Growing carnations can really add a spark of color and beauty to your garden. However, when asking yourself whether carnations prefer sun or shade, you might not know the answer. Thankfully, it’s pretty simple: carnations love the sun.
It’s already been established that carnations love the sun. In fact, most carnations prefer direct sunlight over partial shade to get to their full potential while you’re growing them. They require 4-6 hours of direct sunlight at a minimum, so any areas in too much shade are a no-go. It would help if you left your carnations exposed and ready to pick up the sun throughout the course of the day.
Of course, the 4-6 hours is only a minimum guideline. Carnations will bloom and thrive in sunlight for lengths much longer than that. It’s also good to make sure that your soil is well-drained and fertile before you plant them to maximize growth. However, if your soil is too rich, you could end up with too much green on your carnation (with the leaves) and not enough colorful blooms (which is the point to them in the first place).
Carnations seeds sprout best in temperatures between 50-65F during the day (40-50F during the night). You’ll find the most growth with carnation seeds at these temperatures. Once they’ve started to sprout, the temperature becomes much less important – if the days start getting warmer, the carnations will begin to thrive. It’s best to plant them in the spring to make good use of the hot summer months when they reach maturity.
Caring For Your Carnations
Now that we know that carnations like the sun overshade, it’s important to understand how best to utilize the sunlight while growing. You will not want to plant your carnations in a plot of land and leave them there with no further information. As good as carnations usually are at handling themselves, you have to treat them right to ensure perfect blooms when it’s time for them to come out.
Once you’ve got your carnations established, you’ll want to know a few things. Firstly, carnations are pretty good at handling droughts, and even though you think they’re not getting enough water, they are fine. They’re easy to over-water, which can cause the leaves to yellow, the root to rot, and the bloom to drop. You can get away with a light spray twice a week to ensure growth on your carnations without overdoing it.
Remember to deadhead your blossoms when they’ve run their course. You’ll notice them drooping or becoming discolored, which is a good time to think about taking the heads off and allowing them a chance to grow new ones. Deadheading is great for preventing mildew on the stem too, so it’s not just about the aesthetic purpose – you’ll be ensuring your plant grows healthily.
Carnations are really easy to deadhead too. All you need is a finger-pinch technique to pull the head off. For those that prefer using clippers or shears, though, make sure you cut either above or below a leaf node to ensure you maximize regrowth potential in the plant. There’s nothing worse than clipping off ahead and never allowing it a full chance to grow back again (you could be left with some miserable blooms if you do this).
So, remember, the main takeaway from this is that carnations love the sun. They absolutely need the sun to thrive over the shade, and you’ll have an easy time growing them outside, provided you allow them constant access. Don’t try and grow them in an area that is constantly overshadowed or one that tends to get darker as the day draws on. You won’t get the perfect blooms out of your carnations when you need them.
Sun is everything for a beautiful carnation, and they make an excellent addition to any garden. They can come in a variety of colorful blooms, so they suit just about any style. Just make sure you treat them how they need to be treated and avoid any over-watering habits if you’re prone to that. Unlike some other plants and flowers you might grow, carnations are incredibly self-sufficient. Good luck with growing your carnations!