The carnation, also known as the dianthus, is a perennial, biennial or annual flower depending on the region in which it grows. More than 300 types of carnations exist, many of which are hybrid varieties. Carnations are grown all over the world, including Spain, Korea, North America, Canada and the United Kingdom.
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Carnations come in single- or double-flowered varieties. According to the Gardeners Helper, double flowers are "a double flower with many overlapping petals which gives it a very full appearance." Single flowers are "a flower having only a minimum number of petals for that variety of plant." Carnations come in a wide assortment of hues and colors, including pink, red and picotee varieties.They are thick, mounded plants, 6 to 14 inches tall, with grass-like leaves that are blue-green and gray-green.
According to knowledgerush.com, the Greek botanist Theophrastus, who lived in approximately 300 BC, gave the flower the name of Dianthus. The name comes from the Greek meaning "Flower of God."
Grow carnations in full sun with well-draining soil, that is moderately alkaline. Carnations do not like wet roots, so avoid over-watering and let the soil dry out thoroughly before re-watering. You can grow annual carnations from seed, while you can start perennial carnations via a cutting, dividing of the root ball or by seed.
Carnations come in three main types: spray, large or dwarf. Spray types possess group of small flower clusters, large types are generally used in floral arrangements and have one flower per stem, and dwarf carnations typically have many several small flowers on a single stem.
If yellow leaves appear on your carnation plant, it may be receiving too much water. Fertilize your carnations with a fertilizer high in phosphate to encourage plentiful blooms.
Carnation Flowers Information
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Some varieties of carnations, such as the Sweet William, possess a fragrance described as spicy, like cinnamon. Carnations are grown not only for their use in cut-flower arrangements, but according to PFAF (Plants For a Future) carnation flower heads are dried and used in pot-pourri, scented sachets and cosmetic products.
- Garden Hobbies
- Chest of Books
- British National Carnation Society
- Information on carnations
- Resource for carnations
dianthus, carnation, Sweet William
About this Author
Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.