Carnations Dianthus caryophyllus

Rough Draft 2/15/2021


Whenever I see a bouquet of carnation flowers I think of my grandmother Emma, pink carnations were her very favorite flower. Each color of a carnation has different meanings. The carnation colors and meaning are listed below.

Light red represent admiration

Dark red symbolizes deep love and affection. 

White represent pure love and good luck,

Pink became the symbol of a mother’s undying love.

When enjoying Carnations they are traditionally found in bunches at the floral section of the local grocery store or market. 

Can You Grow Carnations?

Yes! How do carnations grow the best? Start by planning where there is space that receives at least 5 hrs of full sun a day. More direct sun exposure is always better . Plant your carnations in well draining soil and can be fertilized regularly. You can help your carnations by supporting the plant with a stake inserted near the base of the plant. This prevents stem breakage. As the plant grows be gentle by using a piece of twine or fabric to loosely tie the plant to the stake. By snipping dying blooms above the node or stem junction and often encourage new growth from your carnations.

Seeds and Starts

When planting seeds it will take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to enjoy the blooms. It takes about 14 to 21 days for carnation seeds to germinate. Some growers say to enjoy flowers sooner or the same year, you can start your seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last frost. Keep the soil moist and the indoor temps between 60 – 70 degrees F. You can enjoy carnations year after year by dividing carnations whenever the  growth in the middle of the plant starts to die.  


Carnations love the sun. They really do prefer sun over shade. When planting outdoors look for an area that receives at least four to six hours of sunlight a day. If you want to plant indoors, in a container or in a window box planters be sure they will have adequate sunlight as if they were planted outside in a sunny space.


Carnations prefer fertile yet well draining soil. Well draining soil is very common for many plants because the roots are able to absorb the water they need but not have the roots in soaking circumstances like poor draining soil which can cause more problems than help. A couple of problems that can arise when having roots planted in pools of water is 1. Root rot which eventually kills the plant if the roots develop a fungus. And 2. Many flowers tend to bloom less when there is too much water. By a rule of thumb well draining soil is a good habit to form whether you’re an indoor plant enthusiast or enjoy the blooms in your outdoor landscape or garden


One great tip to keep in mind once the carnation is established and blooming. If the middle of the carnation plant looks like it is dying or collapsing take the time to divide the plant. Continue to do so every 3 – 4 years to keep the plant strong and blooming. Also one great attribute is that carnations are perennials meaning they will come back every spring with wonderful blooms. Don’t be afraid to cut the plant if you want to enjoy fresh carnations indoors because when doing so it stimulates the plant to grow new stems which will in turn produce more flower buds.

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