Carnations are among the most popular flower in the world-and for good reason. Carnations are colorful (if you can’t find one the color you want, just dye it), most of them have a sweet/spicy smell and they hold up well. Yes, the carnation is popular, but how much do you really know about these tried and true ‘flower friends’?

DID YOU KNOW

  • Carnations are part of the dianthus genus of flowers?
  • There are over 300 species of carnations?
  • Carnations can be perennials or annuals?
  • The color of a carnation gives different meanings to the flowers?
  • Carnations are said to have come into existence when Jesus was crucified?
  • There are 3 different types of carnations:
    • Large (one single flower on a stem)
    • Mini (multiple blooms on multiple stems shooting of a main stem)
    • Dwarf (several small blooms on one stem)

GROWING AND CARING FOR CARNATIONS

Carnations are relatively easy to grow as long as you start them out in the proper growing conditions and maintain those conditions. To successfully grow carnations, you need to make sure you have a loamy soil that drains well and that is not rich or acidic.

Carnations are inexpensive ($2-$5) can be started from seed as well as being started from cuttings from existing plants. Seeds will do best when kept in a climate that is mildly cool (40-55 F) until mature enough to be transplanted. Cuttings can be taken from the suckers at the base of the stem or side-shoots of the flowering stem. Simply root the cutting in sand, keep slightly moist and pot when roots are well-established.

Carnations also need full sun for at least 4 hours a day and care should be taken to not over-water your plants. For the most part, once established, carnations are fairly drought-resistant and will do fine with a light sprinkling of water 2 to 3 times a week in the driest of conditions.

Carnations must be dead-headed to ensure continued blooming and to extend the life of the flowers once they have been cut. So plant some this spring for everyone to enjoy.

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