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Home Blog Old-fashioned Carnations for Cutting
December 3rd 2019

Old-fashioned Carnations for Cutting

Written by
Floret

Carnations are the most fragrant flowers we grow here at Floret, and they bloom all summer long from an early sowing. Their long stems and extremely long vase life make them an ideal cut flower. The tufted blooms smell like sugar and cloves and remind me of my childhood. Even a single stem of blooms will fill the entire room with a nostalgic fragrance.

Carnation trial at Floretlong stemmed heirloom carnationsI have been searching for long-stemmed, old-fashioned, scented carnations for years and only recently stumbled upon a collection of incredible varieties that can be grown from seed.

The reason this discovery is so exciting is that carnations are typically grown from cuttings, which are rooted off of a mother plant. But getting plant material for propagation is impossible because all of the domestic carnation growers have gone out of business and importing plant material is very difficult and costly.

Carnation trial at Floret Carnation bunches in ombre shades at FloretOver the last two seasons, we have trialed nearly 20 different varieties in search of the very best ones for cutting. I was seeking out varieties that had long stems, healthy growth, strong fragrance, and unique coloring.

armload of carnationsOf all the varieties we trialed, all were beautiful in their own right, but many possessed colors that were too vivid and garish for flower arranging.

From the list of 20, we whittled down the favorites to the 5 best, which I’ll share more about below.

Floret field trials Farm trial of carnations at FloretFarm trial of carnations at FloretSeed-grown carnations couldn’t be easier to grow, but they take a long time to mature and flower, so seed should be started in late winter or very early spring and then transplanted as soon as the danger of frost has passed.

We grow our plants in landscape fabric, 9 inches (23 cm) apart with 5 rows per bed. We’ve grown plants both in a hoop house and outside in the field, and both methods worked great. Flowers grown under cover had longer stems, bloomed earlier, and were protected from the rain. But either growing method yields fantastic results.

Farm trial of carnations at Floret Farm trial of carnations at Floret Carnation stems are long and wispy and have a tendency to topple under the weight of the flowers, so it’s important to provide some type of support. We use a layer of Hortonova netting stretched horizontally about 12 inches (30.5 cm) above the ground. Netting is held by in place by metal hoops that we made with our Johnny’s Quick Hoops Bender. Any type of stake, wooden or metal, will work just fine. As the plants grow, they push up through the grid of netting and get the support they need.

White and pink heirloom carnationsFor wedding work, my two favorite varieties are ‘Chabaud Jeanne Dionis’ (pictured left), which boasts ruffled white petticoat-like blooms on strong gray-green stems, and ‘Chabaud La France’ (pictured right), which has flowers in varying hues of creamy blush and the softest baby pink that remind me of ‘Cafe au Lait’ dahlias.

Carnation seed from Floret Flower FarmIf you’re looking for warmer, more brilliant colors, ‘Chabaud Aurora’ (pictured left) has the most beautiful range of coral, salmon, blush, pink, and cherry flowers. ‘Chabaud Orange Sherbet’ (pictured right) features flowers that are both single and double blooms in a range of peach, coral, and raspberry with delicate striping, which gives them a more textural quality.

Armload of Carnation grown from seed from Floret Flower Farm Finally, the most unique variety we grow, ‘Chabaud Benigna’, has clean white petals that look as if they were outlined with a boysenberry-colored ink pen. No flower is exactly the same, and some are more saturated in color than others. It mixes beautifully with white, pink, and maroon. This eye-catching variety has a unique, old world appearance and is a must-grow.

Carnation trial garden at Floret Buckets of Carnations grown from seed at Floret Flower FarmOnce carnations start flowering, it can be a full-time job to keep them picked. These guys are very productive and churn out buckets of blooms from even the smallest bed of plants. 

Harvest when 1 to 2 flowers on a spray are open. With flower food, expect a vase life of up to 2 weeks.

Armload of carnations harvested at FloretI hope you will consider tucking some of these scented treasures into your garden this coming season!

Do you like carnations? Do you grow them? Please take a minute and leave a comment. Even a few words would be great.

Please note: If you submit a comment and it doesn’t show up right away, sit tight; we have a spam filter that requires we approve most comments before they are published.

Lastly, if you find this information helpful, I would love it if you would share it with your friends.

146 Comments

  1. Connie Spence on

    Carnations have always been my favorite flower because of their beautiful scent and their bright happy colors. I tried to grow them once but they toppled over and I thought it was because I was doing something wrong. I will be trying to grow them again now that I have learned that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and it is just their nature to fall over like that! I hope as I explore your pages that I can find the seeds I need to start the journey again! I loved reading your story, loved “meeting the family” and reading about how everyone became part of it, and especially loved meeting Timmy!! She is as beautiful as your flowers are! Thank you for making my day with your pages.

    Reply
  2. Jacqueline on

    I never cared for carnations until my wedding florist told me she had to substitute some of my dahlias a few years ago for a different flower. I trusted her and didn’t realize until later that bundles of uniquely colored carnations were used instead. I’ve since warmed up to them and now reading this, I had NO idea they could be beautifully scented. I’m really looking forward to trying some from seed in my cutting garden for the first time next year.

    Reply
  3. Sonya Rogers on

    I love white carnations they are my absolute favorites, but having a hard time getting solid answers on when to plant them in zone 6. As I started them from seed in late spring. I’m wondering if I put them out now in June if the will survive the winter. It says it a perrineal in my zone but some say its not. Very confusing information and very frustrating. Wish I could get some solid answers I so want to have Carnations thus year.

    Reply
  4. Dinah Chamberlain on

    I’ve been growing “key lime pie” carnations and they are gorgeous! White with a pale green center

    Reply
  5. peter on

    I had a bed of simple red carnations in my 1st home. They had a truly deep, rich, clove scent. Despite many trials of carnations that were advertised as ” spectacular scent” etc, none of my current carnations can match my first flowers and the folks who bought that home dug them up. Can you recomend any variety that might be genuinely strongly scented. Thanks for sharing your experience

    Reply
  6. David Hallett on

    When I took horticulture in high school, floral design was taught along side by the same teacher. One time I took some small sprouts from the base of ‘florist’ carnations the gals were working up into boutonnières and corsages. One rooted and when it bloomed, a big beautiful white flower, I was able to wear it to church, on the day I was presiding deacon. That was 1976. The fragrance took me back to when I was ring bearer at my Aunt’s wedding. That was 1963. I just picked a carnation, from a sprout I took late last fall. It is 2020. I would love to have a bed full of full size, florist carns, but I have been propagating anything I could since I was 12.

    Reply
  7. Turid Hopwood on

    Hello,
    Can you please advise whether you post carnation seeds to Tasmania, which is an island state of Australia?
    Turid Hopwood

    Reply
  8. Cherri Childers on

    I have two plants that I planted last year. Do not know what the name is, but they are growing beautifully. I live in Arkansas and we have had a lot of rain. My flowers are small, but lots of buds. I was afraid I did not plant them deeply enough since they are so wispy. The info you provided is very helpful. I need to now make a support for them.

    Reply
  9. Mary Rohaly on

    Hey Erin, Can you tell me what variety the red and maroon carnations are in the photos? I would love to grow them. Thank you for your generous sharing of all the information on the scented carnations. A wonderful read. I’m loving your Cut Flower Farm book so much that I will likely buy A Year in Flowers too. You’re an inspiration!

    Reply
  10. Regina Johnson on

    So happy to see you highlighted this variety! I purchased the Chabaud la France and the Chabaud Orange Sherbet and had very good germination, I transferred them into single pots and are hoping to have a long enough growing season to see them really produce. Maine seacoast is slow to warm so definitely a trial foe me. Hoping to be sharing photos of these lovely blooms this summer!

    Reply
  11. Janis Korte on

    Thank you so much for the information on growing carnations. This is the first time I have tried to grow them. I bought some of the seed for Chabaud La France which sounded so vintage to me. I am so excited that my seed germinated and I have 12 little carnation plants waiting to be transplanted to bigger pots then eventually out in the garden. I have alot of stock and China Asters this year as well, and can just smell the lovely bouquets to come!

    Reply
  12. Lisa Richey on

    Loved this article! Carnation seeds arrived in the mail last week after I happened upon them in your shop and fell in love. Thank you for taking the time in this series of articles to share your experience, wisdom and passion for specific kinds of flowers. As a result, I am trying my hand at China Asher and Thai silk poppies as well.

    Reply
  13. Heather Shipman on

    Thank you for the information, I love the colours you have picked. I have grown two one a white Grenadine and the other a fragile heavy scented single frilly one, I am so pleased they have survived the winter and are growing well. I would like to grow some of the Chabaud La France variety the palest pink, it looks so beautiful.

    Reply
  14. bobbi on

    Wonderful.
    Love spicy carnations and want to grow them.
    the choices for the wedding look elegant and tender.
    Your face is aglow with joy.

    will share. thanks bobbi

    Reply
  15. Paula Erickson on

    Hi again.
    Just remembered–the card from my sister actually read “I searched high and low for something for you…and what I found suited you best–a flower sweeter than all the rest!” A much better flow… anyway, thanks.

    Reply
  16. Paula Erickson on

    When I was probably 5 or 6 my very artistic big sister Jane handmade me a birthday card which I still have decades later. On the front of the card she drew lots of different shops with footprints going in and out of each: the bakery, a toy store, a hat shop, and finally a flower shop, where the footprints ended. Inside the card was a packet of seeds for PINKS and this rhyme ” I searched high and low for something you would like best, and finally I found it–a flower to suit you better than the rest!” Thanks for the primer and for prompting this memory. I hope to try some all these years later!!

    Reply
  17. Amy Eckert on

    I have never once thought of growing carnations. Thank you for this post. I am eager to try them now!

    Reply
  18. Katie Pence on

    I can’t believe every day I’m seeing a post from you ! Thank you so much !
    As an estate gardener for the last forty years, I wish I could jump in the car and come up and help you and Beth Chatto put in your amazing new garden !
    Yes, I have a big row of carnations . I’m looking forward to seeing the blooms, they are budding up right now. I planted them in the fall.

    Reply
  19. Alisha on

    I am excited to try my hand at growing carnations. Your Cut Flower Garden book, which I stumbled onto by chance last summer, completely inspired me to try varieties I never would have thought of trying! I moved into my first house less than two years ago, and am so excited I have a yard to play in now! This year, I am trying snapdragons, sunflowers, and zinnia from seed, and I might give carnations a go, too!

    Reply
  20. Terrie Le Blanc on

    I learned about the wonderful scent of carnations as a teen. I think my mother grew some in a window box on the shed in our backyard. In any event, I have periodically grown them, but the ones I found at the garden centre were always quite small. I will look into the seed varieties you mention and enjoy trying my hand at cultivating a few. I have never found the carnations available in the grocery store to have that marvellous scent. Such a shame, as there is nothing nicer.

    Reply
  21. Sindee Brady on

    I’ve always loved carnations, especially their fragrance! I hate that they’re thought of as “cheap” flowers and undesirable! Thank you so much for loving them enough to find these easy to grow varieties. I can not wait to order some for myself to “tuck” into my little garden! Many thanks!

    Reply
  22. Ashley on

    Ya know – I can’t say as I ever really liked carnations, but I think that’s because I was turned off by the tacky water-dyed ones in neon colors in grocery stores (hence, the ‘bad rep’). I read this article because I’m in a flower planting mood and gobbling up any and all flower raising info I can find and I have to say that I think I may try these in the next year. Your varieties are way more enticing than what I’ve always thought of when I heard ‘carnations’. Thanks for the change of heart!

    Reply
  23. Stacy Nevins on

    I have my seeds from you guys started under grow lights in my basement (located outside Chicago… snowed here today so not quite ready to get them into the ground!). They sprouted easily and I have my fingers-crossed for a great first season of home-grown carnations!!!

    Can’t wait to get my dahlias in the next few weeks from you guys too! Ordered on the day ordering opened and that seems like SO long ago!!!

    Reply
  24. Melnee on

    I love Carnations. I love the colors and their rich, spicy fragrance.
    This year, I am trying my hand at winter sowing in milk jugs. Several of the jugs contain Carnation seeds. My hope is that many seeds will provide me with loads of flowers this blooming season.
    Thanks for the beautiful photos and, as always, the wonderful information.

    Reply
  25. Frayne Dyke-Walker on

    Call me old-fashioned, but they’ve always been lurking in my garden, and you are right it takes a while to find the right colour to sit in well with others- Easy to grow, lovely fragrance, prolific – what’s not to love!

    Reply
  26. Sarah Wesch on

    Are any of the carnations that are suitable for cutting perennials? I know little dianthus come back, but wasn’t sure if any of the tall, cutting varieties do.

    Reply
  27. Fe, Canterbury on

    Your blogs are easy to follow and easy to understand, thank you. I don’t make the time to read many articles, but I make the time to read yours, and enjoy all of them immensely.
    I’ve always liked carnations throughout my life. Not only the texture and playfulness the petals and blooms bring to a bouquet, but also the abundance one small plant grows throughout many months is amazing.
    The challenging part is to find seeds for carnations that have a scent in New Zealand, in particular similar to or exactly the same as yours.

    Reply
  28. Kim on

    Thank you for all the on going trials that you do, sharing your hard work & inspiring us with breath-taking photos and beautifully written articles.
    We have grown carnations on a small scale and have found their scent and texture not to be outdone!
    These colours are undescribable!!

    Reply
  29. Abby on

    I started growing your flowers last year with wonderful results! I started my first batch of carnations this year. I started the seeds indoors in early spring and my starts are very weak. They are green and growing but limp and mostly growing along the ground. Is this normal? Do I need to try a different starter mix for the soil? Thank you!

    Reply
  30. Nan C Loyd on

    I first discovered and fell in love with carnations eons ago as an Army brat living off base in Germany. The community garden was behind our house and one neighbor grew the most strongly scented carnations ever (in 60’s). I would sit out there between them and the snapdragons. I’d still be sitting there if my mom hadn’t made me come in! As years passed, I began to despise them because they had lost their scent whenever I purchased them at florist. Then I accidentally ended up with a small plant of very small ones that were strong and beautiful and they scented the area every time I was near the pot they were in. This post has convinced me to begin a carnation garden again and go back to my first love! Great post!!!

    Reply
  31. Debbie on

    I too love carnations!! When I first started my flower journey I worked in a flower shop and they talked about how they disliked carnations. I felt like such an odd ball secretly enjoying all the beautiful carnations. I’ve never stopped appreciating these beauties and this is my second year growing them and can’t wait to share them with the people in my community.

    Reply
  32. Delia Hitz on

    Hi! I have started some carnations (‘Marie Chabaud’ from Johnny’s, but now I’m tempted to get some other colors from Floret!) indoors. I started them in mid-March because it’s still pretty cold here in Southern California. I thought however that they are a biannual (?) or a perennial and will not bloom the first season, and will take a long time to mature then bloom the following season. Is this incorrect? Are they actually an annual? Thank you!

    Reply
  33. Janet Green on

    Which variety is the maroon one please?
    Thanks,
    Janet

    Reply
  34. Janet K Green on

    I started putting heirloom carnations in my floral bouquets for sale after my mind was changed by my wholesaler! He told me millennials don’t have the same preconceived ideas about them that I grew up with. Everything old is new again, especially with heirloom varieties, not the died kind that gave carns such a bad reputation.

    Reply
  35. Marian Latchman on

    Really helpful as always. Please tell me if you pinch out these plants . I have pinched all the snaps as although it will delay them I will get so many more flowers in the end. I would really value your advice.
    Thank you, Marian from Gardengathered.

    Reply
  36. Heike Deubner on

    How do you attach the hortonova mesh to the hoops?
    I avoid plastics, so wish there was a natural fiber-based mesh that could be composed safely. Do you find it easy to re-use the Hortonova multiple seasons? It has turned into tangled mess when I have tried to store it in the past…

    Reply
  37. Maureen Collins on

    I’ve been so disappointed with the lack of scent and shorter stems of the starts I’ve purchased from the nursery. I can’t wait to try some of these! Thank you!!
    Any chance you’ll also be selling seeds for some of the stronger colors? I like both these soft ones and the stronger hues.

    Reply
  38. Mary Barton on

    I so enjoy your articles thank you so much for sharing. I love carnations but I’m afraid I don’t have enough sun. You have encouraged me to try again. Happy spring

    Reply
  39. Angela on

    My grandparents used to be carnation growers back in RI 70 years ago. When they moved to the west coast, they brought a few plants with them. I wish I could have gotten a couple before their home was sold.
    Carnations are my all time favorite flower. They last so long after being cut and the smell is so heavenly. We finally found seeds which gave a big flower. I am going to try to find the seeds you talk about in this article.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  40. Heidi on

    Caranations remind me too of my
    childhood growing up in Spokane! :)…I am going to order some seeds for sure!…one question?…I have bunnies that love to nibble my garden as well!…any suggestions to keep them away from my beautiful flower garden? Thanks a million!…heidi xo

    Reply
  41. Betty Stueve on

    Betty from Germantown, these carnation seeds were the first to sprout in my greenhouse. Hoping for the best. Seeds are soooo slowww to sprout. Just a beginner. Will use things you suggest from Johnny seeds next time. Thanks for the fun during this mandated stay at home. Be safe.

    Reply
  42. lisa leonardi on

    I have always loved carnations and their sweet smell, colors and tight buds. My sister used to tell me they were cheap also, but that was a thing of the past; we both love them and their fragrance. I am so excited to get my order! These will be perfect for the venue, so pretty.
    Thank you.
    Lisa

    Reply
  43. Cathy on

    Great article – Carnations are also nostalgic for me! I was just wondering if you could tell us the name of the lovely maroon variety shown in the pictures? Thanks for keeping life cheerful :)

    Reply
  44. Patricia on

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm! I have been looking for information to grow them after my last blooms from the florist were fresh & pretty for over three weeks!
    Now that you have found these lovelies, have you considered using them to start cuttings that might bloom sooner?

    Reply
  45. Ty on

    I tried planting them outside this past season and they started growing a little then fizzled out. I wasn’t sure what went wrong since they sound easy. I’ll try again next season in a different location but I don’t know if that will make a difference or not…. Open to any other suggestions!

    Reply
  46. Karin McCandless on

    My grandmother used to grow them when I was a child in Austria and I always enjoyed them then. Your article has reminded me of them and i thank you for that. I will see if I can find a good spot in my garden here in Michigan to give them a try this year. ( I have a lot of black walnut trees that decide what I do and don’t grow)
    Thank you for this lovely article I could almost smell them. Much love and be well everybody.

    Reply
  47. Rach on

    Sowing benign and orange sherbet this year. Plus one other variety I cant remember! Theyve just germinated so might be a bit late to get full benefit from them? They look beautiful so I’m excited. Love your feed on insta. thanks so much for the beautiful pictures which bring joy to so many. X
    Roo_at_plot52

    Reply
  48. Chelsea Cole on

    I love carnations, one of my favourite flowers for their scent and long vase life. This is giving me hope that I will be able to grow them in my expanding garden in zone 3. Great advice. Thank you!

    Reply
  49. Natalie on

    I’m growing my wedding flowers this year for August 15th, and I’ve started a couple trays of your carnations indoors on a heat mat a couple weeks ago. I’m just wondering what the germination time is?? It’s been almost 3 weeks and only 4 or so have sprouted…am I doing something wrong?

    Reply
    • Angela, Team Floret on

      Hi Natalie- They can take at least 2 or 3 weeks (sometimes longer) to fully germinate. Hang in there!

  50. Marilyn on

    Your carnations are so beautiful! Thank you for all of the helpful growing information. I hope to grow some of these this year in my garden. Carnations always remind me of special events like weddings, proms, etc. I love their wonderful smell.

    Reply
  51. Elizabeth Robinson on

    Because of limited funds, my floral budget allows just a $4.87 market bunch at Walmart. My usual choice, when available, is carnations due to color, fragrance and longevity. I have been know to pull off a browning petal here and there when they start to fade … just to keep them a bit longer! Obviously getting my money’s worth!

    Reply
  52. Marcie Tompkins on

    I have always loved carnations because of their frilly petals and long vase life. They are definitely on my wish list for next year. Thank you for these well written articles.

    Reply
  53. Nanette on

    Thanks Erin, I took your advice last season and had medium success. But our spring was so wet! I lost a lot, and then the flowering was not prolific. Decided I wouldn’t give up the real estate, ( although Indid LOVE the scent!). The plants finally seemed healthy by October when I was putting everything else to bed so I left them. Well, over half appear to be alive! Should I feed them and expect blooms, or pull them and fill up the bed with snaps or zinnias? I am starting year three of my Floret inspired cutting beds and so excited! Thanks for your leadership!

    Reply
  54. Stephanie on

    Another cool thing about carnations? They are the symbol of the Carnation Revolution of Portugal! In 1974, soldiers put carnation stems in their gun barrels while overthrowing an authoritarian dictatorship. Portugal celebrates their Independence Day (“Dia da Liberdade”) every year on April 25th with lots and lots of red and white carnations.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnation_Revolution

    Reply
  55. Pam Williams on

    Carnations are in the Dianthus flower family in which I already love other family members: Sweet William and Lace Perfume (seed available via Renee’s). The Lace Perfume fragrance is lovely. Here in Oklahoma Zone 7 we can get away with direct seeding in late fall to overwinter these, so I hope to add carnations to the direct seeding line up in fall. Thanks to Floret I have a selection and good growing information.

    Reply
  56. Denise on

    I fell in love with carnations after seeing the beautiful and tragic film “Jean de Florette” as a freshman in college. That story enchanted me and I cannot wait to try my hand at growing them!!

    Reply
  57. Deanna Lunney on

    Erin once again thank you to you and your team for all the information you share. I have never grown carnations before and I will certainly have to give them a try this year. If I direct sow them when will they be ready to harvest? I live in Western Pennsylvania. Keep on doing the beautiful gardening that you do!

    Reply
  58. Susan Berry on

    I too, planted my first carnations as a young gardener. It was an annual mother-daughter event to purchase young plants at the farm. Every time I see or pick up the scent of a carnation now, I am transported back to my childhood garden. I recently designed an entrance garden for a senior facility, and included low, carnation varieties for the familiar scent and crisp flowers.

    Reply
  59. Noëlle on

    Thank you Erin for this post! I bought two varieties last year and I have two big flats of starts sitting in my greenhouse. I’ve been searching for information on how/when/where to plant them (I was actually doing this about an hour before your newsletter landed in my inbox) and you just did the trick – I’ve popped them outside to start hardening off as we just passed our last frost date here. They are maybe a little riot bound and only about 2 inches tall – they seem small to plant out but I’m going to give it a go! Can’t wait for the first bunch!
    Best wishes from France

    Reply
  60. abigail on

    I grew carnations from you three years ago and they are now my garden favorite. They by FAR are the most fragrant flower in my garden. Can’t wait to try the new varieties this year!

    Reply
  61. Yukie on

    Hi Erin!
    I’m trying to grow carnations from seeds for the first time this year but having difficulty let them germinated.
    Any tips?

    Love your work!
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    Happy gardening and stay safe!

    Reply
  62. SAM on

    My seedlings always look so fragile… and when do you pinch? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Angela, Team Floret on

      Hi Sam,
      We pinch them when they’re around 8 inches tall.

  63. Cat Young on

    Hi, i started mandating that I keep cut flowers in my south Florida condo AT ALL TIMES, because with the quarantine, it is the one thing I can guarantee myself that will make and keep me happy every day. I go out once per week and spend $25-$30 to renew…I started with hydrangea’s and tulips, two of my favourite flowers that I have been known to grow at home in Minnesota. So the tulips, depending, have a vase life of about 4-5 days. The hydrangea are similar, but the flower I have absolutely fallen in love with is the carnation!! I never knew I could love a flower as much as my dear tulips. What do I love about them? Everything…they are super affordable, and when you throw in the reality that their vase life is 10 days+ they become the most affordable cut flower I have ever found. And when I am trying to limit my out of the house forays, the one thing I can count on is my carnations to hold me over. They have become my staple. I am paying more since I started shopping Whole Foods instead of Trader Joe’s. Since I can only safely shop one time per week it has to be a one stop shop and I get the most beautiful carnations, tulips and hydrangeas which I intersperse with sunflowers and other “spring bouquets”. I went on your site because I don’t remember carnations SMELLING SO GOOD. These recent, light pinks, light corals, and variegated pinks…smell as good as roses!! I love them. I am going to try to grow them once I get back to MN, but it may be late so I will have to start with plants.

    Reply
  64. Nathan Nelson on

    Just trailing some carnations in a cut flower garden bed as a home hobby in New Zealand

    Reply
  65. Christi Reed on

    I’ve always disliked carnations because I thought of them as a ‘cheap’ flower. But your article was so well written that I bought a few varieties to grow and I am really excited about them! Thanks.

    Reply
  66. Charlene Petersen on

    I live in northern Ohio a few miles south of Lake Erie. I am anxiously watching my seedlings grow under lights and so far so good. I am growing 5 varieties all from Floret. I never know how spring will be here in the country with our micro environment, but, planning and dreaming for now is so much fun.

    Reply
  67. Nathalie on

    I’m a first year flower farmer in Australia and carnations have turned out to be one of my most productive flowers. Our intensely severe summer has been tough on everything, but these have thrived. Definitely going to increasing the size of this patch in coming years.

    Reply
  68. Shelle on

    My daughter planted the carnation seeds directly in the ground I had little hope of ever seeing the plants because the seeds are so tiny but amazingly almost every seed grew. I’m hoping they will overwinter because we planted them too late in the season and only got a few flowers before winter.

    Reply
  69. Jennifer Andersson on

    I have never tried Carnations before and I live in Sweden so I can’t buy your seeds. But then I found seeds for Chabaud Benigna and Chabaud Orange Sherbet
    in England so now I´ll try the same seeds you have! I will sow them earlier because you say it takes long time to mature. Nobody grows carnations in Sweden, and the ones you can buy in store are from Holland. Wish me luck!

    Reply
  70. Eileen Burnus on

    Here in Australia I have been growing the benigna with amazing success. It is one of very few flowers that are growing well despite the severe drought we are currently experiencing. Looking forward to trying some of the other beautiful colours.

    Reply
  71. Rebecca on

    Merry Christmas!
    This made my heart sing. I was wondering why I couldn’t find long-stemmed, old fashioned carnation seeds and finally found the answer with your explanation. My husband and I work with a nonprofit ministry working with abused and neglected women, children and youth. We take care of a several acres of garden areas, one being a cut flower garden. I look forward to buying some carnation seeds and having our residents help us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    Reply
  72. Julia on

    I love how cheerful yet tough they are! They’re ready to be at any party or lif celebration you invite them to and they offer their gift of color, fragrance and they stick around :)

    Reply
  73. Kelly on

    Yum!! This post makes me think of the movie Jean de Florette!! I’ll have to grow some of these!

    Reply
  74. Hallie Micali on

    I’m scared to grow from seeds! But your cut flower varieties are impossible to find in my local nursery and a cut flower garden is on my bucket list. I just need to find the time to get the seeds planted and ready for outdoor planting.

    Reply
  75. Alison Borchers on

    Carnations are the only kind of perennial I’ll be growing on my little flower farm (at least that is how I plan to treat them). This is because a) I love them, and b) I’ve discovered a lot of other people do too, even if a little secretly. I think that’s because they’re a very old fashioned flower but, as you say, almost everyone adores their fabulous scent. I WILL try a pack of your seeds though, but I fear I may live in too cool a climate to grow them from seed.

    Reply
  76. dawn kuznkowski on

    my sister and I have been having a conversation for years about the smell of the carnations my grew when we were kids.
    We have both chased that flower and have never found that smell we are hunting for….you know exactly what we are talking about
    and you have found it. I think my sis and I will have to buy some seeds!

    Reply
  77. Melanie on

    My husband just brought home a bouquet of carnations and it has filled the whole room with it’s perfume! So wonderful and now I am inspired to grow some. Hopefully there is a variety or two for the warm and humid south.

    Reply
  78. Annie on

    Hello! I am growing your La France variety. The plants stayed super short and I just got my first blooms this week. They are really tiny, not like in the pictures. What did I do wrong, or did I not provide some particular nutrient? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Angela on

      Hi Annie,

      Sometimes this happens when it gets warm suddenly outside. I’d advise keeping them well watered and make sure you give them a deep pinch, if you haven’t already done so.

  79. Joan Ellen on

    Will you be selling the seeds for your favourite varieties? Also I live in Northern Ontario – Zone 3. Would they grow here? Thanks for all of your great and inspiring articles!!

    Reply
  80. Natasha on

    Do you pinch carnations? It so, how many leaf sets do you let grow before pinching?

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Hi Natasha,

      We recommend you pinch your carnations when they’re about 8 inches tall. Have a great season!

  81. Albert on

    Magical flowers! Do you head flowers to produce 1bloom per stem, or leave them?

    Reply
  82. Rebekah on

    I too would like to know where to purchase seeds for the dark dark burgundy shown in your photos. I’ve grown the Chabaud series for a couple of years, and they are nice, but I have a thing for super dark colors. Also, there is a gnarly greenish and old rose streaky variety that has been showing up in grocery stores near me. It’s gorgeously ugly and I’m wondering whether you had any like it in your trials and if so where I could find them. By the way, I was interested to note that Johnny’s recommends a 6″ spacing and you recommend a 9″ spacing. Have you tried both?

    Reply
  83. Lucy Nairn on

    I adore carnations – they remind me of my late mum, who also loved them. I was worried that they wouldn’t hope with our hot summers (I’m in Australia) but was delighted when other flower farmer friends told me theirs were flourishing! Can’t wait to grow some this year.

    Reply
  84. Jaime Morgan on

    I LOVE carnations… In this first year of ups and downs in my trial cutting mini-farm (with no previous first-hand growing experience), the carnations were my happy flower. I didn’t buy or sow many, and not all my seedlings made it into the ground… I was too busy getting excited over other varieties I’d never seen or touched before, and flowers I was sure would be my ‘easy for beginners’ crops (like the Cosmos, which failed abysmally), to focus much attention on the Carnations.
    My plants are quite small, probably owing the the fact they get little sunlight, being hemmed in by towering Sweet Pea and a corn patches…and yet they have produced the most fragrant, long-lasting, beautiful blooms on strong stems, that have been such a welcome addition to my market bouquets. The smell transports me back to childhood memories I didn’t realise I had! God bless the flowers for those golden memories. I hope my children are enjoying them as much as I am, and storing up magical memories for their futures.

    Reply
  85. Aleya on

    This is good to know!

    Reply
  86. Aleya on

    Thank you for providing us with so many tips and tricks! It is wonderful to know the actual gear and equipment that you have tested and works. This will save me time and money.

    Reply
  87. Jessica Bunn on

    Thank you for all the great info! I just happened to buy some of the seed varieties you covered from Johnny’s this Fall just because I was curious- but after reading your post I’m super excited to see them in the field this year!!!

    Reply
  88. Matti Harper on

    I experimented with your carnation varieties way up in northern Canada, zone 3, last year and was soo happy with the results! I’ll be doing them all in the greenhouse this year to maximize season length and protect them from the inevitable June snowfall that happens each year. They’ve gone from a ‘maybe?’to a ‘must’ in my cut flower garden!

    Reply
  89. Kim on

    I remember my grandma’s carnations – they were a lovely lavender/ periwinkle color and had that most delicious scent. I always wondered why you couldn’t find carnations like that in a nursery or seed catalog. And the inexpensive price for cut carnations (and lack of that classic smell) at the grocery store made them seem like cheap junky flowers (can there truly be such a thing?)! So thank you for your post – my daughter also loves carnations!

    Ps, on an old iPad, the recaptcha box to mark is directly behind the post comment box…

    Reply
  90. michelle on

    I just love your blogs. They are so informative and inspiring. I would like to know what can be shipped to Canada . I have purchased your books and look forward to your email updates . Your passion for flowers and gardening is how I feel about the beauty of it all.

    Reply
  91. Marianne Poteet on

    Hi. I love carnations. So far, I have only grown a shorter version of dianthus that is perennial in our zone 4 garden. Are the carnations you sell considered to be perennial?

    Reply
  92. Claire Burdick on

    I saw the email come through this morning as I walked into pharmacology class, and I was so excited that the professor asked me why! Haha. I love carnations, they’ve always been my very favorite flower and I am so excited to grow them from seed this year. I’m only growing the white variety you mention above, as I didn’t plan enough extra space in the garden to try multiple colors this year but it makes my heart sing just to think about home grown carnations! Thank you!!

    Reply
  93. Morgan Potts on

    Hello! Which varieties did you find too be too garish for flower arrangements? I love bright colors, but if they don’t fit, they don’t fit!

    Reply
  94. Kim Burton on

    Thanks for the post! We trialed some last year in the field. Patience must definitely be employed to harvest the wirey stems through the netting, but several of our customers loved the scent and petite form. What is the dark red / burgundy variety you show in the pics?

    thank you!

    Reply
  95. Jade Sines on

    I’m so excited to get this email this morning! I bought the Orange Sherbert & the Beniga’s earlier this month and have been planning and plotting my strategy for how I’m going to grow them! The book didn’t cover the carnations, but I assumed I could find a resource here, and to my very happy surprise – there was an email that covered it all!! One question I do have, what planting medium do you use to start your seeds?? I can’t seem to find any information on what I should be using to start my seeds, the guy at the store mentioned I could use coconut shavings….but that seems odd to me!

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Hi Jade,
      I think you’ll love the Orange Sherbert and Chabaud Benigna Carnations! Use a good quality potting mix or seed starting mix for starting seeds. We have a seed starting 101 resource here: https://www.floretflowers.com/resources/seed-starting-101/ Plus, if you search the blog, you can find some past posts with other seed starting tips. Happy planting!

  96. Tammy Smith on

    As a child, the deacons in our church wore carnations on their lapel and at the end of the service, the one who dismissed our side would take his off and give it to me. What wonderful memories of that heavenly smell! Thank you for the information and inspiration to grow them in my own garden.

    Reply
  97. Stine Jeanet Kristensen on

    Hi there
    I live in denmark (somewhere north in europe) and i am really fascinated by flowers. Both my girls are called flower names, my big girl is called Carnation (Nellike in Danish),which only 2 in Denmark are called and my youngest is called Chamomile (Kamille in Danish). Therefore have Carnations especially a great place in my heart and they are truly beautiful flowers.

    Reply
  98. Patricia on

    Carnations have been a staple in most any bouquet I purchase. My 80 year old neighbor absolutely adores them and so I’ve purchased just one packet to see how well they will do. I am so excited to be able to gift her my home grown carnations this year and hopefully years to come. Thanks for the information, I will be sure to use this in the field.

    Reply
  99. Margaret Thorson on

    For year I grew the Floristan variety of carnations as biennials. Sadly, they seem to have disappeared. I have high hopes for the ones you are offering.

    Reply
  100. Grace Teshima on

    Reposting. I, too, got caught in the captcha trap!

    Thank you so much for this – beautiful writing, gorgeous pictures, and the dream of growing carnations! I live in Charleston, South Carolina, zone 8, where the last frost date is February 19(!) I planted mixed carnation plants in the fall as well as Sweet William, and I’ve started seeds (Etincellant and Jeanne Dionis) that should be blooming by June. Now I know that I must support them!

    Thank you again.

    Reply
  101. Emily on

    Adding these to my garden this year!!

    Reply
  102. Elaine Garry on

    Curious if you grow any of these as perennials?

    Reply
  103. Donica on

    I had no idea that carnations have a scent! Now I’ve got to try this myself

    Reply
  104. Mari Hjalte Flåterud on

    Lovely post!
    Interesting to read the post and the comments below. I’ve had the same problem as mentioned in earlier comments, with great growth and many flowerbuds but hardly any in bloom. Startet early last year but will start even earlier this years with seeds. Im from norway and the last frost date can sometimes be in may, but last year may came with summer temperatures! Lovely for flower growets (unfortunately the reason is probably global warming) Thanks for all the inspiration! Love your book :)

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Carnations are cold hardy and the earlier you start them, the better your harvest will be. I have grown them in a hoop house/poly tunnel and they weren’t negatively impacted by the extra heat (that I noticed). It seems like they do best when started early in the spring, planted out as soon as the threat of frost has passed and they will flower abundantly for the longest period of time.

      Hope this helps!

  105. Rachel on

    Carnations have always been my favorite flower, so of course I had to buy some! So excited to add them to my garden this year

    Reply
  106. Celeste on

    I am so glad to see carnations! I LOVE them! These flowers are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for all the work you do, and the generosity with which you share your information. You inspire me to work hard. Thank you so, so very much!

    Reply
  107. Shannon on

    I actually had no idea how carnations were grown (seed? bulb? tuber?)! I learned a lot from this post! And now I want to try my hand at growing carnations!

    Reply
  108. Paula on

    Scent is such an important flower quality. Thank you for including that in your trial qualifications!

    Reply
  109. Leona Good on

    I really should raise some carnations, not only because they’re lovely, but because we live on Carnation Rd. in CO! Are they annuals or perennials? And can they take hot weather and intense sun? (We do irrigate). Thanks.

    Reply
  110. Angela Firman on

    They all look so lovely! All of what you’ve tried to be true, I’m going to take note and plan a cutting garden here in Ottawa. Thank you for being so inspirational!

    Reply
  111. Katy on

    I grew these first time last year. Started indoors in December, planted out in February, and they went nuts until frost. (I’m in zone 8 in South Carolina). But the most crucial need is definitely the staking/netting – I hoped they would be ok without it since I don’t have a dedicated bed for them- but it’s a must.

    Reply
  112. Kristen on

    You are feeding my gardening soul with these trial blog posts during the cold Minnesota winter! Thank you!

    Reply
  113. Valerie S on

    I’ve always loved the spicy, sweet scent of carnations. Beautiful!!

    Reply
  114. Rhonda on

    I;m zone 2-3 and grew carnations from seed a couple of years ago. I think I started them in April or Late March and they JUST began to blossom when we got frost. I realised they were not going to make it so I started to use the buds as filler – they were a great green grey colour and the buds provided great texture – am anxious to try them again this year (seeded earlier) and the scent was great.

    Reply
  115. Sarah Brunner on

    We grew several of the Chabaud varieties this year and, while the plant vigor was great with tall healthy vegetation, we had a hard time with the blooms. We didn’t get a lot of open flowers and what did open instantly turned brown from the slightest bit of condensation overnight. Even covering them did not help. I’m wondering if there is something we could do differently or are they just too sensitive to humidity? The plants grew so well that I don’t want to give up on them, but with how long they took to mature, it was heartbreaking to lose the blooms.
    P.s I experienced the same problem as another person who just posted. When you click on the “I’m not a robot” button, the whole post disappears and you have to retype.

    Reply
  116. Susan on

    I thank God for you and all the work you and your staff do to tend the garden and share with others. I am so grateful for your encouragement to get out there and try new things. I had no idea I could ever grow carnations but will definitely order some seeds Jan 2. I can almost smell them now! Again, THANKS! May God bless your new year.

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Thank you so much Susan!

  117. Alison S. on

    Thank you for sharing this information with such detail ! I arrange flowers weekly for a 100 yr old bowling alley with huge windows that let a ton of sunlight in. Over the years I’ve learned that carnations are one of the only flowers that are resilient enough to withstand these conditions for a week (sometimes even two !) I look forward to getting some seeds from you and trying out growing them myself this year. <3

    Reply
  118. Molly Robertson on

    Great post!!! Thank you for all the information. We’ve grown several colors from the Chabaud series over the last few years and they always perform beautifully for us (zone 8b). They are also a top seller for us at our local farmer’s market. Our customers can’t get enough of them!

    Reply
  119. Danielle on

    You are so inspiring. I love reading your blogs and social media post. As a newcomer to cut flower gardening, I am trying not to overdo it with flower varieties this next year. Which is very hard when there are so many I want to grow. I really appreciate all of the time and effort you put into your work, whether it’s webinars, social media posts, or your book(s). They are all very helpful in developing my cut flower business.

    Reply
  120. Laura on

    Great post! Thanks for sharing what you found in your trials. I was excited to hear you were trialing carnations when you mentioned it previously. Did you happen to come across any good books or resources on carnations? I’d love to read up on them… Earlier this year I went to a lecture about the carnation industry here in Colorado from a retired carnation grower. Something interesting that they related — I guess carnations were a popular flower for funerals, so after a while people associated the scent with death! This resulted in carnation breeders creating varieties that became scentless. Ugh! Well I am glad they went out of vogue at funerals because I love the scent and happily associate it with candy. I grew Chabaud Orange Sherbet this past year and every time I smelled it, I wanted to take a bite out — it reminds me of spice gumdrops!

    P.S. Sorry if this posts twice — Google made me click a link that said “I agree to these terms” and then brought me back to the comment (which had been erased) and finally I had a box to check that said “I’m not a robot” (which wasn’t there before). But then there was no actual “Post Comment” box. I think it is a Google Chrome issue… so I had to reload page in Safari. :/

    Reply
  121. Terri on

    Reminds me of growing up and can’t wait to try them in my patch!

    Reply
  122. KP on

    Wonderful post! I grew up with carnations in the garden my dad tended…loved the varieties you featured!

    Reply
  123. Anna on

    I’d love to try some of these! I’m a sucker for anything fragrant.
    Thanks for all the info!

    Reply
  124. Jana Burgoyne on

    Thank you for this post! This thorough information gives me the confidence to give these a try for sure this year. You are such a huge resource to me and so many! Thank you!

    Reply
  125. Sofia on

    Thanks for The Great inspiration!

    Reply
  126. Rebecca on

    I am excited to see these beautiful varieties that have been chosen from your trials! At Christmas my grandma asked if I was going to grow carnations in my attempts at starting a flower farm. I hadn’t thought of it, but who can say no to a grandma who is a master of her own garden.

    Reply
  127. Ramona Froehle-Schacht on

    As always, informative and inspiring. I used to love carnations as a child but gave up on them in later years as they were too “fake”. I can hardly wait to order my seeds! I hope the shipping to Canada has been worked out, the additional charges at the post office were a real deterrent last year. Grateful for sharing all your hard won information.

    Reply
  128. Alexandra Ward on

    Thank you for your beautiful photos and growing advice! I will be giving carnations a try in 2019! XO

    Reply
  129. Lisa U. on

    This is a really valuable post. Thank you so much! I’ve tried multiple times to grow carnations, but they never got near to tall enough for cutting. I’m thrilled to know there are tall varieties available!

    Reply
  130. Stephanie on

    So glad you created this post, would love even more about carnations! They are one of my all time favorites, thank you!

    Reply
  131. Alexis on

    Thank you so much for all the information! I read the latest posts this morning and have been talking about them with different people all day long. I feel as though I were standing next to you reviewing the notes from last season :) Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and helping so many of us walk in your footsteps.

    Reply
  132. Gina Schley on

    I’m so excited to try these. I live in Colorado, near a town known as the “Carnation Capital.” They even have a Carnation Festival every year but the sad thing is all the carnation farmers have went out of business and carnations are no where to be found. I’d love to bring them back to the area. I look forward to trying them.

    Reply
  133. Lydia on

    I always love reading your posts and being able to take what you have learned already and use it in my garden. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! It is greatly appreciated :-)

    Reply
  134. Eowyn on

    Oh, I love seeing this trial! When I did my horticulture training in England back in the early 2000s (in an old English walled garden, no less), I was stunned that carnations were the most gorgeously scented flowers. I fell in love, but when seeking them out in cut flower arrangements, always disappointed by their wooden quality and lack of scent. Can’t wait till I have a spot of earth to try some of these varieties out in! xo

    Reply

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