Carnations – How To Plant And Grow? All You Need To Know

24 January 2020
Carnations - How To Plant And Grow - Gardeners Yards

Carnations History:

Carnations are one of the oldest cultivated flowers on the globe. A Greek botanist, Theophrastus, scientifically/botanically called Carnation “Dianthus Caryophyllus.”

Dianthus Caryophyllus(scientific name) originated from the word “corone” (flower garlands) or “coronation” because it is commonly used in Greek ceremonial crowns.

Some say this is derived from the Latin carnis’ (Flesh), referred to as the flower’s original pinkish-hued color.

And a few others say it came from the word “incarnacyon” (incarnation), referred to as the incarnation of God-made flesh.

However, the name originates from the Latin’ carnis’, which means flesh, which refers to the flower’s original pinkish-hued color. From two Greek words, “DIOS” and “anthos,” which means God Zeus and Flower. Hence, they are called “The Flowers of God.”

Exciting Facts About Carnations:

Each flower color variety expresses different messages.



Light Red


Dark red

Deeper sentiments of love and affection


Purity and Luck





Before gifting the carnation to someone, it is ideal to know the type of carnation and the significance of the color.

Carnations became an official Mother’s Day Flower in the early 20th century.

Depending on the size of the flower and its use, Carnations cultivars are mainly classified into three different types of species:

  1. Large-flowered Carnations – 1 Large/Stem
  2. Spray Carnations (Mini Carnations) – Several smaller flowers.
  3. Dwarf flowered Carnations – Lots of smaller flowers on one stem.

How To Plant Carnations?

Planting Carnation seeds are easy to cultivate. They grow 18″ to 24″ tall and produce a spicy clove-like fragrance.

Here are some tips for planting carnations:

After 4 to 5 new stems, it is double pinching, which gives more flowers. Remove weeds in the carnation plants during this time.

Red spiders, aphids on carnation plants, and nematodes that damage their roots can affect it.

Using neem cake in the beds before planting the plant can eliminate this problem. Apart from this, ensure you balance these leaves’ moisture content and protect them from the pests that damage them.

The most common carnations

The perennial carnation flower has 5 petals of carnation species, and their color varies from white>pink>purple.

Annual/Border Carnation Cultivars can have 40 petals (double petals). In Gardens, the plant growth is between 6 to 8.5 centimeters in diameter and blooms once a year in the summer.

The number of years Annual carnation plants live = 1 Year.

Number of years Perennials live = several years.

In general, these flower petals are applied to teeth/claws. These plant leaves are narrow, short, and vary in color, i.e., green to brown-blue/purple.

Planting Perennial And Annual Carnations

Planting perennial carnation seeds in the spring or fall seasons is to be done carefully by maintaining a space of 8/10 inches between each plant. And cuttings are done in May.

There are two ways to go about it.

One is, in March, to plant the seeds under a shelter and transfer them to pots in the springs.

The other is, From April to May, plant them in the ground directly and bloom in the coming year.


Seed Rate: 400 to 500 gm/ha.

By Cutting:

Plants are propagated through terminal cutting.  The highest rooting percentage is observed between Nov.  – Feb when you make cuttings.

While cutting, 2 to 3 nodes of basal leaves are removed, and 4 to 6 inches long is taken. Cutting takes about three weeks to root; you can plant in a well-prepared field.

By Raising Seedlings and Planting:

Seeds are sown on a raised bed during Sept.-Oct. Water the plant regularly, and remember that you don’t overwater it in the beginning stages.

The seed will germinate within a week, and seedlings will become ready for planting within a month of sowing seedlings are transplanted at a distance of 20*30 cm or 30*45 cm in a bed.

By Division:

The division is the best way of propagation when a mother plant needs to be diminished. It can be dug out and cut into pieces with a sharp knife. One thing mandatory is that all parts have buds. It’s advisable to enrich the soil with compost.

It’s compulsory to keep the soil humid during the first three weeks to improve the roots’ growth. The best time for division is before a new budding.

Key points to note while growing carnations:

How To Take Lawn Care Of Carnation Plant?

Carnation Diseases And Their Remedies

When growing any flower, keeping abreast of common diseases and their remedies is essential. Here are some diseases common to carnations:

Leaf Spot (Alternaria)

Pale tan to brown spots with purple borders appear on leaves. In most cases, the leaves get blighted due to merging lesions.

Quickly pick and remove symptomatic leaves as soon as they develop. Ensure adequate watering and fertilizing to maximize plant vigor

Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas caryophyllene)

The symptoms of this infection include wilting of plants or shoots, splitting of the stems, and yellow streaks in the vascular system. Leaves turn gray-green, then yellow, and dry up.

More so, decaying roots and browning of vascular tissue are the other commonly seen symptoms. To prevent this disease, propagate your plant in pasteurized raised beds and ensure you use clean and disinfected tools.

Flower Rot (Botrytis cinerea):

Flowers turn papery brown and become covered with gray. Brown streaks increase on leaves, fuzzy masses of the fungus mycelium. This disease increases during periods of cloudy, humid, and wet weather. This can be controlled with fungicide sprays as soon as symptoms are visible.

Vascular wilt (F.oxysporum f.sp. dianthi)

Infected plants develop a dull green color, eventually, wilt and turn straw-color. Plants may be attacked at any stage; young plants can suddenly dry up, or older plants can become pale green, accompanied by wilting of lower leaves. These symptoms often appear in one section of the plant.

Foot Rot

Under highly wet weather conditions, leaves and flower buds are infected. A rotting stem at the soil level will also infect the plants’ wilt. When roots are infected, the leaves gradually get discolored and start drying from the bottom upwards. To treat this, use Benomyl fungicides.

Final Words

Carnations have been a symbol of love for centuries, conveying different meanings, so they’re perfect flowers for many occasions.

By practicing the tips highlighted in this post, you will have a long-lasting bloom carnation.

We hope this article will help you grow beautiful carnations in your garden or home!

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