Carnations can be started from seed in well-drained planting mix. They should be planted 1/8 inch deep and 12 inches apart. The soil should be kept moist by misting it on an as-needed basis and placed in a sunny location. The seeds should germinate within two to three weeks.
Carnations will also grow from cuttings taken from the terminal growth and placed vertically in sand to root. The cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches long with the basal leaves of two or three of the bottom nodes removed. If the sand is kept moist and the cuttings are placed in an area where they receive 4 to 5 hours of sun per day, they should be ready to transplant into the garden in about a month.
Carnations love well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline. Soil that is high in nitrogen is not recommended for growing carnations. Because carnations require a substantial degree of air circulation, the area in which they are growing should not be heavily mulched, and the plants should never be crowded. Once established, they do not need much watering except on hot days.Learn more about Outdoor Plants & Flowers