How to Grow Carnation Flowers

Tree Branch

Growing Carnations in Your Home Flower Garden

Carnations are very popular as boutonnieres, in corsages, bouquets, and a wide range of floral arrangements. They grow big, full blooms on strong, straight stems. Their blooms last a long time. And, now you can use this guide to learn how to grow carnation flowers. Then, you can grow your own boutonnieres.

Carnations are fairly easy to grow. I am sometimes amazed that more people don’t grow these great and versatile flowers. Plant carnation flowers in flower beds or containers near where people pass by or congregate. This allows people to enjoy the spicy clove-like fragrance, 

Did you know? Carnations are also 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.

Flowers Bloom: Early Spring to summer. The blooming period lasts about 2 months.

Flower Colors: The most common colors are white, red, and pink.

Plant Height: 1 to 2 1/2 feet tall, depending upon variety. Also, there are dwarf varieties that grow 6-8 inches tall.

Florists tint Carnations into any single or multi-color imaginable for everything from weddings to Saint Patrick’s Day and proms. Florists use white carnations for tinting.

Annual, Perennial, Dianthus

Carnation Plant Propagation

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 wet.

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. Propagate plants by plant separation in the fall months.

Days to Germination: 7-14 days.

How to Grow Carnation Flower Plants

Carnations plants are very easy to grow. They prefer full sun and 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 12″ apart.

Established Carnation plants 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.

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.5.

Also, See:

Plant Problems – causes and cures

Insects and Plant 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.

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