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December 3rd 2019

Old-fashioned Carnations for Cutting

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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.


  1. Becky on

    When do the carnations bloom after being planted out? I started some seeds at the beginning of January and hope to plant them out end of May. When would they start to bloom?

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      They generally reach maturity around 140 days after they’ve sprouted. The amount of light, water, and the climate during their growth will factor into the bloom time as well.

  2. Karri on

    I’m Attempting them from seed this year as we speak.. will they flower in the first year from seed? Will they come back next year in zone 3 Canada?

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Carnations will flower the first year, however, they most likely need winter protection in your region.

  3. Dr. Sonya Pancucci on

    I purchased a plant and they continued growing in my sunroom over the winter months in a large container; however, they now seem to have died back. I planted the seeds from the flowers and I am hoping that they will begin sprouting in the spring.

  4. Amanda on

    I tried and failed to grow these last year and was going to not bother this year, but I persevered and started these off a few months back and so far I’ve have had a great germination rate. I have all the varieties listed on this post and cannot wait to reap the bountiful of blooms I hope to harvest for both weddings and shop bouquets. this year.
    I’m growing these in memory of my late father who sadly passed away last year – they were his favourite flower as a child.

  5. Mandy Jantz on

    I am growing them this year and very excited to see how they’ll do! I’m happy to see that I got some of your favorites!

  6. Jeanie on

    My favorite flowers! Pink, pink & more pink! I love the scent, but I have never tried to grow them but settled for stock instead of carnations.
    It takes me back to my childhood gardening with my dad. Thank you for tilling up that memory.

  7. katie kennedy on

    Can these be grown in tubs and if so will they come back the following year?

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Carnations can be grown in containers and will grow the following year in some areas, however we find that growing them as annuals is best.

  8. Lisa on

    I love the scent of carnations! Your article has me so curious about growing some from seed. I checked your list of seeds available. And there are no carnation seeds available at this time. Will you have more seeds availlke so I can plant them for 2023 ? I have a communtiy garden plot at Morris Arboretum in Philly. I grow mostly flowers with some herbs and lettuces mixed in. 🌸

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      We might offer them again this fall. Be sure to use the Email When Available feature on the ones you’re interested in so we can notify you when they’re back in stock.

  9. April on

    I have loved Carnations my whole life. I grew some back in the 80’s but have never been able to find the scented one since. I never understood why you couldn’t find them anymore and why they would take the best part out of carnations! I can’t wait to try yours. Thank you for bringing them back!

  10. Hannah Mellblom on

    I love them And I grow 2 different last year, outside on the Field, no cover, but little to short Maybe 35 cm,

    Are you ordering seeds from europe? Because we in Sweden can not order from You;)

  11. Lois on

    Carnations are a scented and very happy reminder of my Dad and his birthday January 14th just passed. Thank you for the memory. He loved carnations and showed me how to find a baby plant on a stem and to put it in root tone to start some roots when I was a kid in the 1960s. On the rare occasion he had extra time when he wasnt working or feeding the chickens he was out in the garden or in his chair. Unless he got to go fly fishing; he was a master at that and it was his favorite thing. Thanks for the memories and thank you Erin so much for the carnations..I will be getting some yummy stinkers!

  12. Katherine Hogan on

    Absolutely shocked the first time I sniffed my home grown carnations from Floret seeds. I’m a former florist and never knew carnations have such a lovely scent. My beginning plants had spindly week stems. Last year I learned to harden them earlier and it made Al the difference. This year I will add the support system you describe. I’m an urban backyard, front yard, side yard grower.

  13. Jeannie Heckley on

    I’m so excited . Carnations are beautiful and bring back a lovely memory. Would love to purchase the seeds to try and grow. Your info is very helpful. I have purchase two of your books here in Canada. I live on the south of Vancouver Island, close to the ocean can be very windy and defiantly rainy. A bit of a challenge.

  14. Paulette on

    Thank you for sharing this information on carnations. I am a long-time home gardener, but never had luck with them in the past. I’m making new additions to my flower plantings this year, so I think I’ll add some of carnations, too, and then…..wait for them.

  15. Maria Hogue on

    Hello! A happy Pennsylvania gardener here anxiously awaiting warmer weather. I am in zone 6 here in PA. I have grown carnations from seed successfully but not the long stemmed variety. I’m looking forward to more flower gardening this season. These helpful tips are awesome. I have a horticultural degree and became a TX Master Gardener ( when I lived in TX) and the information I’ve read in the helpful tips is ‘golden’. Thank you! I’m so glad I found Floret. Thank you.

  16. Rose on

    I am growing maie chaubaud for the first time and can’t wait to see them bloom

  17. Franziska on

    I tryed to grow them from seeds some time, but unfortunatly they grew always bad, had very thin stemms and fall over. Also the blooms were small. Do I have the wrong seed, do I have to pinch them? I’d love to have sucess with them, because they are really great.

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Pinching them will allow them to branch out and produce more flowers. Also, supporting them by securing netting horizontally as they grow up through it will allow their stems to be straight and tall.

  18. Mellisa Kelliher on

    I grew Carnations once and you are right, they take a while but are worth the wait! Thier fragrances are incredible and nothing like an imported flower. They are much sweeter and fresh smelling. I’m going to try another 50 pack next Spring 2023. They are tiny and thin in the beginning, handle carefully.

  19. Patty on

    What do you use the hoops for?

  20. Tina on

    This spring I grew Chabaud collection and loved them I am in zone 9b and planted them in January and planted them out late January. they took forever to bloom I think first of March but they were so slow!!! but worth the wait my whole garden smelled soooooo good when I took them into the florist she remembered as a child on the coast of California her and her brother would run in the carnation fields and play hide and seek. The other workers were so amazed at the smell, and she explained field grown fresh carnations are so much more fragrant. When I got to be 105 degrees they did not do so well I cut them all back and it looks like they might bloom this fall. I wish they were the full size ones and not the smaller ones. (also wish I could leave a picture of them here).

  21. David on

    I love carnations and sowed seeds inside and transplanted into raised beds in full sun in early summer. They have barely grown and are still just 4″-6″ tall, bushy with no buds or long stems. What am I doing wrong??? We are on Whidbey Island where the weather is very mild. So disappointed, maybe we need to toss these and purchase seed from you next year.

  22. Kathleen MacNeill on

    I love carnations. I grow the prostrate and the tall varieties for cutting and to just enjoy in the garden. I am in zone 7 with amended clay soil and they tolerate those conditions year after year. One question – you indicated to pick them when one of 2 buds have opened, but the new buds don’t continue to open in the vase. What am I doing wrong?

  23. Pam on

    I planted carnations last spring and they did nothing all year. I thought they were a wash. I let the bed go for the fall and come spring saw them growing well in early spring. They were naturally mulched with leaves and debris from the fall in zone 6b. They are currently budded up in their second season. Im excited to be able to cut them this year.

    Does anyone know if they will live next year if I do the same thing – naturally mulch them for the winter?

  24. Peter on

    Great article and lovely comments.
    My bed along our boundary and footpath is 10mx20cm, I’m replanting after the last lot did 3yrs.
    The absolute best thing is all the old grannies walking by just love the smell and look, remarking about their beds from long long ago!
    I think I’ll try the netting this time, but they’ll fall and sprawl anyway, that’s carnations! 6011 Australia.

  25. Terrie on

    I love the scent of carnations but so many sold at florists have no scent. Over hybridized? I did buy some of your seeds but discovered too late that they need a long lead time before being planted out. So I set them aside for an early start next year. Fingers crossed!

  26. Elyse on

    We have some pink carnations that for the first season did nothing (I thought they were going to die!). Second season they produced the most gorgeous smelling pink flowers! They are growing quite messy and I’ll stake them for the next season. Although they took awhile to get started they’re worth the weight as they last so well in a vase.

  27. Angela Tobey on

    This is my first year and my seedlings fall over? I wish you had a video of the process of growing and transplanting carnations

  28. Ray on

    Andrea Lee, the best place I have found to buy Carnation {Dianthus}seeds from is Johnny ‘s Selected Seeds. They have a wonderful selection and even sell many of the varieties listed in the article above. The Floret Shop also sells seed, though I have never tried purchasing from Floret before. Renee ‘s Garden, and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds also sell Carnation seed. You may want to check out Floret ‘s Favorite Specialty Seed Sources blog post for more options. I hope this was helpful !

  29. Andrea Lee on

    Where is the best place to purchase carnation seeds?

  30. Clyde Hodgkin on

    I have been growing from seed for over 30 years and I wish I had discovered your website much sooner!

    My carnation question is: how do you get them to stand up as seedlings so when transplanted they grow straight?

  31. Angela Engler on

    I sowed La France and Orange Sherbet yesterday, I am so excited to grow these! Fragrance in the garden and for cut flowers is really important to me. What a coincidence that this blog has the only ones I’m growing in photos side by side 😊

  32. Mike Capp on

    Thanks for your update – refresher on carnations. I agree with you about how easy they are for any garden and the fragrance they provide is outstanding. Not to long ago several of the flower seed catalogs out of Europe. Thompson & Morgan, Mr.Fothergills, Chilton’s.

  33. Kathleen MacNeill on

    Yes I grow carnations which I have purchased “pot luck” from nursery 6-packs, or divided from existing plants. They are evergreen in my yard (zone 7b California). I would like to try Moon series if I can find a nursery or seed company that offers those. I also like the small flowers in spray types for flower arranging.

  34. Jenny on

    Got my carnation seeds from you and starting them today! Fingers crossed all goes well! I’m cautiously excited about the fragrance- I love carnations so much but have never known a fragrant one in any of the florist bunches I’ve ever gotten- it sounds amazing!

  35. Anna on

    Just so beautiful, wish I could purchase treated seeds for my garden in new zealand.

  36. Terrie Le Blanc - Bridge on

    I love carnations. My mother grew them and I fell in love with the spicy scent.They get a bad rap because of the poor quality of those found in grocery stores and some florisr shops – no scent and uninspired colours. I have two varieties of your seeds that I look forward to planting in my rural Ontario farm garden. Fingers crossed we get a good season weather-wise and I get to enjoy some of these lovelies as cut flowers in the house.

  37. Debbie on

    Love carnations .. wish I could find long stem seeds here in Canada.
    Thank you for your web-site and sharing all your knowledge. I’ve learned lots

  38. Tammy on

    I grew from seed for the first time last year and loved them! They smelled wonderful and were beautiful! I already have some in the ground for this year!

  39. Franziska on

    I grew some of the Carmations last year in a pot. Unfortunately the had very thin stems and were laying around. Also the blooming was very little. But even though I already sow them few days ago and I hope with all the great tips from you the blooming will be more successful this year.

  40. Emily on

    I grew Chabaud La France in my home garden last year. The whole endeavor was poorly executed- the seedlings sat way too long before going into the ground, they had no support and toppled over in a rain storm, and their sunlight was eclipsed by taller plants. However, the few flowers I was able to harvest were so beautiful that I decided to up my game this year. I can’t wait to see how these babies do when I get them in the ground on time, and make sure they have more sunlight and netting for support.

  41. Rose on

    I can’t wait to grow some. I’ve so missed the scented carnations my grandmother and aunts grew in their gardens.


    I have had some limited success with a few store bought smaller varieties and could not find the larger carnations for cutting . Their fragrance reminds me as child of that wonderful smell of fresh cut Carnations my Mom would cut from our tiny garden area . It has to be my all time flower fragrance ! There may be hope to plant some of these from seed once again . Blaine

  43. Carrie F. on

    I can’t wait to grow these beautiful old carnations! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Joeda Lanquist on

    I love carnations and they do great in Central Oklahoma. I found seed from Eden Seeds a few years ago and I also love the Chabaud. I am not able to get the long stems and huge blooms that Erin gets. But, My small blooms are lovely and a very good Farmer’s Market flower for me. Thanks for telling about them, Erin.

  45. Emaline on

    I want to grow carnations but friends say they are hard to grow. Any tips for growing them in my patch? I’m buying them already started.

  46. Paula Brooks on

    We are moving to a larger farm – my carnations are quite strong and mature. Do you know if my Carnations will survive (and still thrive) if I transplant each plant to their new permanent home? What season do you recommend the move should be best?

  47. Scarlet Bell on

    The scent of carnations transport me back to my grandmother’s flowerbeds. I’m excited about growing them myself!

  48. Wynand Le Roux on

    What is the best way, to let the cut carnation the best way to hold them in a vase of water.

  49. Tawana Fulmer on

    I love carnations because they last so long. I keep a vase of them in my office and share them with colleagues when I have extras. I can’t wait to grow my own!

  50. Tami Kinley on

    I love carnations…reminds me of Valentine’s Day in high school. We could buy one and send to our friends with a message written on a heart shaped card. White = Friend, Pink = I like you, and Red = I love you

  51. Kortney on

    I am in the exact same boat and would love to hear more about how to do this at home and in a container. Carnations are my absolute favorite flowers and I would love to grow these ones. Thank you!!

  52. Jeri R Cleveland on

    I have been looking for a long stemmed, scented carnation for so long! I didn’t even care what color I grew. I just needed some carnations and their scent in my life again. I’m so happy you will have seeds available! I would likely have to grow them in a container (small yard, very poor, rocky soil), or perhaps start seeds in the house (which isn’t the preferred method. Small house, lack of space). If you could provide some growing tips under these circumstances I would greatly appreciate it!

  53. Rebecca on

    Very informative! I would love to give this a try. A New sunny area has just shown up in my garden since Hurricane Ida in Louisiana just destroyed shade trees.

  54. Steve on

    What kind of planting medium do u use. Would regular topsoil work for cantainers, if not, please let me know.

  55. Valerie on

    I love carnations but is hard to get seed do you dry them please valerie

  56. Lin on

    I purchased some carnation seeds from Floret and they are doing beautifully. Unfortunately, a bunny ate half of the plants but the ones that survived are doing wonderful. Thank you for offering carnations on your site.

  57. Martie van zyl on

    Love these old fasion caranation’s! Can’t find them anywere!😢Would love to have some in my garden.

  58. Carol Ann Collins on

    Thanks so much for your advice! I look forward to planting this winter.

  59. Kim on

    Love all this advice! I was wondering why Chabaud Benigna was discontinued, especially since you mentioned here that is was the most unique and a must-grow?

  60. Barb Knebel on

    This is our first year growing carnations. We have a 4 foot by 50 foot space we are growing them. They look great so far. We had to stake individually. This was a good read. Will do netting next year. Excited to see them flourish.

  61. Heidi Guinn on

    I bought some of your carnation seeds this past year. They are up and growing away. Yay 😁

  62. Sheila on

    Really loved all this advice . I already grow carnations in my uk garden but I am definitely going to try these . Xx

  63. Jackie on

    I also grew some pale pink Carnations with the winter sowing method this year. I could not be happier than when they opened this week. Love them!

  64. Debbie snow on

    My mom is dying and keeps asking for clove carnations but I can’t find any. Where can I purchase them fully grown? I’m in orange county calif thank you

  65. Cicely on

    I started a few packets of your Chabaud La France and Chabaud Orange Sherbet carnations this winter, using milk jugs as mini green houses on my back patio here in Western Idaho. Planted them out in the garden over a month ago and they survived! Hoping for lots of beautiful blooms to harvest later this season. Wondering, do you pinch carnations?

  66. Maggie on

    I don’t like carnations….I love and adore them.
    I am learning how to grow them… in the open garden.
    I am a Kenyan living right at the equator line…i have “summer throughout” with lots of equatorial rains.

  67. walter kite on

    I have a couple of seed grown carnations. I am never sure how to prune them. Should I just let them grow. They do seem to spread rather than grow upright.
    I live in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. The seeds were just a packet of seeds purchased from Bunnings, a hardware store so may not be the best seeds.

  68. Nancy on

    I’m late for this season, but I won’t miss out again, I adore carnations and will hope to buy some seed from your gorgeous selections!

  69. Mary on

    Do you pull and replant your carnations each year or leave them in the ground? I have Marie Chabaud in zone 6/7 and am wondering if should pull them at the end of the season or if they will be good for a few years…

  70. Darci on

    I’ve got Dionis and La France in the ground. The seeds germinated like total champs…close to 100% I think! The plants are small bc I overwatered, but looking good now that they’re out in the raised beds. Very pleased with the quality of seeds (and corms) you sell , as well as the excellent information you supply for growing success. Thank you!

  71. Cheryl Kay on

    This is my first time growing carnations from seed so I found your notes very helpful. My seeds sprouted last week much to my delight. I think I’m going to have plenty of red. Do I see that you have dried them? I would like to get seed for Chabaud Jeanne Dionis, La France and Benigna. They look very enticing. Will they winter over in Lynden, Washington or do I need to bring them into my greenhouse? Thanks for sharing. This was interesting to me.

  72. Kilia on

    Wonderful article with great information. Thank you

  73. Jenny Simque on

    I need to grow these… I have had a bunch from the grocery store on my countertop for longer than I can remember now… I think it’s getting close to 3 weeks! Perfect cut flowers!

  74. Rachelle Wilkens on

    Have my Chablis La France started… looking forward to my first blooms ❤️

  75. Lynne Brown on

    Hi there!
    Thank you so much for this lovely article!
    I have lots of pots of three different varieties that were grown from seed last year. They were cut back and stored in a cold frame over winter. They are huge!
    Now i need to plant them but when do i plant them and support them? Is it too soon now? Thank you.


    I started a tray of Chabaud Orange Sherbet seeds last week, and they are already pushing through the soil! Thank you for the incredible and beautifully presented information on the website and in your books. I’m looking forward to harvesting from my first cut flower garden!

  77. Sherri Love on

    I want to thank you for all the info you give to your subscribers. I look forward to my emails and love the pictures of the flowers also.

  78. Beverly on

    I am going to be planting my first cut flower garden and am excited that I have carnations seeds to plant. All the information shared in your workshop and post are helpful and inspiring. I’m also going to once again try planting herbs. Last year they got eaten by some creature (chipmunks or bunny’s) after I put them in the ground outside. I absolutely love fresh flowers on the table and throughout the house. It simply makes me happy.

  79. Fred on

    Hi there Floret, firstly thanks for the informative and helpful article, may I ask to see photos of the unsuitable colours as well, as my wife and I love seeds from even brighter varieties. I write from Mpumalanga, South Africa.
    Please mail your photos and answer to me @ [email protected]
    Thanks in advance..

  80. Nikki on

    Carnations will always be my favorite flower. When I was little, I would visit my grandma and each visit I would come home with a bouquet of Carnations. I wish she was still here so she can watch my flower business grow. It was all because of carnarions. This year I’m trying the sherbert. Wish me luck. Xo

  81. Geena on

    Thank you for the info! Do you have any recommendations on where to buy Carnation seed? Your beautiful flower seeds seem to be all sold out

  82. Wendy Foulkrod on

    Hi Erin,
    I love learning from you! I love carnations and will definitely plant them this year, I’m in Spokane and have been busy shoveling snow rather than planting!
    I’m in the online flower class, which I LOVE, can’t wait for the snow to be gone and start in the yard.
    Thank you for sharing all of your experiences!

  83. Lisa Ostergren on

    Carnations are my favorite flower, so this information is so helpful. I’ve always wanted to grow them in my yard.

  84. Kelley Woerther on

    I love carnations! The sweet and peppery scent has had my heart since I was young. I love white colors and the soft pinks. Hopefully I will be able to order some from you, are they sold out for the season?

  85. Lori L Cloud on

    I could smell the carnations as I read your piece! You offer great encouragement and excitement to get our garden going here in southern Oregon. My daughter and I are building our taller beds and anxious to get some of your seeds going.
    Ps. Loving your show on Magnolia Network 😊

  86. Kim P on

    Carnations have been a favorite since childhood and have been disappointed in recent years with the small amount of fragrance. I’m so excited you have found these and will be adding to my gardens as soon as I can get the seeds! Thank you!

  87. Cary Bradley on

    Hi Suzie, I too have adored carnations since I was a girl, and I always thought growing them from seed was impossible. I tried them last year, winter sowing the seeds in milk jugs, and the plants were fabulous! Have never smelled carnations with such strongly beautiful scent. You’ve made a great decision to grow these carnations. Enjoy!!!!

  88. Emma on

    I planted a mix packet of carnation seeds last year… they have over wintered in the garden without any covering and we’ve had some hard frosts this year. I can’t wait to see what colours they are going to be. I think it’s a beautiful flower than has a very bad press so I’m trying to encourage everyone I know to fall in love with them again.

  89. Emily Northrup on

    Hi, It’ll be my first time growing them this year. Can’t wait!! Thanks for the tips!

  90. Debbie on

    I love large cutting carnations. I love their look and smell. I was wondering where you got the seeds.

  91. Suzie on

    Hi I have always loved carnations ever since I was a little girl, I always thought that they were the prettiest flowers. I tried to grow them years ago, but I don’t think that I did it right so I gave up on trying. But now after reading this article I am going to try again with your expert advice. Then I will be able to enjoy my favorite flower all summer long.

  92. Joan on

    Hello, I live in Toowoomba Qld and would love to grow some carnations with the old fashioned perfume. Where can I purchase the seeds to do so? Also, are these an annual or a perennial flower? Thanks.

  93. Deb on

    I can’t believe how fast these germinated!! They’ll be ready for the low tunnel before we know it!!

  94. Heather Williams on

    I bought your Chabaud La France and the seeds were so successful germinating, they’ve all been transplanted into trays and trays of six-packs. I can’t wait for them to bloom this year – it will be my first time growing carnations! I see in your comments that you recommend pinching them back when they are 8 inches tall. How far back should I pinch them?

  95. Catherine on

    Hello, I’m Catherine. I have never grown carnations. This will be my first time. I want to grow the flower in honor of my Dad. I lost him last year. When I asked him what his favorite flower was he replied a pink carnation. He grew them at his family home growing up. So I thought they would be a perfect addition and memory of him. Please wish me luck. I am going to plant seeds indoors soon as well as try to grow outdoors. I am excited and hope to be cutting carnations to enjoy indoors to remember my Dad.

  96. Anne Wagner on

    Hello, I’m Anne from Ontario Canada and can’t wait to purchase some of your seeds, carnations are one of my favourite flowers and I’m so excited to try to grow from seed. I purchase bouquets of carnations all the time and the thought of growing my own would be amazing. Thank you for your recommendations, can’t wait until they are available.

  97. Marie Van Der Veen on

    Good day, I am Marie, I love catnations in afrikaans we call it “angelier”, i plant mine, and it did bloom nice but after the blooming, they struggle to bloom and I also was wondering you yoi support the carnations, because mine was in a big flowerpot, and now the stems get very long, if you can govee advise pse, thanx

  98. Syasha on

    I am still learning on how to grow carnations.I am from Malaysia and am still looking if the weather here requires additional steps to a healthy carnations growth..Wish me luck!

  99. David Kawecki on

    This is going to be the first year I am going to try and grow carnations. Hopefully it will be successful.

  100. Peggy Kelley on

    I am curious about the metal hoops that you are using to support the netting. You mentioned that any type of stake can be used, but I am wondering if there is a reason you chose the hoops over vertical stakes? I’d there an advantage to using the hoops?

  101. Amanda O'Connell on

    My father used to grow carnations (& pansies) which he would sell onto various florists. As he was only a small grower he only grew pinks & sims.
    Everything was done by hand. Planting, weeding, cutting etc.
    I still love carnations & with our daughter getting married soon she has already decided that she wants carnations for her bouquet (in memory of her grandfather)
    Carnations are very special to me & always will be

  102. kiriakoula giakoumidis on

    I live in zone 6 and am thinking of pulling my carnations out of their Cutting beds and into gallon pots to be stored in a heated greenhouse I’ve winter. It’s ok if they go dormant, but do you think they will survive ?

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. Dinah Chamberlain on

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

  107. 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

  108. 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.

  109. Turid Hopwood on

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

  110. 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.

  111. 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!

  112. 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!

  113. 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!

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

  116. bobbi on

    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

  117. 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.

  118. 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!!

  119. Amy Eckert on

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

  120. 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.

  121. 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!

  122. 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.

  123. 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!

  124. 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!

  125. 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!!!

  126. 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.

  127. 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!

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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!!

  131. 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!

  132. 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!!!

  133. 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.

  134. 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!

  135. Janet Green on

    Which variety is the maroon one please?

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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…

  139. 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.

  140. 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

  141. 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.

  142. 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

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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 :)

  146. 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?

  147. 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!

  148. 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.

  149. 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

  150. 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!

  151. 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?

    • Angela, Team Floret on

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

  152. 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.

  153. 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!

  154. 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.

  155. 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!

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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!!

  159. 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!

  160. 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.

  161. 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

  162. 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!

  163. 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!

  164. SAM on

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

    • Angela, Team Floret on

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

  165. 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.

  166. Nathan Nelson on

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

  167. 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.

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

  171. 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!

  172. 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.

  173. 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!!!!

  174. 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 :)

  175. Kelly on

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

  176. 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.

  177. 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.

  178. 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!

  179. 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.

  180. 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!

    • 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.

  181. 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!!

  182. Natasha on

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

    • Team Floret on

      Hi Natasha,

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

  183. Albert on

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

  184. 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?

  185. 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.

  186. 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.

  187. Aleya on

    This is good to know!

  188. 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.

  189. 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!!!

  190. 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!

  191. 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…

  192. 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.

  193. 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?

  194. 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!!

  195. 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!

  196. 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!

  197. 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!

    • 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: Plus, if you search the blog, you can find some past posts with other seed starting tips. Happy planting!

  198. 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.

  199. 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.

  200. 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.

  201. 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.

  202. 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.

  203. Emily on

    Adding these to my garden this year!!

  204. Elaine Garry on

    Curious if you grow any of these as perennials?

  205. Donica on

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

  206. 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 :)

    • 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!

  207. 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

  208. 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!

  209. 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!

  210. Paula on

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

  211. 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.

  212. 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!

  213. 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.

  214. Kristen on

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

  215. Valerie S on

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

  216. 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.

  217. 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.

  218. 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.

    • Team Floret on

      Thank you so much Susan!

  219. 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

  220. 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!

  221. 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.

  222. 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. :/

  223. Terri on

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

  224. KP on

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

  225. Anna on

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

  226. 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!

  227. Sofia on

    Thanks for The Great inspiration!

  228. 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.

  229. 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.

  230. Alexandra Ward on

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

  231. 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!

  232. Stephanie on

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

  233. 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.

  234. 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.

  235. 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 :-)

  236. 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


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