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Best Tips To Grow Carnations

By Anirudh Narayanan
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Carnation or clove pink, called so because of the spicy clove-like fragrance it produces, is a species of Dianthus. The exact origins are hard to determine because of its extensive cultivation but it was somewhere in the Mediterranean region.

It originally comes in bright pinkish-purple colours. But it has also been developed in other colours, including red, white, yellow and green. Carnations have one of the longest vase lives at nearly 3 weeks.

There is a tradition at Oxford University to wear carnations during exams - white for the first, red for the last and pink for all the exams in between. The less fragrant carnations are used as boutonnières for men.

Tag along as we learn how to grow carnations in pots.

Spring time is often associated with rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. It is the apt time to sow carnation seeds. Keep the seeds at a cool place where the temperature is not more than 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soil: The pot should be large enough to hold several carnations. The soil needs to be fast draining and slightly alkalic at pH 6.75. Soil meant for cacti would work wonders.

The seeds should be sown at a depth of 1/4" to 1/8" and the space between each seed should be around 12". Cover it up with firm soil and mist spray to keep it moist. The germination should take around 3weeks.

Water: Carnations don't require a whole lot of water. But during the summers, they need much more water than the usual.

Manures and fertilisers: First of all, refrain from using nitrogen-rich soil. Cow manure, which has completely rotted, is good for its growth. Peat is another excellent source of nutrition.

Insects and diseases: Rarely do carnations have any problem with insects or any other diseases. If and when they do occur, treat them early with necessary organic fertilisers or chemical fertilisers or fungicide, whichever is appropriate.

Mulchings: Mulching shouldn't be done while carnations are still growing. But during the winter season, cut the carnations to around 8" and apply mulch to help it survive the winter.

How To Grow Carnations From Cuttings: Just follow the tips to grow carnations from cuttings. Stem tips can be cut from a healthy carnation plant. These cuttings, often ranging around 4" - 6", are sown in pure sand after cutting excess leaf nodes.

Make sure the leaf which you leave don't touch the sand. Cut off any leaf which does touch the surface of the sand. Moisten the soil every day and make sure it gets indirect sunlight. They are usually ready in a month's time for transplantation.

Read more about: gardening tips garden winter
Story first published: Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 18:04 [IST]
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