The carnation plant is a perennial of the dianthus genus. Its long stemmed, scented flowers are favored for floral arrangements and bridal bouquets. As a carnation grows, a clump forms at the base that can be divided when the plant is mature, which is at about three or for years of growth. The clump can be dug up and divided in spring or fall.
Dig around the mature carnation clump using the shovel. Dig down about 10 inches to reach the roots under the clump.
Pull the clump from the hole. Pull the clump into three to five equal sections. Each section can be transplanted. One of the divisions can be returned to the current hole.
Choose a full-sun, well-drained location to plant the divided carnation clumps.
Dig the hole at least 12 inches deep and twice as wide as the division to be planted. If the soil has already been worked so it is loose, you can use a hand trowel to dig the hole. Mix about 25 percent organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, into the removed soil. If planting more than one division, dig the new holes 6 to 12 inches apart.
Plant the division in the hole at the same level it was before and backfill the hole with amended soil.
Water and apply 1 inch of compost or mulch. Water every seven to 14 days if it does not rain.