There are a bizarre number of types of carnations, between 320 and 600 varieties! The carnation, also known as clove pink, is a perennial herbaceous plant with narrow gray-green or blue-green leaves. In a few cases, the carnation is an annual plant. The carnation has a striking flower in countless bright colors. In the wild, the flowers are a beautiful purple-pink, but the cultivated variety also comes in red, white, yellow, green, salmon, and even two-toned. The carnation blooms in May and June and is found throughout Europe and Asia.

Most Dianthus varieties act like a ground cover and are perfect to plant along paths and at the front of your border. The clove pink is a perennial, hardy, plant, and also evergreen. The carnation is generally perfect for a rock garden.

In addition to ground covers, there are also taller species. The Dianthus Barbatus, for example, can grow up to 70 centimeters high.

Carnation flower

The carnation flower has many shapes, such as carnations with single flowers and spray carnations. The carnation has striking petals, with rounded, serrated, or fringed edges. The fragrance of the clove pink is subtle. The calyx of the carnation is tubular, five-lobed and at its base it’s surrounded by two, four, or six broad petals. The flower has ten stamens and two pistils.

Carnation flower meaning

In general, the carnation flower symbolizes desire, passion, and romance. The symbolic meaning of the carnation differs per color. For example, the white carnation is known as the ‘volunteer flower’. He stands for resistance and respect and appreciation for veterans.

The light red carnation on the contrary stands for admiration and the dark red carnation symbolizes love and affection. The green carnation is a symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

Dianthus caryophyllus

The botanical name for the Carnation is Dianthus. This name is derived from dios, god, and anthos, flower. Dianthus originates from the Caryophyllaceae family, the carnation family, and has many subspecies. Below we list the eleven most beautiful types of the Carnation flower.

Sweet William

Sweet William, Dianthus Barbatus
Common name Sweet William
Scientific name Dianthus barbatus
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Mixed
Leaf color Green
Flowering time June/July
Location Sunny
Evergreen Yes
Height 70cm

The botanical name of Sweet William is Dianthus Barbatus. Sweet William is a beautiful tall carnation. It is a perennial that grows to a height of about 70cm. The leaves are green and about 30cm high. The flowering time of the Dianthus Barbatus is June to July.

Sweet William stays green all winter and is very suitable for a south-facing garden. It likes a sunny, warm spot with rich soil. And it is the perfect plant for your border. It combines beautifully with many other plants.

In winter it is wise to protect the Dianthus Barbatus from excessive rain (or snow). In the summer you have to make sure that the plant doesn’t get too dry. Make sure to water it regularly during a dry period.

A Sweet William does not proliferate.

Plant Sweet William

The best time to sow Dianthus barbatus is in June or July. Sow your sweet williams seeds directly in the garden. Sweet William is a biennial plant, so the first year it’ll grow and the second year it’ll bloom. So, if you sow it in June or July this year, it will bloom next spring.

After that, your Sweet William will produce flowers every year. The plant grows back from the roots because they simply survive the winter. The flowering time is during springtime.

Deptford pink

Deptford pink, Dianthus armeria
Common name Deptford pink
Scientific name Dianthus armeria
Type of plant AnnualĀ plant
Color flower Pink / Red
Leaf color Green
Flowering time July / August
Location Sun, partial shade
Evergreen No
Height 45cm

The Deptford pink or Grass pink is one of the few annuals in the carnation family. The Deptford pinks scientific name is Dianthus Armeria. This carnation flowers in July and August and has small pink or pink-red flowers. The plant is about 45cm high.

Unlike most other carnation varieties, the Deptford pink does not need a place in full sun. It also thrives in the shade of a shrub or a tree.

The Deptford pink is native to Europe and is naturalized in North America.

Fringed pink

fringed pink, Dianthus superbus
Common name Fringed pink
Scientific name Dianthus superbus
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Pink
Leaf color Green
Flowering time June / July
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Height 60cm

The scientific name for the fringed pink is Dianthus superbus. This Dianthus superbus flowers from June to July and has beautiful pink flowers. It is a perennial that grows to a height of about 60cm.

The fringed pink is evergreen and very suitable for a south-facing garden. It likes a sunny and warm place. This carnation flower fits perfectly in for example a border. The fringed pink combines easily with other plants.

Make sure to protect the fringed pink against a lot of rain (or snow) in winter. In the summer, on the other hand, it is important that you ensure it doesn’t get too dry. The Dianthus superbus remains really beautiful for a couple of years, so don’t forget to sow new seeds or replace the fringed pink in time to prevent ugly holes in your garden.

Maiden pink

Maiden pink, Dianthus deltoids
Common name Maiden pink
Scientific nameĀ  Dianthus deltoides
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Pink
Leaf color Green
Flowering time June / July
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Height 20cm

Also known by the scientific name Dianthus deltoids, the maiden pink. The dianthus deltoids flowers from June to July and has beautiful pink flowers. The height of the maiden pink is about 20 centimeters and it is a real rock garden plant.

Place the maiden pink in a sunny spot in moderately nutrient-rich soil. It is a maintenance-friendly plant and grows in a ground cover. Perfect for borders.

Carthusian pink

Carthusian pink, Dianthus carthusianorum
Common name Carthusian pink
Scientific name Dianthus carthusianorum
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Pink, Red
Leaf color Green
Flowering time June / July
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Heigth 70cm

Dianthus carthusianorum is the scientific name of the Carthusian pink. The Dianthus carthusianorum flowers from about June to July and has carmine-red flowers. It is a perennial that grows to a height of about 70cm.

Place the Carthusian pink in a sunny, warm spot in your garden, for the best results. This carnation flower is perfect for the border because it combines well with other plants.

Protect the Dianthus carthusianorum in the winter against too much rain or snow and make sure that it does not dry out in the summer. You don’t need to do more. The Carthusian pink is almost non-invasive. Therefore very practical.

Carnation or clove pink

clove pink, Dianthus caryophyllus
Common name Clove pink
Scientific name Dianthus caryophyllus
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Mixed
Leaf color Grey
Flowering time May / June
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Height 25cm

The common carnation, or clove pink, is also known by the botanical name Dianthus caryophyllus. The color of the flowers of the carnation is mixed and blooms in May and June. It can reach about 25 cm high. If you prune the plant after flowering slightly, you have the chance of a second flowering.

The Dianthus caryophyllus is a ground cover plant and prefers a spot in the sun.

Dianthus pink kisses

I like to mention the carnation ‘pink kisses’ separately. This cultivar is suitable as a garden plant as well as a houseplant and has even won awards! The Dianthus Pink Kisses blooms profusely for months with beautiful two-toned flowers. The leaf is blue-green. The first bloom is from March to June and it can flower until October.

Dianthus pink kisses is fairly hardy and likes a sunny spot in dry to normally moist soil. Give him some plant food once a month to enjoy this beautiful plant for a long time.

Rainbow pink

Rainbow pink, Dianthus chinensis
Common name Rainbow pink or China pink
Scientific name Dianthus chinensis
Type of plant annual-biennial plant
Color flower Pink, Red
Leaf color Green
Flowering time June / July
Location Sun
Evergreen No
Height 35cm

The botanical name for the Rainbow pink or China pink is Dianthus chinensis. The Dianthus chinensis has pink to red flowers and flowers from June to July. It is a biennial plant that grows to about 35cm tall.

The Dianthus chinensis likes a sunny position, so find a nice warm spot for it. Make sure that the soil does not get too dry, this carnation flower doesn’t handle drought very well. You can also place it in pots and planters.

Alpine pink

Alpine pink, Dianthus alpinus
Common name Alpine pink
Scientific name Dianthus alpinus
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Pink, red
Leaf color Green
Flowering time June / July
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Height 10cm

The scientific name of the Alpine pink is Dianthus alpinus. The alpine carnation blooms from June to July with beautiful pink-red flowers. This perennial grows to a height of about 10 centimeters and is ideal for a border.

The dianthus alpinus is hardy and remains beautifully green in winter. We do advise keeping the soil dry in the winter, if the alpine pink gets wet roots and it starts to freeze, the roots, and eventually, the plant, can freeze to pieces.

The Alpine pink likes a sunny spot in calcareous soil. In spring and autumn, it is wise to keep the soil slightly moist.

The dianthus alpinus is a ground cover and combines well with other plants.

Garden pink

Garden pink, Dianthus plumarius
Common name Garden pink
Scientific name Dianthus plumarius
Type of plant Perennial
Flower color Pink, purple, white
Leaf color Blue-green
Flowering time May untill August
Location Sun, partial shade
Evergreen Yes
Height 30cm

 

The botanical name of the garden pink is Dianthus plumarius. This carnation is a fast-growing, evergreen carnation flower. It blooms with beautiful fringed flowers in the colors pink, white and purple. The Dianthus plumarius also likes a sunny position and is perfect for your border.

The garden pink is a ground cover with blade-like blue-green leaves. Although it is hardy, you should keep an eye out during wet winters. The roots can’t handle being wet very well.

Kahori Pink

Kahori Pink, Dianthus kahori
Common name Kahori Pink
Scientific name Dianthus kahori
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Pink
Leaf color Blue-green
Flowering time May untill October
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Height 40cm

The Kahori Pink is known for its wonderfully fragrant flowers. The scientific name of the Kahori Pink is Dianthus kahori. The Dianthus kahori blooms with beautiful deep pink flowers. If you prune the Kahori Pink at the beginning of July, you can enjoy a second bloom in September and October.

The Kahori Pink likes to be in full sun and is hardy. Make sure that it does not get too dry in the summer. In winter, on the contrary, the soil should certainly not be too wet, as this will destroy the plant.

Cheddar pink

Cheddar pink, Dianthus gratianopolitanus
Common name Cheddar pink
Scientific name Dianthus gratianopolitanus
Type of plant Perennial
Color flower Pink, Red
Leaf color Grey
Flowering time May / June
Location Sun
Evergreen Yes
Height 25cm

 

The scientific name of the Cheddar pink is Dianthus gratianopolitanus. This Dianthus gratianopolitanus has beautiful pink-red flowers and flowers from about May to June. The plant grows to about 25 cm tall and remains green all winter.

The Dianthus gratianopolitanus likes a sunny spot and is an easy-care plant with beautiful, colorful flowers. Give the plant a slightly moist spot to enjoy your cheddar pink the most. The cheddar pink is also fairly drought-resistant. It is also super suitable for the rock garden or between stones or pavement. Combine the rock carnation with other plants for a beautiful result. It has a ground cover habit.

Dianthus care

The care of the dianthus is fairly simple. In spring and autumn, you have to make sure that the soil remains slightly moist, this will develop the most beautiful flowers. In winter it is important to keep the plant dry. If you follow these basic rules, you’ll enjoy your dianthus to the fullest.

The plant is hardy and can withstand frost very well, so it does not need extra care or protection against cold weather. Make sure you place it in the right soil. Heavy soil, for example, retains a lot of water in the winter months when there is a lot of rain or snow. This is disastrous for your dianthus. So pay close attention to the type of soil in your garden.

Dianthus plant

You can plant the dianthus anywhere in the garden, but it prefers a spot in slightly moist, nutrient-rich soil. Place it in the sun with a little bit of shade. The plant can withstand drought fairly well.

When planting the dianthus, it is wise to supplement the soil with garden plant soil. In the beginning, the plants are still somewhat vulnerable and cannot withstand drought well.