The Q&A Archives: Tips on Growing Carnations

Question: Carnations are one of my favorite flowers, but I'm afraid I'm a novice gardener and don't really know what type of soil or fertilizer they require. What amount of sunlight should they have daily, and how often would they need to be watered? Thank-you so much for your time! Patty Owings Boise, ID

Answer: Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) need full sun, but aren't fussy about what sort of soil they grow in. If you are starting them from seed, water to keep the soil evenly moist until the seedlings get to be 3"-4" high, but do not waterlog the soil. After they are firmly established, water when the soil is dry to about 3/4" deep. Hardy border carnation seed is available through Henry Field's Seed PH# 605-655-9391) A similar but smaller variety of carnation, 'Helen', is displayed on pg. 19 ofBurpee's Spring catalog. For best gardening results, I recommend having your soil tested. It can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, and put you on the road to gardening success. For a soil test, contact your extension service at 377-2107.

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