A smart gardener knows that carnations not only look pretty and brighten up your garden when they bloom this year, but with just a little bit of work and planning, they will offer up enough seeds at the end of the season to make sure that you have plenty of beautiful flowers for the following year as well. You can harvest the seeds from the current years batch of carnations and keep them viable until planting time next year.
Allow carnations to dry out completely. At the end of the current season, let several carnation flowers wither and dry out until the are faintly brittle to the touch.
Pick the flower heads. Place a bowl beneath the dried carnation flower heads and carefully break them off. The bowl will catch any seeds that come off as you remove the flower head.
Crush the flower heads. Put down clean white paper on a flat, non-drafty surface. Over the paper, lightly crush the flower head between your hands until it breaks apart. The little black chips that come out of the carnation are the seeds.
Gather the seeds. Separate out the petals and other debris from the black chip looking seeds and then use the paper as a funnel to place the carnation seeds into an envelope.
Store for next year. Seal the envelope with the seeds in it and mark it as containing carnation seeds. Store the envelope in a cool, dry area that is out of harms way from hungry mice or other pests.