Planting Dianthus caryophyllus
Growing Carnations

Dianthus caryophyllus is the clove-scented florist carnation. All about planting and growing fresh carnations from seed. Enjoy cheap, fragrant bouquets all season long.

Carnations plant care. Pictures of carnations flowers.

8-Week, Silver Tortoiseshell-And-White Kitten, Among Gillyflowers, Carnations and Meadowseed
Buy This at

The double carnations flowers are 2-3 inches across with serrated petals.

Despite their weak flower stems, there is ample reason for growing carnations in the cutting garden. Their delicious fragrance is number one. You can buy fresh carnations from the florist but they will have little scent if any.

If you want to enjoy the rich fragrance of the old-fashioned flowers you’ll have to grow them from seed or order them from an online nursery. Border carnations tend to be more strongly fragrant than other types.

You have a wide selection to chose from. There are white, pink and white, orange, yellow, purple, lavender,and blue carnations. ‘King of the Blacks’ is marketed as a black carnation but it is really blueish purple.

Types of Carnations

There are hardy border carnations with large flowers, tender mini carnations you can grow indoors, and even trailing carnations you can plant in window boxes or hanging baskets.

How to Grow Carnations From Seed

Carnations, Mixed

Fragrant Carnations, Mixed

Sow the carnations seeds in a flat in late winter. Once the seedlings are 2 inches tall, prick them out into individual 4 inch pots. If you plant a seed mix, keep some of the weak seedlings to be sure of getting lots of colors.

Plan on transplanting the potted carnations into the border right after the last frost.

About Carnations Care

Keep Dianthus caryophyllus transplants from drying out at least until they reach their mature size. Most carnations plants are at least somewhat drought tolerant once they mature.

Set the stakes into place now if you are growing large flower or long stem carnations plants. Tie the flower stems to the stakes before they fall over to avoid damaging the flowers.

Are Carnations Perennial or Annual?

It’s complicated.

Most carnations are tender perennials. Although they would survive a zone 7 winter, they don’t like hot, humid weather. As a result, they are often grown as a cool season annual in warm zones.

Border carnations are the hardiest. Even so, they are not reliably perennial and are also best treated as annual plants.

Dianthus caryophyllus is an excellent cutting garden plant. The more you cut the blooms, the more blooms it will produce. Just a few plants will provide you with enough flowers for several arrangements of carnations.

Starlight Carnation - One Cent Sale!

Starlight Carnation - One Cent Sale!

A fragrant, deer resistant perennial carnation that is hardy in zones 3-9.

Learn About These Other Dianthus Plants:

The Reliably Perennial Dianthus deltoides

Go from Dianthus caryophyllus to Plant Guides' Home Page

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Botanical Journeys Gardening Newsletter.


We earn a commission when you buy products via the links on this site. Without these sales, it would be impossible for us to keep online.

Small donations are also gratefully accepted:

Thank you very much, we appreciate your support.

Your plant guides,

Selina and Tiny