10 secrets for caring and planting carnation in your pot and garden
Carnation, one of the classic and very popular flowers that we traditionally find in the gardens, courtyards and balconies of our houses.
Carnation stands out for its rich vegetation with the characteristic oblong lanceolate leaves and its rich flowering in impressive colors. There are monochrome varieties of carnation in shades of pink, red, yellow and white, as well as two-tone carnations with wonderful color combinations. This is an extremely popular ornamental plant that especially in previous decades was not missing from any home. After all, carnation has been cultivated since antiquity and was known as Dianthos which means the flower of Zeus.
Carnation is planted in the spring and gives us the rich flowering from April to November. Great choice to plant in a pot in our yard and on our balcony, as well as in a flower bed in the garden. In addition, carnation flowers can be kept in a vase for a long time to decorate our living room. Let’s see in detail, what are the most famous varieties of carnations and what care they need to enjoy many wonderful flowers full of color.
1. What are the most well-known species and varieties of carnation?
There are over 300 varieties of carnation. Cultivated and wild varieties of carnation, aromatic carnations and carnations without aroma, tall and low, other reptiles and other upright branches ideal for cut flowers. The most well-known varieties are the common carnation, the Chinese carnation, the carnation of the poets, while a special mention should be made of the wild carnation.
- Common carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus): The carnation that we remember traditionally adorning the yards of our grandparents. It has gray-green foliage and a wide variety of flower colors such as white, pink, purple, orange and red. There is a wide range of varieties of common carnation to choose from both in height, from 20 cm to 70 cm and configuration from upright branches to sloping trees.
- Poet’s carnation (Dianthus barbatus): The poet’s carnation is a low-growing herbaceous plant that reaches a height of 20-25 cm and produces many small flowers with characteristic split petals that resemble fringes. The flowers are white, pink or red and there are some two colors. They usually live for 1-2 years but multiply easily as the seed falls from the flowers.
- Chinese carnation (Dianthus chinensis): The Chinese carnation is a native plant of the mountains of southern Europe that reaches a height of 30-70 cm. The flowers are presented in a dense cluster of up to 30 flowers together at the top of the shoots, they are 2-3 cm in diameter with five petals which show characteristic serrated edges. We find them in different colors such as white, pink, red, purple and various designs.
- Wild carnation (Dianthus fruticosus): The wild carnation or shrub bush as it is otherwise called, grows on steep slopes of the Aegean islands and Crete as well as in Asia Minor. It has an impressive pink bloom with its flowers appearing from the beginning of spring until the end of autumn.
2. What conditions does the carnation need to give us rich flowering?
Carnations grow best in bright and sunny places, where they give us many flowers. It is not afraid of winter and is a plant resistant to cold, as it can withstand temperatures below zero. On the contrary, the very hot and dry summers bother her. Temperatures above 35 degrees can weaken the plant and dry it out. Carnation prefers rich, fertile soil with good water drainage, as it is sensitive to excessive moisture and its roots may rot.
3. How do we plant the carnations in a pot?
Depending on the type of carnation, we choose the appropriate type of flowerpot and planter. For tall varieties of carnation, we need pots with a height of at least 30 cm for the lower varieties, pots with a depth of 20 cm are sufficient. Choose fertile topsoil with perlite, enriched with nutrients and place the pot in a sunny spot. We prefer a yard with south or west orientation and protected from strong north winds.
4. How often does the carnation need watering?
Carnations have moderate watering needs. During the spring and autumn period, we water the carnation twice a week while in the winter period the watering becomes less frequent. During the summer months and in hot conditions, especially when it is in small pots, the carnation needs more frequent watering, at least every two days, to cope with the very high temperature levels. Because carnations are sensitive to soil moisture, we water only after we have checked that the soil is dry.
5. What fertilizer do we put on the carnations?
Carnation needs fertilizer at regular intervals, from spring to late autumn to ensure vigorous growth and give us many flowers. For carnations that we have planted in the garden, we add every month 1 tablespoon of complete granular fertilizer for rich growth and prolonged flowering. For carnations that are planted in pots, add every 2 weeks liquid flowering fertilizer or water-soluble fertilizer type 20-20-20.
6. How is the carnation pruned?
Carnation is pruned in early spring after the winter frosts. We prune the carnations every year to help the new shoots grow and give us their wonderful flowering. At the same time, carnation should be done at regular intervals. So, we take care to carefully remove the withered flowers after we have matured, as well as dry shoots and twigs. In this way, we manage to strengthen and prolong the flowering of the carnation until the first cold of winter.
7. How is carnation propagated?
We can very easily create new carnation plants to maintain our favorite variety, to plant them in our garden or to give them to our loved ones. Carnation is propagated very easily by cuttings, by cuttings, but also by seeds.
Platycodon a beautiful plant with purple flowers is a delight for the yard and garden in summer and winter
8. What diseases and which insects affect carnation?
Carnations are susceptible to fungal diseases, such as mildew that causes whitening of the leaves and rust that causes brown spots on the carnation foliage. For the preventive and therapeutic treatment of the fungal diseases of carnation:
- We avoid dense plantings, as in conditions of poor ventilation, the diseases spread much faster.
- Be careful not to wet the leaves and flowers of the carnation when watering.
- Spray the carnation foliage with a biological preparation of wet (water-soluble) sulfur or with an improvised solution that we make by dissolving 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a liter of water.
Carnations are also affected by the insects of the meligra, the thrips as well as the red nightshade. For their ecological treatment, we spray them with organic preparations such as summer pulp and potassium salts that we procure from agricultural stores. Alternatively, we can use homemade ingredients and spray the cloves as a precaution by dissolving 1 tablespoon of grated green soap in a liter of water.
9. What are the most common problems we may encounter in caring for carnation?
Carnation can cause problems related to watering and the environment in which we have planted it.
Why does the carnation dry its buds?
Carnation can dry its buds in conditions of lack of moisture, especially in hot conditions. It can also happen when we do not put flowering fertilizer on our carnations as well as when there is a blackfly infestation.
Why does the carnation not bloom?
Carnation may not bloom when we water our plant too much or the pot does not drain well and the water is not removed. It can also be observed when it is not in a sunny place but in the shade as well as when we do not add flowering fertilizer but nitrogen rich fertilizer that helps the growth of foliage and not flowers.
Why does the carnation dry out?
Carnation can dry out when left unattended for a long time, especially during the summer. Also, its leaves may turn yellow and gradually dry out when found in conditions of excessive humidity. Finally, the carnation can dry out due to extensive infestation by tetranych in a period of dry thermal conditions.
10. And one last secret about carnation
The carnation petals are eaten and can be included in various salads and recipes as a decor to give a special color, taste and aroma. We avoid putting the whole flower in our food, because they have a very bitter taste.