British National Carnation Society

Leading the way with Dianthus

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Keith 2

Growing Techniques in the North East

Keith 3
Spray Carnations

Keith 4/5/6
Plant updates
Pinks, Borders & Pf's

 When the plants arrived they were potted up into a 3" pot, using my P/F mix, but any good pourous mix will do. I stopped the plants at 5-6 pairs of leaves. When this pot is full of roots but not pot bound, I pot into the final pot. I used a 3ltr pot because I hope to keep the plant for two years and feel it allows them the room they need for this length of time, just a little care is needed with watering. After around 6 weeks when well rooted start to feed, I use Chempak No3 at 1/3rd strength every watering and will continue feeding at this rate during winter and summer. As the side stems appear let them all grow to flower, with the main bud there is a slight difference between sprays and P/FS. With P/FS you disbud all the side shoots and leave the main bud, with sprays its the opposite; main bud out when large enough to break out clean, all side buds left on, hence the term spray. Sometimes a secondary bud will appear, this will also be removed to give better quality blooms.

Trying to Grow Perpetual Carnations.  There is without a shadow (no pun intended) of a doubt that the main criteria for P/FS is light. Light determines the growth and flowering time and here where I try and grow P/FS for exhibition that is a limited time. I have said for a while that the name Perpetual is a misnomer, as far as I am concerned they have their allotted flowering time, just as Chrysanthemums and Dahlias. This normally falls between July and late September, as during September when the light levels and cold nights creep in the flowers slow down dramatically. Heat is also needed but without decent light levels the plants would have spindly stems and poor blooms. With this in mind I try and have the plants in 5” pots and stopped by December, this I would hope will give me blooms for July.


During the growing season the best blooms are marked out and its from these plants that the cuttings are taken


Take the cuttings from the seventh to tenth nodes.


Cut just below a node, dip only the cut end in rooting powder and then insert the cutting into the compost. Water the cuttings in and place them out of direct sunlight. Check them regularly and mist them with water to keep them turgid


Anything may be used for the collars, such as polystyrene, pipe lagging or cardboard