The dianthus flower – or carnation – is often underrated, especially when you realise just how many types of dianthus exist! There are around 300 species, each with its own symbolism, colouring, size, and growing conditions.
If you’re thinking of growing dianthus flowers, but not sure which type to start with, we’ve got you covered. You may think that because they’re all a form of carnation, knowing one is as good as knowing them all. But that’s not the case. To prove this, we’ll be sharing some of the most popular carnation varieties with you.
The Three Main Types Of Carnations
Before we dive into the different varieties of dianthus flowers, we’ll be looking at the three main types of carnations. Within each group, you will find different varieties of dianthus flowers or carnations.
Standard or large-flowered carnations
These carnations grow a single flower on each stem, reaching approximately 60 centimetres in length. This makes them perfect for cut flowers.
Miniature or spray carnations
This variety grows up to six flowers on a single stem. As the name implies, they’re smaller than the standard carnation, only reaching a height of 30 centimetres. Some of the more popular cultivars include the pink and white Elegance, scarlet Rony, white Tibet and white and violet Exquisite.
This carnation is also called a midi. They have smaller flowers and shorter stems when compared to the large-flowered carnations. The stems can grow to around 30 centimetres in length and can either feature a single flower or multiple blooms depending on the variety.
22 Popular Types of Dianthus Flowers
This is the most popular type of carnation. They thrive in humid conditions and their colouring is usually pink, red, white, or salmon.
Also known as the Sweet William. While these types of carnation will grow in its first year, they usually don’t bloom. They can grow in almost any condition.
Also known as Cheddar Pinks. These dense plants love the sun and cannot tolerate cold or wet soil.
Also known as Chinese Pinks. These are the only variety that doesn’t like the heat or humidity. The white, red, or pink flowers are native to China but grow elsewhere too.
This is the generic pink carnation found in most gardens. Their petals are fringed, giving the flower its unique look.
Dianthus Chinensis Heddewigii
This variety is black with white edges. It also thrives in warm conditions with well-drained soil.
Dianthus Deltoides Maiden Pink
These flowers are red or pink and are often referred to as short term perennials. This type of carnation is very fragrant and will add colour and life to your garden.
This statement flower is cherry red, with the colour darkening towards the centre.
Also known as Deptford Pink. This soft pink flower is often used to complement the beauty of other flowers in your garden.
The petals of this flower can be blue or brown, while the foliage is often bluish-green and can grow to be up to 25 centimetres tall.
These flowers can be white, red, or purple with fringed edges. It has a fragrant scent that is often used in teas.
Dianthus Pinkball Wizard
The colouring of this flower makes it incredibly unique. The flowers are pink with pink stripes and flecks along the petals. Bees and butterflies are attracted to this plant.
Dianthus Neon Star
This type of dianthus is easy to grow and can survive extreme heat and drought.
Dianthus American Pie
This bright pink flower has a sturdy stem which makes it great for picking and putting on display in a vase.
Dianthus ‘Everlast Lavender Lace’
This flower has a dark raspberry-like centre colouring that spreads out and fades into a lavender-like colour.
This wide-petaled, pink flower can grow up to 60 centimetres in length. The flower has notable purple marks in its centre and also has capsuled seeds that contain seeds.
This type of carnation is a hybrid. This flower features double, fringed petals and is one of the low growing options. It can grow to be 45 centimetres in length.
Dianthus “Coconut Punch”
These compact flowers feature double flowers and can grow to 30 centimetres in length. The flowers start out deep red and as it grows, white begins to spread around the centre of the flower, creating a red outline of the petals. Regular deadheading will ensure that the flower continues to bloom year after year.
Dianthus “Georgia Peach Pie”
The coral-coloured centre and pale pink petals make this variety a showstopper. This compact, fragrant flower has a long bloom season which adds to the overall appeal of this variety.
Also known as the Lesotho Dianthus. This small herbaceous plant features grass-like leaves and pink and white flowers. The stalks can grow to 25 centimetres in length while the leaves grow to be around 12 centimetres long.
This variety of dianthus forms a tufted mat featuring lance-shaped leaves and three small pink flowers.
Also known as the boreal carnation. These pink and purple flowers grow in clumps of up to four flowers, although they can grow individually as well. This type of dianthus also features a tufted mat that grows on the ground. The stems can grow up to 25 centimetres in length while the leaves grow to around 5 centimetres in length.
The More The Merrier
Carnations are easy to grow, and with so many types of dianthus available, you can give your garden a complete makeover with minimal effort. All you need to do is choose the colour that suits you! Read our article on how to grow carnations and get planting!