Growing Carnations From Seed: A Guide in Growing Your Favorite Flower

There are many ways to grow carnations from seed. The most common way is to sow the seeds in soil or compost in a sunny spot. Carnation seeds will germinate quickly and should be ready to plant after three weeks. Once planted, water regularly and keep the plants well-watered during dry periods to encourage growth.

Guide in Growing Carnation

There are a few common ways to grow carnations from seeds, such as You can start carnations indoors in the potting mix by starting seeds and moving them outside, sowing them directly in the ground, or growing them in pots. Most plants won’t bloom in their first year, so patience is essential.

Pick the Location

Carnations grow best in full sun and soil that drains well and is slightly alkaline, with a pH of around 6.7. Choose a place to plant with at least six hours of sun a day. Loosen the top 2 inches of soil and add organic matter such as compost or aged manure (10-15% of the total weight). You can also sprinkle in some kelp powder if you have a water shortage or want to encourage better drainage.

Get the Site Ready

A few days before planting, mix potting soil with a few inches of compost or other aged organic matter to ensure the soil is healthy.

Start Seeds Indoors

You can start carnation seeds indoors up to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. You can find starter potting soil mix and starter trays at a garden center or nursery. Sprinkle seeds over the mix and cover with a very thin layer of soil. Mist the soil to keep it moist, and use a plastic bag to make it feel like a warm greenhouse. If you use the plastic bag method, watch out for mildew on the top of the soil. If it gets too wet, remove the plastic bag and let the soil dry out a little.


Carnations should be planted in the early spring, about two weeks after the last date of frost. When seedlings grown inside are five inches tall, they are ready to be moved outside. Dig holes that are the same size as the starter pot. If you are planting more than one, put the holes about a foot apart. If the pots are made of peat or biodegradable, you can put them in the ground and fill them with soil. If they are not, carefully wiggle them off, so you don’t hurt the young roots, and then put them in the soil. After you put the plant in the hole, gently press the soil down and give it a lot of water. If you are planting seeds outside, plant them 14 inches deep and lightly cover them with topsoil. Keep the soil moist, and when the seedlings show up, spread them out to about 10 inches apart to give them space to grow.

How to Grow Carnations from Seed

1. Choose a Container With Good Drainage

Choose a container with good drainage at least 12 inches in diameter. The pot should have a center hole at least 2 inches in diameter, so you can quickly put your hand down into the soil to support the plant while it grows.

Choose a container with holes in the bottom to let the water out. You can use anything, from the bottom of an empty milk carton to a tray for growing seeds. If the container doesn’t have holes in the bottom for drainage, poke the holes there.

2. Get the Container Clean

Mix one part bleach and nine parts water. Soak the container for 15 minutes in the solution, then let it dry in the air. This cleans the tray for the seeds.

3. Put Potting Soil in the Container

Fill the container within 1 inch of the top with a moist potting mix. Use your fingers to press down the soil lightly so it stays firm in the pot.

4. Planting the Seeds

Spread the seeds over the top of the soil. Put them about two inches apart. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil (about 1/8 inch). Press lightly on the soil to make it firm over the seeds.

5. Keep the Seeds Wet

Spraying water on the surface of the soil makes it wet. Use a spray bottle instead of running water, which could wash away the seeds.

6. Put the Pot Inside a Plastic Bag

Fine Gardening says to put the container in a clear plastic bag or wrap it in plastic. Use an elastic band or twist tie to close the bag. Covering the pot keeps the soil moist for a longer time.

7. Keep the Pot Somewhere Warm

Put the container somewhere warm. Try to keep the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If needed, put the container near a heater or put a heating pad underneath it.

8. Wait for the Seeds To Sprout

Check the container daily and mist the soil as needed to keep it damp. When the seeds start to grow, take off the plastic.

9. Location in a Sunny Spot

So the seedlings can grow, move the container to a sunny window. Keep checking how wet the soil is and spray it with water when you need to

10. Put the Seedlings in the Garden

Plant the seedlings in the landscape when they have two true leaves.