Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Carnation
Dianthus caryophyllus

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dianthus (dy-AN-thus) (Info)
Species: caryophyllus (kar-ee-oh-FIL-us) (Info)

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By yvana
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There are a total of 12 photos.
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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Kurtis On Jul 30, 2008, Kurtis from New Prague, MN wrote:

I had several of these beautiful plants given to me two years ago by a friend and they bloomed all summer. I mulched them well the first winter and they bloomed again the next summer. Sadly, I forgot to mulch them last winter and they died after a hard frost early spring.

When I get more for a new bed, I'll be sure to mulch them well this winter.

Positive bluespiral On Jan 30, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Louise Beebe Wilder has this to say about the carnation's French origin in her book, The Fragrant Path:

"The wild Carnation with its five rose-crimson petals may be seen by travelers in France growing upon wild rocky places and upon the walls of many an ancient chateau, but nowhere so riotiously as at Chinon, the majestic ruin towering above the placid Loire."

She also says that many fragrant flowers were known as Gilliflowers, but the carnation was revered for having the strongest fragrance - red colors often being most pronounced.

Neutral Crimson On Oct 26, 2001, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Sowing Instructions: Sow from late winter to early spring, just covering the seed with compost. Make sure that the compost is moist but not wet and seal in a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 7-14 days at 60-68F. Transplant when large enough and grow on in cooler conditions. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost 15-18in apart in a sunny spot on light well drained soil.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Livermore, California
Merced, California
Santa Maria, California
Taft, California
Ellicott City, Maryland
New Prague, Minnesota
Auburn, New Hampshire
Port Norris, New Jersey
Rochester, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Ashland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
San Angelo, Texas
White Center, Washington

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