How to Grow & Care For Carnation Flowers in Your Garden

Carnation flowers (Dianthus) are beautiful, delicate, and showy in a flower garden. They come in many varieties, and each one is different from the other. And besides beautifying your garden, you can offer them as cut flowers to symbolize gratitude and affection. Carnations can be grown in your garden or pots on your patio. Read on to learn how to grow and care for them.

Types of Carnation Flowers

There are over 300 varieties of carnation flowers with different characteristics. Here are the best for your garden;

Dianthus Caryophyllus

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It is the most popular variety of carnation flowers. This variety grows well in sandy soil with good drainage and full sun. Dianthus Caryophyllus grows to 2 to 3 feet tall, producing pink, red, salmon, and white flowers. They require little maintenance and bloom from spring to summer, producing a spicy fragrance.

Dianthus Barbatus

Image source: Pixabay

This variety is also called Sweet William or Bi-colored carnation, and it has multiple colors on its petals, with dominant pinkish-red and white. Dianthus Barbatus grows best in loamy, moderate alkaline soil in partially shaded or sunny environments in hot summer climates. This species can reach a height of 2 feet.

Dianthus Plumarius

Image source: Pinterest

The Dianthus Plumarius has very long stems and beautiful flowers that come in pink. This variety is best grown in cooler climates and usually flowers around May to August. The Dianthus plumarius is grown mainly for its beautiful flowers rather than its scent. It’s an excellent choice for growing in rock gardens, rock walls, along the paths, and over slopes.

Dianthus Superbus

Image source: gardenloversclub

This is a tall variety with thin stems and fringed flowers, giving the plant a unique appearance. The florets come in different shades, including red, purple, and white. They bloom during spring or summer, depending on when you plant them. The superbus variety is scented, and you can also use it to make herbal tea.

Dianthus ‘Everlast Lavender Lace’

Image source: gardenloversclub

This everlast lavender lace dianthus is an herbaceous perennial bloom from late spring to midsummer. This low-growing plant produces fragrant double lavender flowers with a raspberry center and ruffled petals. These unique flowers make this variety a great addition to any rock garden or perennial border. This plant can grow 8-12 inches tall, and it thrives in full sun.

Carnation Care and Maintenance

Carnations are reasonably easy to grow and maintain. Here are easy care and maintenance tips:

  • Prolong their blooming by deadheading spent blooms
  • Cut their stems to ground level at the end of every flowering season
  • Water growing carnation flowers weekly and apply 20-10-20 fertilizer or peat to encourage vigorous growth
  • Allow 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily

Propagating Carnations

Propagating carnations from cuttings is the easiest and fastest way to achieve these blossom plants. However, there are particular species (the annual varieties) that you can propagate from seeds. The right time to propagate them from cuttings is May. If you opt for seeds, grow them indoors at the end of winter and take them outdoors after the last frost.

Carnations Growing Conditions

The proper growing condition will make your carnations thrive;


Carnations love well-draining and alkaline soils. These flowers love alkaline soil because it’s rich in magnesium, sodium, and calcium. If your planting soil is acidic, put on lime when planting your carnations.


Carnations are sun-loving plants, but they can also thrive in partial shade. Avoid too much light on them as it can make their petals fade.


Most carnation varieties appreciate being watered weekly. However, these plants can withstand short periods of dryness. They can tolerate heavy rainfall if the soil is well-draining.

Carnations Pests and Diseases

Common pests attacking carnations include;

  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Foliage feeding caterpillars
  • Soft scales

You can get rid of aphids, spider mites, and other pests by yourself.

Carnation flowers are vulnerable to several diseases that appear in the form of discoloration of the leaves. When the discoloration of leaves occurs, apply harsh fungicides.


Rev up your garden appearance by planting any rewarding variety of carnations above. They will give your garden a visual appeal and make your homestead smell nice! Subscribe to our blog today for more gardening tips.

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