Dianthus Species, Carnation, Clove Pink, Border 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)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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 Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Troy, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Ashland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

San Angelo, Texas

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.