Carnations are gorgeous perennials known for their beautiful flowers and frilled petals. Many types of carnations flower for several months throughout the year. In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about the carnation flowering season and how to maximize it each year.

The Carnation Flowering Season: When To Expect Bloom Time

About Carnations

Carnations are a group of herbaceous perennials from the Dianthus genus in the carnation or pink family (Caryophyllaceae). Most carnations are native to parts of Asia and Europe. Some species have become naturalized in the United States. Carnations grow best in USDA Zones 3 to 8.

Carnations have attractive star-shaped flowers with five petals that usually have frilled or serrated edges. Most carnations are clump-forming plants with slender, grass-like foliage. Carnation flowers may also produce a sweet, spicy fragrance similar to cloves.

When is the Carnation Flowering Season?

When is the Carnation Flowering Season?

The carnation flowering season can last for several months, from late spring until late summer or early fall. Many types of carnations start flowering in May and continue for several weeks. Some carnation varieties can keep blooming as late as September or October.

Carnations can produce two rounds of flowers during the blooming season. Once the first flush of flowers ends, cut back the stems. This allows the carnation to create a second round of flowers later in the season.

How Long Do Carnation Flowers Last?

Carnations can bloom for up to eight weeks at a time, depending on the exact variety. They can also produce two rounds of flowers during the blooming season if they’re cut back at the right time. This means that carnations can flower for several months.

Carnations also make excellent cut flowers and can last for approximately two to three weeks in a vase. They’re perfect for a host of gifting occasions and work amazingly well when paired with a variety of other flowers

How to Care for Carnations

How to Care for Carnations

Proper care helps your carnations produce their best blooms and sweet fragrance. Carnations are hardy herbaceous perennials that are pretty easy to grow (including from seed), even for inexperienced gardeners. Here are some tips on caring for carnations:

Sunlight

Most carnations grow best in full sun and require approximately four to six hours of direct sunlight daily. Carnations can also tolerate partial shade, especially in hot summers. East or south-facing areas are perfect for planting carnations and provide plenty of natural sunlight in the morning.

Soil Conditions

Carnations thrive in rich, well-draining soils that are neutral to slightly alkaline. Aim for soils that have pH levels between 6.5 and 8.5. Chalky, sandy, or loamy soils are ideal for carnations. Add some organic matter to chalky or sandy soils to provide extra nutrients.

Watering

Carnations are pretty drought-tolerant but hate sitting in waterlogged soil. Water carnations once a week or whenever the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feels dry. You may need to water carnations more frequently during hot, dry summers.

Fertilizer

Carnations don’t need too much fertilizer throughout the growing season. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in the spring and replenish every three to four months during the growing season. Alternatively, feed carnations with diluted liquid fertilizer once every one or two months. Avoid over-fertilizing carnations, as this can severely damage the plants.

Pruning

Deadhead carnation flowers regularly to encourage the plant to produce more blooms. Cut back the stems once the first round of flowers ends. This stimulates your carnations to produce a second round of flowers later in the season.


Carnation Flowering Season FAQs:

What Months Do Carnations Bloom?

Carnations bloom for several months, from late spring until late summer or early fall. Many carnations start flowering in May and can continue until August. Some carnations may continue flowering until as late as September or October.

Do You Cut Back Carnations After Flowering?

Once your carnations have exhausted their first round of flowers, cut back the stems. This encourages a second flush of flowers later in the year.

Do Carnations Come Back Every Year?

Most carnations are herbaceous perennials, which means that they come back every year. These flowers grow as perennials in USDA Zones 3 to 8. Carnations die back over the winter before reemerging in the spring.

How Long Do Carnations Last?

Carnations can bloom for up to eight weeks at a time. They can also produce two rounds of flowers each year, giving you months of blooms. Carnations also work well as cut flowers and can last as long as three weeks in a vase.

How Do You Get Carnations to Bloom Again?

Once your carnations have finished flowering, cut the stems back. This inhibits seed production and stimulates the plant to produce a second round of flowers later in the year.


Wrapping Up

Carnations typically flower from late spring until late summer or early fall. Many of these symbolic flowers start blooming in May and continue until September. Deadhead carnations regularly and cutting back the stems after the first round of flowers. This promotes a second flush of flowers later in the season.

For more, see our in-depth guide to the most fragrant types of carnation flowers and how to propagate and transplant carnation flowers in your garden.


Contributing Editor | Full Bio | + posts

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

Author

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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