Loved as a cut flower and for their fragrant fringed blooms, Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) are wonderful perennial plants to include in your garden. They're ideal for cottage gardens, flowers beds or growing in pots.

How to grow carnations in a garden

  1. Fill starter pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) seeds, cover, firm down and water well. 
  2. Water the seedlings gently and keep moist through germination period.
  3. While the seedlings are growing, choose a spot in the garden that receives full sun and prepare the planting area well by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  4. Allow the seedlings to grow large enough to handle before transplanting.
  5. When transplanting them into your prepared garden bed, ensure seedlings are well spaced at least 30 to 40cm apart. Water in well.
  6. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw.
  7. Feed every 1 to 2 weeks with Yates Thrive Roses and Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

How to grow carnations in a pot

  1. Fill starter pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) seeds, cover, firm down and water well. 
  2. Water the seedlings gently and keep moist through germination period.
  3. Choose a pot at least 200mm wide and deep. Position in full sun.
  4. Fill the chosen pots with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  5. Once the seedlings have grown large enought to handle, transplant them into the prepared pot.
  6. Feed every 1 to 2 weeks with Yates Thrive Roses and Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

Growing tips

  • When growing from seed it is best to raise them in boxes or trays filled with seed raising mix. This is due to their slow and erratic germination. Pay close attention to these trays until the flowers have germinated, ensuring that the soil does not dry out.
  • Take care not to over water, Carnations don’t like to have wet feet.
  • When picking flowers, always ensure that you cut them off near the base of the plant.

Angie's Seasonal Gardening Tips


Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) have an impressive history, dating back to ancient Rome and Greece over 2000 years ago. Since then they have continued to delight gardeners with their gorgeous flowers and there are now four fabulous new varieties from Ball Australia to tempt you. They are perfect for growing in containers and have a rounded habit that resembles a bouquet of flowers, making them a beautiful potted gift for someone special.

  • Carnation ‘Early Love’ – This hardy and long lasting variety has large double raspberry coloured flowers with dark centres on short stems.
  • Carnation ‘Pink Kisses’ – (pictured above) a long lasting carnation with strongly fragrant, striking double pink flowers with a prominent reddish-pink mark at the centre of each petal.
  • Carnation ‘Peach Party’ - a variety with a unique play of colours across the seasons. In spring it features numerous apricot-coloured bloom and in summer it develops a vivid red eye, creating a contrast between the dark centre of the flower and its lighter-coloured edge.
  • Carnation ‘Purple Wedding’ - this early flowering, hardy carnation develops dozens of striking flowers that have three different colours which contrast beautifully with the dark green foliage. Best grown in a smaller pot, up to 12 cm in diameter.

To keep these stunning carnations looking their best, regularly remove spent flower heads and feed each week with Yates® Thrive® Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food, which is a complete fertiliser that’s boosted with additional flower-promoting potassium.

Yates varieties

Carnation Fragrance

This fragrant carnation produces a multitude of large, double-fringed blooms in a wide variety of colours.

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