Turkish Carnation: growing from seeds, planting and care

Table of Contents

Growing Turkish cloves in the garden-1 The clove is a plant of the genus Cloves in the family Cloveaceae. The generic name is translated from Greek as “flower of Zeus” or “divine flower”, and this clove is called bearded because of the presence of bractal leaves with ciliate edges. Turkish carnation is native to Southern Europe. It grows on river sands, in groves, deciduous forests, in meadows and rocks.

It has been in cultivation since 1573 and today you will find Turkish Carnation in almost every garden. It is used to create alpine slopes, flower beds, borders and even as a groundcover plant.

Planting and care of Turkish Carnations

  • Flowering: End of June to end of July.
  • Planting: sow seedlings in late March or early April, put seedlings in the ground in the second half of May. Sowing seeds directly into the ground – at the end of May or in early June, and in October, but only dry seeds are sown under the winter.
  • Lighting: bright sunlight.
  • Soil: fertile, sandy loam or loamy.
  • Watering: 2 times a week, at a rate of 12-15 liters of water per 1 m² of land. In hot and dry summers you will need to water more often.
  • Fertilizing: three times a season: when the seedlings will grow to 10-12 cm, at the stage of formation of the first buds and during flowering. Both mineral and organic solutions can be used.
  • Propagation: seeded – seedling and seedless.
  • Pests: Bears and earwigs.
  • Diseases: fusarium, rust and viral mottling.
Read more about growing Turkish cloves below

Botanical Description

Turkish carnation is an herbaceous perennial grown in a biennial crop. It has straight, strong knotty stems 30-75 cm high, bare, sessile lanceolate opposite leaves, green or blue-green with a reddish tint, and numerous fragrant, swollen, semi-flowered or simple flowers, 1.5 to 3 cm in diameter, in different shades of white, red, pink, cream colors – monochrome, two-color, motley, velvety, with a border or eye. Collected flowers in a corymbose inflorescence up to 12 cm in diameter, which opens in the second year of life and blooms for a month from the end of June. In the first year Turkish carnation forms only a rosette of leaves. The fruit is a capsule with black, flat seeds that mature in August and take 3 to 5 years to germinate. Turkish carnations can be grown for both landscaping and cutting: they can keep their flowers in water for up to two weeks.

Growing Turkish carnations from seeds

How to sow seeds

If you decided to grow Turkish carnation by seedling method, then sow in March or early April in a substrate, pre-disinfected with a dark-pink solution of manganese. Substrate is prepared from sand and leaf humus in equal parts. Instead of sand, vermiculite can be used. Crates or containers can be suitable as a container, which should be washed with hot water and soda before use. A layer of drainage is placed at the bottom of the container, and a moist substrate is placed on top.

Turkish carnation seeds are sown to a depth of 1 cm, spreading them 2-3 cm apart. Seeds are covered with loose white paper and kept at a temperature of 16-18 º C, occasionally moistening the substrate from a sprayer with water at room temperature.

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Seedling care

As soon as the seedlings appear, the seeds are transferred as close to the light as possible, and the holding temperature is reduced to 2-3 degrees, so that the seedlings do not stretch. It is likely that you will have to arrange for additional lighting for the seedlings, as the plants need a lot of light. In the stage of formation of the second pair of true leaves seedlings are dug in peat pots with soil mixture of the same composition in which you sowed the seeds. Care for Turkish carnation seedlings consists of regular watering and careful loosening of the substrate around the seedlings.

In the open ground seedlings are planted in the second half of May, when the weather is warm, but before planting the Turkish carnation seedlings should undergo hardening procedures: every day the seeds are taken out into the open air, gradually increasing the duration of the session. At first half an hour is enough, but in two weeks the Turkish carnation from seeds should get used to the new environment so that it was possible to plant it in the bed without fear.

Sowing Turkish carnations in the ground

When to sow

Turkish carnation flowers can be sown directly in the garden, bypassing the stage of growing seedlings. When to plant Turkish carnation in the ground? At the end of May or in early June, when the soil has warmed up and the threat of a return frost has passed. Sowing Turkish carnation seeds can also be done in October, but do not forget that any autumn sowing should be done with dry seeds, and the soil should also be dry. In the fall, mulch the seeds with peat or sawdust, and remove the mulch in the spring.

How to plant

Choose a sunny site with fertile soil, preferably loamy or sandy loam, for the plant. One to two weeks before sowing, plough the soil to a depth of 20-25 cm and apply compost or humus and wood ash at a rate of 6-8 kg of organic matter and 200-300 g of ash per 1 m² of land. Mineral fertilizers can also be applied: a tablespoon of Nitrophoska and a teaspoon of Agricola for flowering plants per the same unit area. After recultivation, the plot is covered with polyethylene film.

Planting and care of Turkish carnation-5

When it’s time to sow cloves, the foil is removed, furrows 1-1.5 cm deep are made in the soil at a distance of 15 cm apart, they are well watered, and then the seeds are placed in them with a spacing of 2-3 cm. After the seeds are planted, the surface is slightly compacted and covered with a non-woven material until the seedlings appear.

How to take care of Turkish carnation

Growing conditions

Garden Turkish carnation needs regular watering: 2 times a week at a rate of 12-15 liters per m² of plot. If the summer is dry and hot, you will have to water more often. Try to pour water on the ground so that the jet does not reach the plant itself, otherwise it may get sunburn. However, if the carnation is growing in a low place, be careful with watering, otherwise the plant can get a root rot from overwatering: As soon as you find that the Turkish carnation is dropping its root rosettes, treat it with a solution of 40 g of XOM in 10 litres of water.

Growing chickweed involves applying fertilizer to the soil. The first fertilization is carried out when the seedlings reach a height of 10-12 cm. A solution of one tablespoon of Nitrophoska and one tablespoon of Agricola Forward in 10 liters of water is used as fertilizer. The next time the plant is fertilized at the stage of formation of the first buds: a tablespoon of superphosphate and potassium sulfate are diluted in 10 liters of water. During flowering, a solution of 1 tablespoon of Agricola for flowering plants in 10 liters of water is introduced into the soil.

After watering, raining and fertilizing, the soil around the plants should be loosened to prevent rapid evaporation of moisture. Also remember to remove weeds in good time and cut off flower stems 10-15 cm above the ground: In a month the carnations will have new shoots and may flower again in autumn.

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Although perennial Turkish carnation is a frost-resistant plant, it will better survive the winter under a layer of peat or humus 8-10 cm thick. In general, under favorable conditions and good care, the life of perennial carnations is 5-6 years, and under less fortunate circumstances – from 2-3 years.

Pests and Diseases

In normal conditions, Turkish carnation usually does not get sick, and insects rarely damage it, but sometimes trouble still happens, and you need to be prepared for it. How can Turkish carnation get sick in the garden? In addition to the fact that it is sensitive to heavy metals and urban smoke, it can be affected:

  • Fusarium, a fungal disease that destroys the vascular system of the plant. Carnation leaves evenly yellow, wither, but not fall off, the stem turns red or brown, the flowers do not open fully or do not open at all, the root part of the stem and the root system of the plant rots. Sick copies must be destroyed immediately, and while still healthy plants and the soil around them are treated with fungicide in two stages with an interval of 10-15 days;
  • Rust is also a fungal disease that affects leaves, petioles and stems of carnations: they appear bloated brown with yellowish spots, plants are depressed, stems wither and break. The disease progresses against a background of high soil moisture, excessive nitrogen and lack of potassium. If signs of the disease appear, plants are treated with 1% Bordeaux liquid, a solution of the drug HOM or any other fungicide of similar action;
  • mottling can appear in the spring in the form of spots on the leaves without clear contours, flower deformation and mottling. There is no cure for this viral disease, so affected plants are destroyed.

Among pests, Turkish carnation can be annoyed by root-damaging moths and earwigs, from which the sprouts, young shoots and flowers of the plant suffer. Bears and earwigs can be controlled by such means as digging the soil in the fall and setting traps: dig a hole, fill it with manure, and cover it with something to keep out the rain. The bears will gather in the hole to overwinter in the warmth and can be eliminated in the spring. In the summer, you can lime the bears by pouring a concentrated soap solution into the passages leading to their nests, and for earwigs lay baits around the plot in the form of planks covered with piles of wet grass or half-dried hay, into which the pests crawl to hide from the heat.

Turkish cloves in the home

Unlike other types of carnations, which are long-daylight plants, the domestic Turkish carnation can grow in a penumbra without compromising its health or ornamental qualities. The optimum temperature for the plant is 15-18ºC.

Soil Turkish carnation needs fertile, neutral reaction, for example, a mixture of leaf soil, sand, peat and turf soil in a 1:1:1:2 ratio. The mixture is decontaminated before planting. When transplanting, the root neck should remain at the level of the surface of the plot. To form a more lush bush, young cloves are pruned as soon as they have 5-7 pairs of leaves.

Watering the carnation should be abundant – the ground lump in the pot should not dry out. Water for watering should be soft, at room temperature. In the evening in the hot summer Turkish carnation is sprayed.

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From one month of age, cloves every ten days fertilized with a complex fertilizer for flowering plants. Dilute the fertilizer in water with the addition of milk and spray the soil in the pot with a sprayer. Fertilizer is made from spring to October, in winter the plant is not fertilized.

Turkish carnation in the home can affect spider mites, aphids and mealybugs. Wash off the pests with a soapy solution, then spray the plant with an infusion of tansy, celandine or yarrow, but if these measures fail, treat the Turkish carnation with Actellic, Aktara or another insect killer.

Turkish Carnation Varieties

The most common varieties of Turkish carnation are:

  • Diadema – bushes up to 45 cm high with dark green shoots and leaves with a red tint and dark red nodes. Dark carmine flowers with a large white eye and toothed at the edge of the petals are gathered in an inflorescence up to 10 cm in diameter;
  • Scarlet Beauty – bushes 45-50 cm in height with dark-green leaves and shoots and bright red flowers up to 23 mm in diameter with dentate edges;
  • Heimatland – bushes up to 50 cm high with shoots and leaves of dark green color with a dark red tint. Flowers are dark red up to 2 cm in diameter with an eye and deeply dentate petals along the edge. Inflorescences in this variety are up to 12 cm in diameter;
  • Lahskenigin – a variety about 45 cm high with large inflorescences of salmon-pink flowers;
  • Schneebal – a white Turkish carnation up to 40 cm high with green leaves and shoots. The terry-shaped flowers with serrated edges of the petals are gathered in inflorescences up to 11 cm across;
  • Weiss Riesen – shrubs up to half a meter high with green leaves and shoots and white flowers up to 25 mm in diameter, gathered in inflorescences up to 12 cm across;
  • Kupferrot – shrubs up to half a meter high with dark green leaves and shoots and copper-red flowers up to 22 mm in diameter with serrated edges. The inflorescences reach a diameter of 9-10 cm;
  • Egyptian – a variety up to 60 cm high with narrow maroon leaves and eye-catching dark maroon flowers with a white border;
  • Undine – this variety has purple flowers with a white middle and white border.

Another popular variety is Holland, which is about 60 cm tall and has branched stems with multifloral inflorescences up to 12 cm in diameter. In a cut, the flowers of this series stand for up to two weeks:

  • Chardash is a variety with dense inflorescences consisting of scarlet flowers;
  • Mazurka – a variety with white simple flowers with a pink ring;
  • Midget – a dwarf variety with dark red flowers;
  • Flaming Heart – compact medium-height bushes with bright red inflorescences;
  • Coal – variety up to 65 cm in height with multifloral inflorescences of black-raspberry-purple flowers with white stamens.

English varieties Willie, Rondo and Roundabout are also in demand among florists – plants that reach a height of 15-20 cm. Of particular interest is the variety Nigricans with dark purple leaves and stems and very dark flowers. Among the new plants, the Dutch breeders offer a new variety called Noverna, 40-45 cm high, with large simple flowers of many different colors in ball-shaped inflorescences, which appear in the first year after planting.


  1. Read about the subject on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the Carnation family
  3. All Species List at The Plant List
  4. More information at World Flora Online