How to Seed Carnation Flowers


Carnations are also called Dianthus or pinks. There are both annual and perennial carnations available. The intricate blossoms are used in floral arrangements and are also attractive in beds and garden borders. Blooming from late spring and through summer, they add color to the mid-season garden. Starting carnations from seed is less expensive than purchasing nursery grown seedlings and offers a wider selection of size and color. Start the seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area.

Step 1

Fill a seed starting flat with a moist quality potting mix. Fill the container to within 1 inch of the rim.

Step 2

Sprinkle the seeds evenly on the surface of the soil. Cover with 1/8 inch of fine soil and mist with a spray bottle to moisten the soil surface.

Step 3

Cover the seed flat with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to germinate. Maintain a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during germination, which takes approximately 7 days.

Step 4

Remove the plastic once seeds begin to germinate. Move the flat to a warm, sunny window sill and keep the soil moist at all times.

Step 5

Transplant into individual pots once the third set of leaves grows in. Plant to the same soil depth the plants were at in the flat. Re-pot only the healthiest and largest seedlings.

Step 6

Transplant outside after all danger of frost has passed. Choose a well drained garden bed with partial to full sun.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some varieties of carnation do not bloom the first year. Humidity causes mildew diseases in carnations. Treat early with a chemical or organic fungicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed flats
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pots


  • University of California Extension
Keywords: growing carnations, planting dianthus, carnation seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.