How to Grow Healthy, Colorful Carnations

Carnations are an adaptable plant. They require little tending to, yet sprout pretty, plush-petal blossoms that last for months - a great option for new to intermediate gardeners that want to enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Typically, Carnations come in one of three types:

  1. Large-Flowered Carnations – Carnations that bloom with just one big flower per stem.
  2. Spray Carnations – Also known as mini carnations. These bloom with one small flower on each stem.
  3. Dwarf-Flowered Carnations – Bloom with several tiny flowers, all on one stem.

Each of the three types requires similar care. Below are some simple steps you can take to create a welcoming environment for carnations in your garden and to ensure their continued growth!

Step 1: Keep It Sunny

Carnations thrive best when they are exposed to full sun, at a recommended 4-5 hours per day. However, it is also important that your carnations have access to good air circulation. Humidity and extreme warmth can cause wilting!

Step 2: Soil Is Essential

Carnations do not grow well in clay or extremely damp soils. Be sure that your soil has adequate drainage by incorporating finished compost or mulch. These additives will separate the tiny particles in your soil, creating more space for water to drain. We recommend using our Garden Essentials Comfort-Grip Cultivator to thoroughly mix your soil and get the best results. If you will be planting multiple plants or mixing large amounts of soil, our EasyStep Soil Shredder makes big jobs easy!

Step 3: Drizzle lightly

One of the most common mistakes made with carnations is over-watering. These easy-to-please plants require only a gentle mist once a week (about one inch of water). Remember, room temperature water is easiest for flowers to absorb, so avoid using H20 that is too hot or too cold.

Step 4: Deadheading makes a difference

Withered blossoms should be regularly clipped from carnations to prevent mildew from developing on the stem and leaves of the plant. Always cut above or below the leaf nodes to get the best re-growth and healthiest blossoms!

By following these gardening tips, your carnations are more likely to flourish and better bring your garden to life.