How to Grow Carnations Indoors

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Carnations are flowering plants that produce a mild fragrance and delicate blooms. Blooms range in size, depending on the plant, but can grow quite large. These flowering plants prefer a lot of indirect light, good soil and drainage and can be grown indoors or outdoors. You can easily plant them directly from seed and, with proper care, they should grow into beautiful plants. Many carnations will last and bring beauty to your home for years, indoors or out.

Things You'll Need

  • Small starter pot
  • Potting soil
  • Carnation seeds
  • Watering can
  • Larger plant pot

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Fill a small plant-starter pot with potting soil for flowering plants. Choose well-aerated potting soil—if it is cheap, heavy potting soil, your carnations won’t do as well (they may not even make it past the seedling stage). Make sure the starter pot has a drainage hole.

Place a few seeds in the pot and lightly cover with a little soil. Don’t cover them them too deeply.

Sprinkle a small amount of water over the soil. Don’t drown the seeds too much--just wet the soil enough to keep the seeds moist.

Place the pot in an area that gets a lot of indirect sunlight. Once again, make sure to keep the soil moist but not too soggy in the following days. You should check the moisture at least once a day.

Repot the carnation seedling when it is a few inches tall. Do this by putting fresh potting soil in a larger pot. Then, take the seedling, along with the surrounding soil, out of the small pot and place directly in the larger pot. Lightly dampen the soil. Use a pot that has a drainage hole.

Gently remove old blooms from established carnations when the blooms start to wilt. You can do this simply by pinching them where the flower meets the stem and pushing them off with your thumb.

Tips & Warnings

  • To increase your chances for a successful plant, put several seeds in different pots at once. Miniature carnations, although pretty, tend not to last as long as standard carnations.
  • Carnations are among the many flowers and plants that are poisonous to pets (if ingested). Make sure drainage is very good---otherwise carnations' roots might rot and the plant will die. Do not place the carnation too close to a window. Although they enjoy sunlight, they may bake in full, direct light (windows can magnify the intensity of the sun's rays).
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