How to Save Carnation Seeds


Garden carnations, or Dianthus caryophyllus, are sometimes referred to as pinks. These cheery, attractive garden bloomers comprise about 300 species and include perennials, annuals and biennials. So if you're located in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 11, you can enjoy the delicious, heady spiciness of carnations from late spring through summer. Then collect the seeds that begin ripening in August and mature in September.

Step 1

Cut carnation blooms for your indoor arrangements freely throughout the summer beginning in June.

Step 2

Deadhead stems that you don't cut for other uses as soon as flowers wilt and fade. This will extend the season by encouraging a second blooming flush from your carnations. Removing these blooms will also reduce unwanted perennial reseeding.

Step 3

Choose your favorite carnation plants for propagation purposes during the last bloom flush late in the summer. Pick the most attractive, robust plants and leave the flowers on them to wilt, brown and dry completely. This will allow the seeds plenty of time to mature.

Step 4

Cover the flower head with a small brown paper bag if it's windy to keep maturing seeds from blowing away. Secure it in place with a piece of string. Carefully open the bag every day or two to check the drying process.

Step 5

Cut the carnation from the plant when the flower has dried to the point of being brittle. Leave about 6 to 8 inches of stem intact.

Step 6

Hold the flower head inside the top of an open paper bag and gently crush it between your fingers.

Step 7

Pick the seeds from the debris and put them in a paper envelope. Label the envelope with species and date. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place out of direct light until time to plant in February.

Things You'll Need

  • Brown paper bags
  • String
  • Paper envelope


  • Online Gardener: How to Harvest Carnation Seeds
  • Carnation Flower: Carnation Seeds
  • Plants for a Future: Diantus Caryophyllus
  • The Garden Helper: How to Grow and Care for Dianthus Plants

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • 2carnation: Harvesting Carnation Seeds
Keywords: save carnation seeds, harvest carnation seeds, save dianthus seeds, harvest dianthus seeds

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.