The Q&A Archives: Are Carnations Winter Hardy

Question: I just purchased a number of dianthus carnation plants and was wondering if I can permanently plant them in my zone 5-6 garden without worrying that they might not make it through the winter, or should I plant them in pots and then protect them over the winter? I've come across conflicting information on this subject. I don't know the specific name of the variety, but they are doubles and resemble the florist type but are much smaller flowers on medium length stems with moderate fragrance.

Answer: The type you describe are perennial hardy to zone 3, so you can plant them right in the garden. They do best in a rich, well-drained soil of near-neutral pH. Despite their hardiness, they're not long-lived, so you'll need to plant new ones every 2-3 years for a reliable display. Enjoy!

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