Is it possible to grow carnations in northern gardens? My mom and I tried several times and have mixed success.
There are annual, biennial and perennial types of carnation (Dianthus). These plants prefer full sun and cooler temperatures. Several of the species pinks (Dianthus) are perennial. Most are low growing with single flowers. Many are hardy to zone 4. The China pink and their hybrids have been bred to be long blooming in the flower garden and more heat tolerant. They are tender perennials that occasionally make it through our winters. The newer hardy hybrid China pinks are slightly hardier and will usually survive a few years in Wisconsin gardens. Look for plants labeled to be heat tolerant and hardy to your zone if you want them to return next season.