves a blend of timely planting, consistent care, and vigilant pest and disease management. By following this vegetative calendar, you can enjoy the delightful blooms and fragrance of Carnations throughout their growing season.

Adjust care routines as needed based on your local climate conditions and the specific needs of your plants.

How to Grow Carnations

Carnation plants might seem exotic, but they’re surprisingly straightforward to grow.

Here’s a simple guide:

  • Choosing the right seed variety: Carnations come in a multitude of varieties, each with unique attributes. Choose one that suits your climate and aesthetic preferences.
  • Preparing the soil: Carnations thrive in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil. It is necessary to amend the soil with organic matter to improve its structure and fertility.
  • Planting the seeds: Sow the seeds in the prepared soil, following the specific spacing guidelines for your chosen variety.
  • Watering the plants: Water your plants regularly, but avoid over-watering as carnations are susceptible to fungal diseases.
  • Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the plant’s shape and promotes more blooms. Cut back after flowering, removing old stems and faded blooms.

Where to Grow Carnations

Location, location, location – an essential mantra in real estate and gardening.

Here are tips on where to position your carnation plants:

  • Sunlight exposure: Carnations enjoy full sunlight, so select a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Well-drained site: As mentioned, carnations require well-drained soil. A location prone to water-logging can cause root rot.
  • Protection from extreme weather: While carnations are hardy, they still need protection from harsh weather conditions. Choose a spot that offers some shelter from high winds, heavy rain, or extreme heat.
  • Space for growth: Carnations can grow up to 24 inches tall and spread about 18 inches wide. Ensure they have enough room to flourish.
  • Containers or garden beds: Carnations can grow in both containers and in-ground beds. The choice depends on your available space and personal preference.

Keep in mind, the care for carnations doesn’t stop here. Regular feeding, pest control, and occasional replanting will help your plants thrive.

With time and care, you’ll soon find your garden graced with the vibrant and aromatic blooms of carnations.

How to Plant Carnation Plants

Starting off with the initial steps of planting carnation plants, here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose the right location: Carnations need a location that has at least 4-6 hours of sunlight each day. They also need well-drained soil. Too much water can cause root rot and kill the plant.
  • Prepare the soil: Carnation plants prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil pH. You can improve the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure.
  • Planting the seeds or cuttings: If you’re starting with seeds, plant them in a tray with seed compost. Cover lightly with compost or vermiculite. If you have cuttings, plant them in a pot filled with cutting compost. Water well and place in a light, but not directly sunny location.
  • Transplanting: Once the plants have developed a robust root system, they can be transplanted into their permanent location.

How to Care for Carnations

After planting, proper care is essential to keep your carnations healthy and blooming.

The main care activities include:

  • Watering: Carnations do not need a lot of water and prefer their soil to be slightly dry rather than too wet. Watering should be done thoroughly but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between watering.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilize your carnation plants with a slow-release fertilizer. This should be done in the early spring and then again in mid-summer.
  • Pruning: Regular pruning helps promote bushier growth and more blooms. Prune back the plant after flowering to encourage new growth.
  • Pest and disease control: Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids and whiteflies. If you notice any, use a mild insecticide or a soap-water solution. Also, be on the lookout for fungal diseases. These can be prevented by ensuring the plants have good airflow and are not waterlogged.

When it comes to taking care of carnation plants, these are some guidelines to follow.

Of course, plants are living things and might require different care depending on their specific needs and conditions.

Don’t be afraid to adjust these guidelines as necessary, based on what your plants are telling you.

And as always, the key to successful gardening is patience and attentiveness.

How to Prune Carnation Plants

Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the health and vigor of your carnation plants.

This process involves a selective removal of parts of the plant, such as branches, buds, or roots.

There are a few steps you should follow when pruning your carnations:

  • Identify the right time to prune: It’s usually recommended to prune your carnations during their dormant period, which is typically in late winter or early spring.
  • Understand what to prune: Focus on removing dead or diseased plant material, as well as non-productive or structurally unsound parts of the plant.
  • Use proper tools: Pruning shears, also known as hand pruners, are the typical tool for this job. Make sure they are clean and sharp to ensure clean cuts and avoid disease spread.
  • Prune effectively: Make your cuts at a 45-degree angle, about 1/4 inch above a leaf node to encourage new growth.

How to Propagate Carnations

Carnations can be propagated from both seeds and cuttings.

Both methods have their own pros and cons, and the method you choose largely depends on your own personal preference and available resources. Here are steps for both methods:

Propagation from seeds

Plant the seeds: Sow the seeds in a well-draining potting mix. Lightly cover the seeds with soil.

Provide the right conditions: Place the pot in a sunny location and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Wait for germination: The seeds will usually sprout within two to three weeks. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, you can transplant them to their permanent location.

Propagation from cuttings

  • Prepare the cutting: Choose a healthy stem with several nodes and cut it from the parent plant. Remove the lower leaves, leaving just a couple at the top of the stem.
  • Root the cutting: Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then stick it in a pot with moist, well-draining potting mix.
  • Provide the right conditions: Place the pot in a location with indirect light and maintain a moist environment around the cutting, such as covering the pot with a plastic bag.

Carnation Pests and Diseases

Carnations, those delightful herbaceous perennials from the Dianthus genus, are renowned for their breathtaking flowers and captivating sweet, spicy fragrance.

They are the belle of the garden, but even these floral stars are not immune to the challenges posed by pests and diseases.

Here, we will delve into the realm of carnation pests and diseases, equipping gardeners with the knowledge they need to protect and nurture these cherished blooms.

Common Pests and Diseases

Gardeners must stay vigilant to safeguard their precious carnations from the threats posed by various pests and diseases.

Here, we explore some of the most frequent adversaries these floral wonders face, along with the strategies to tackle them.

  • Aphids: These tiny, sap-sucking insects, adorned in black or green attire, can wreak havoc on carnations. They congregate beneath leaves and along stems, causing black mold and stunted growth. Combat aphids by dislodging them with a forceful hose spray or employing insecticidal soap or neem oil. For a more natural approach, invite aphid predators like hoverflies and ladybirds to the garden.
  • Bacterial Wilt: A fungal disease with a knack for infecting carnations, causing wilting leaves and mushy brown stems. It even conjures black spots with yellow outer rings, sullying the beauty of infected plants. Prudent gardeners can mitigate bacterial wilt by ensuring proper planting in well-draining soil and providing ample space between plants to encourage air circulation.
  • Alternaria Leaf Spot: This pesky blight generates small purplish spots on carnation leaves, transforming centers into brown hues while leaves turn yellow. Caused by Alternaria dianthicola or Alternaria dianthi, it demands immediate action. Fungicides can be applied to safeguard healthy plants.
  • Spider Mites: The cunning spider mites stealthily feast on carnation sap, leaving their victims with yellowing leaves, webbing on foliage, and an overall decline in health. To thwart these minuscule marauders, isolate affected plants and apply water mixed with insecticidal soap or neem oil, maintaining a diligent treatment routine.
  • Bacterial Slow Wilt: Characterized by wilting, twisting, and curling of leaves, followed by lower leaf and side shoot demise, this disease spells doom for carnations. Erwinia chrysanthemi is the malefactor here. Raised beds, culture-indexed cuttings, and eradication of infected plants can all prove useful tools against bacterial slow wilt.
  • Crown Gall: Agrobacterium tumefaciens is responsible for this malady, resulting in the formation of galls on the plant’s crown. Prevention involves the use of culture-indexed plants and pasteurization of growing media and beds.
  • Fusarium Wilt: A sneaky culprit, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi, causes stunting, wilting, and vascular discoloration, dampening the vibrant spirit of carnations. Fumigating growing media and beds and employing culture-indexed plants are effective measures to combat Fusarium wilt.
  • Botrytis Flower Spot: Like a ghostly specter, Botrytis flower spot appears on outer petals of buds, leaving a trail of ashy white spots with dark fungus spore structures.
  • Rhizoctonia Stem Rot: The cunning agent behind this rot creates brown cankers at the soil line, posing a serious threat to carnation health.
  • Rust: Uromyces caryophyllinus manifests rust-like symptoms on carnation leaves, demanding swift attention.

As gardeners, knowledge is our most potent tool against the onslaught of pests and diseases.

Armed with this comprehensive guide, we can now embark on a journey to protect and nurture our beloved carnations, ensuring that their beauty and fragrance continue to captivate and delight for years to come.

Buying Carnation Seeds

If you’re a gardening enthusiast with a passion for cultivating beautiful and fragrant flowers, buying carnation seeds can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting your green journey, purchasing carnation seeds opens up a world of possibilities to add charm and elegance to your garden or home.

From standard varieties in pink, red, and white to ruffled and bicolored options, there’s a carnation type to suit every taste and preference.

So, whether you’re looking to create stunning floral arrangements, decorate delectable desserts, or simply enjoy the pleasure of nurturing beautiful blooms, buying carnation seeds is a delightful step towards experiencing the joy of gardening at its finest.

Let your green thumb work its magic as you embark on this enchanting journey to grow and savor the beauty and flavors of carnations. Happy gardening!

Advice On Buying Carnation Seeds

If you’re a gardening enthusiast looking to add the beautiful and versatile carnations to your collection, buying carnation seeds can be a rewarding and cost-effective option.

Carnations, also known as Dianthus, are beloved for their frilly petals, delightful fragrance, and various culinary and medicinal uses.

Before embarking on your journey to purchase these delightful seeds, here are some tips to consider:

  • Quality Assurance: When purchasing carnation seeds, opt for reputable suppliers or stores to ensure the quality and viability of the seeds. High-quality seeds are more likely to germinate successfully and produce healthy plants.
  • Variety Selection: Carnations come in various types and colors, offering a wide array of choices. Choose the variety that best suits your preferences and intended uses, whether it’s for ornamental purposes, culinary delights, or both.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Buying seeds is generally more cost-effective than purchasing mature plants. It allows you to grow a larger number of plants at a fraction of the cost, making it a budget-friendly option for gardeners.
  • Sustainability: By growing your own carnations from seeds, you contribute to sustainability by reducing the environmental impact associated with the transportation of fully-grown plants.
  • Enjoyment and Satisfaction: Growing carnations from seeds can be an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby. Watching the seeds sprout, caring for the plants, and eventually enjoying the beautiful blooms can bring a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Where to Buy Carnation Seeds Online

Purchasing carnation seeds online offers convenience and a vast selection of varieties to choose from.

Here are some reputable online platforms where you can find a wide range of carnation seeds:

  • Amazon provides a diverse selection of carnation seeds from different sellers. You can explore various options, read customer reviews, and choose seeds that suit your preferences.
  • This platform offers an extensive range of edible carnation seeds, including standard, miniature, ruffled, and bicolored varieties. You can find seeds that are perfect for culinary applications and delightful additions to your dishes.
  • For those looking for deals and discounts on carnation seeds, Eoncoupon provides coupon codes and promotions that can help you save on your purchase.

When buying carnation seeds online, remember to check the shipping and delivery options, as well as any specific instructions for planting and care provided by the seller.

Embrace the joy of growing your own carnations from seeds and let these captivating flowers grace your garden and kitchen with their beauty and delightful fragrance.

Buying Carnation Plants

If you’re looking to add a touch of timeless elegance and delightful fragrance to your garden, buying carnation plants is an excellent choice.

Carnation plants can be grown in various gardening styles, whether you prefer container gardening on your balcony, raised bed gardening in your backyard, or traditional in-ground gardening in a sunny spot.

These hardy perennials offer ongoing color and charm year after year, making them a welcome addition to any landscape.

While they do require patience, as they may not flower in their first year, their beauty and versatility are well worth the wait.

Advice On Buying Carnation Plants

Before you rush to purchase these enchanting blooms, let’s delve into some advice on buying carnation plants and explore the best places to find them.

  • Consider Your Garden’s Needs: Determine the colors and sizes of carnation plants that would complement your garden’s overall aesthetic and match your existing plant selections. Choose varieties that thrive in your USDA Hardiness Zone.
  • Check the Reputation of the Seller: Whether you’re buying online or in-person, ensure you purchase from reputable sellers or nurseries known for providing quality plants. Read reviews and testimonials to gauge the experiences of other customers.
  • Understand Plant Descriptions: Pay attention to the plant descriptions and specifications to ensure you’re getting genuine carnation plants and not a different type of flower. Verify the colors, height, and bloom characteristics of the plants you intend to buy.
  • Consider the Planting Season: Carnations can be planted in either spring or fall, depending on your climate and growing conditions. Plan your purchase accordingly to give your plants the best chance to establish and flourish.
  • Budget for Shipping Costs: If you’re buying online, consider the shipping costs when budgeting for your purchase. Sometimes, these costs can significantly impact the overall expenses, especially when ordering from international sellers.
  • Opt for Fragrant Varieties: If you love the delightful fragrance of carnations, look for old-fashioned, scented varieties that will fill your garden and home with a nostalgic and captivating scent.

Where to Buy Carnation Plants Online

Now that you’re armed with helpful advice on buying carnation plants, let’s explore some online sources where you can find these enchanting blooms:

  • Spring Hill Nurseries: This nursery offers a no-risk guarantee, ensuring you receive only the finest quality plants. They have a beautiful selection of carnation plants to choose from, and their customer service representatives are ready to assist you with any inquiries.
  • Michigan Bulb Company: At Michigan Bulb Company, you’ll find a variety of colors in carnation plants, including red, white, yellow, and green. Their plants come in bushy clumps and have long stems with delicate, frilly blossoms.
  • Breck’s: Breck’s offers a fragrant carnation collection, featuring sun perennials that add color year after year. Their website provides important shipping notes and allows you to check your order status easily.
  • Burpee: Burpee’s “Super Giant Mix” includes beautifully fringed, fully double flowers in a wide range of colors. These carnations are perfect for both garden display and cutting for floral arrangements.

Remember to take your time when selecting your carnation plants, and enjoy the journey of nurturing these lovely flowers in your garden.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, the joy of cultivating these timeless blooms will surely captivate your senses and bring beauty to your outdoor space.

Carnation Varieties

Carnations, also known as “Flowers of Gods,” are a diverse and captivating group of flowering plants from the Dianthus genus.

These herbaceous perennials are cherished for their frilly petals and come in a splendid array of colors and sizes, making them a popular choice for gardens, bouquets, and cut flower arrangements.

Carnation Varieties to Grow

If you’re an avid gardener and enthusiastic about exploring the captivating world of carnations, you’ll be delighted to know that there are numerous varieties to choose from.

Each variation boasts unique characteristics and meanings, making them suitable for different occasions or symbolism.

Here’s a list of some fascinating carnation varieties to consider growing in your garden:

  • Dianthus Caryophyllus – Carnation: This is the classic and most commonly recognized carnation type. It graces gardens with its captivating presence in shades of pink, red, white, or salmon. The greyish-green foliage adds to its overall charm. These carnations thrive in humid conditions, making them well-suited for regions with higher humidity levels.
  • Dianthus Barbatus – Sweet William: This variety of carnation, known as Sweet William, is a taller species that can grow up to 70 centimeters in height. Its charming blooms come in various colors, making it an attractive choice for garden borders and rock gardens.
  • Perpetual Flowering Carnations: This group of carnations includes varieties that continuously produce flowers throughout the growing season. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes, adding a constant burst of color to your garden.
  • Border Carnations: Border carnations are a diverse group of varieties and hybrids with a height ranging from 30 to 75 centimeters. These captivating blooms, available in a myriad of colors, are borne on wiry, stiffly erect stems, and their bluish-green leaves add to their appeal.
  • Spray Carnations: Also known as miniature or spray carnations, this variety features several smaller flowers per stem. They are delightful additions to bouquets and flower arrangements.
  • Dwarf Carnations: As the smallest type of carnation, dwarf varieties showcase adorable petite blooms, perfect for edging flower beds or adding charm to container gardens.
  • Grenadin Double Carnation: This beautiful variety produces diminutive blooms with frilled petals per stem, ideal for cutting and creating lovely arrangements.
  • Marie Chabaud Carnation: With its sweet, peppery scent, this variety yields several lovely blooms per stem, making it a perfect addition to cut flower gardens.
  • Orange Sherbet Carnation: Embrace the warmth of this orange-hued carnation variety, perfect for adding a pop of color to your garden or floral displays.
  • White Carnations (Uconn and Kaly): The Uconn and Kaly are two popular varieties of white carnations, widely grown for their elegant and pristine appearance.
  • Winter Blooming Carnations: If you reside in a tropical area where carnations flower in winter, you’ll be delighted by the larger and heavier blooms due to higher moisture content.
  • Dianthus Hybrid Varieties: Apart from the classic carnation types, numerous hybrid varieties combine the best attributes of different Dianthus species, resulting in mesmerizing blooms with a blend of colors and patterns.

Embrace the fascinating world of carnation varieties and let their captivating colors, fragrance, and charm bring joy and beauty to your garden and floral arrangements.


What type of soil is best for Carnations?

Carnations require well-draining, fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil should be slightly alkaline, with a pH of 6.7 to 7.5. Carnations grow best in chalky, loamy, or sandy soils that are rich in nutrients. Heavy clay soil should be amended with sand or other materials to improve drainage. It is important to ensure that the soil is not too acidic, as this can lead to stunted growth and yellowing of the leaves. Conduct a soil test before planting to determine the pH level and make any necessary adjustments.

How often should I water my Carnations?

Carnations require regular watering, especially during the growing season. Water the plants deeply, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist, but not overly saturated. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. During the dormant period, which occurs after flowering has ceased, you should refrain from watering as much to allow the plant to die back.

Can Carnations be grown indoors?

Yes, Carnations can be grown indoors as long as they receive adequate sunlight and proper care. Place the plant in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight or direct sunlight for a few hours each day. Water the plant sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Repot the plant every two years to ensure proper growth and development.

When should I plant Carnations?

Carnations are typically planted in the spring or fall. They grow moderately fast, often producing flowers by early-to-mid-summer and blooming throughout the season until early fall. Plant the seedlings or cuttings in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Water sparingly at first, and then increase watering once the plants have a few leaves. Carnations prefer to be located in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates.

Do Carnations require fertilization?

Carnations have low nutrient requirements, but they can benefit from occasional fertilization during the growing season. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for Carnations or other flowering plants. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the appropriate dosage and frequency. It is important not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive growth and damage to the plant. Fertilize sparingly, typically once every 2-4 weeks during the active growing season, and reduce or stop fertilization during the dormant period.

How do I plant Carnations?

Start by preparing the soil by loosening it and removing any weeds or debris. Plant the seedlings or cuttings 6-12 inches apart, depending on the variety. Cover the roots with soil and water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil and provide moisture to the roots. Mulching around the base of the plants with a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, can help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth.

How much sunlight does Carnations need?

Carnations require full sun to partial shade. They should be planted in a location that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Adequate sunlight is essential for the plant’s growth, flower production, and overall health. If your garden doesn’t receive enough sunlight, you can consider growing Carnations in containers and placing them in a sunny spot or using artificial grow lights to supplement the light.

Are there different varieties of Carnations?

Yes, there are numerous varieties of Carnations available, each with its own unique characteristics, flower shapes, colors, and bloom times. Some popular Carnation varieties include the classic white, pink, red, and yellow. Each variety has its own unique growing requirements and flower forms. Choose a variety that suits your preferences and growing conditions.

Are there any pests or diseases that affect Carnations?

Carnations are generally pest and disease-free, but they can be affected by common issues such as spider mites, aphids, and fungal diseases. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of infestation, such as webbing or distorted growth, and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or fungicides, if necessary. Proper watering practices and good air circulation can help prevent fungal diseases.

How do I care for Carnations after blooming?

After the Carnation has finished blooming, you can deadhead the spent flowers and stems to encourage new growth and potentially more blooms. Allow the foliage to die back naturally, and then cut it back to the soil level. Reduce watering during the dormant period to allow the plant to rest. If you are growing Carnations in containers, you can repot the plant every two years to ensure proper growth and development.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources that provide information on how to grow and care for carnations: