How to Grow Perpetual Carnations

Written by susan walworth
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How to Grow Perpetual Carnations
Properly maintained, perpetual carnations can produce flowers year-round. (carnation image by Chris Loneragan from

The earliest settlers from England and France brought with them to America a much-loved flower known as the carnation. A member of the dianthus family, perpetual carnations are the workhorses of the floral world. They create everything from long-lasting wedding boutonnières to funeral sprays. As their name implies, perpetual carnations produce flowers year-round as long as they are maintained in an appropriate environment. The most common way to grow perpetual carnations is inside a greenhouse.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Potting soil
  • Pots
  • Plant supports
  • Light bulbs

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  1. 1

    Plant in a multipurpose potting compost.

  2. 2

    Place plants in a sunny location, where they can receive both heat and light.

  3. 3

    Stake plants with plant supports as they grow.

  4. 4

    Water two to three times a week to maintain moist, but not wet, soil.

  5. 5

    Pinch off the growing tip of plants when they exceed about 6 inches to make plants bush out into shoots. Each shoot will produce a flower. Pinch off subsequent shoots at alternating times to stagger flowers.

  6. 6

    Feed a balanced flower food such as Miracle Gro Bloom Booster according to package directions.

  7. 7

    Remove all developing buds except those on the stem ends.

  8. 8

    Maintain a temperature of at least 7.22 degrees Celsius in flowers' environment.

  9. 9

    In winter months, expose carnations to additional light from a 100 watt bulb placed about 5 feet above plants.

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