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Leading the way with Dianthus

British National Carnation Society


Q.    What is a good compost for PF's


A.    For a new starter any good quality multi purpose compost will suffice add to this 25% sharp sand or grit you may add a litre of ground limestone for every 50 litres of compost.  This compost will produce perfectly good plants after you have learned how to grow them then you can start  experimenting to find the 'perfect compost'

Q. What does it mean when it says a bloom should have substance and form?


A. By substance we mean that the sufficient petals to fill the bloom without giving a cabbage appearance. The crown could be high of flat but the form should be even and the bloom should have developed evenly and not one sided.

Q. Can I grow Carnations in the greenhouse with other plants?


A. Yes of course, tomatoes, pot plants, chrysanthemums all enjoy similar conditions.

Q. What is a Picotee?


A. Cultivars with just a thin line or band of colour around the edge are known as Picotee. The word originates from the French Picote’ “marked with points” Picotee cultivars can either be shown in classes for Picotees or in Fancy classes.

Q.  Can I take cuttings from Borders or do they have to be layered?


A.  Cuttings can be taken from Border Carnations as well as layering.  The best time is during July for both.

Q. I do not have heating in the greenhouse, can I still grow Carnations?


A. Most certainly yes, Carnations do not require heat; they will of course be dormant in the winter.

Border Carnations and Pinks are totally frost hardy.

Q. What is a self?


A. Self’s are self coloured, without any hint of another colour.

Q. Is it better to keep the pots on staging?


A. Yes, it allows better air movement and less chance of draughts.

Q.  Is there a 'best' time to take cuttings?


A. Apart from Border Carnations where propagation is best during July and early August, Perpetuals and Pinks can be propagated throughout the year whilst there is good material; although the best time is normally autumn and spring.

Q. Do I have to have a greenhouse to grow Carnations?


A. No, Border Carnations and Pinks are totally frost hardy and even Perpetuals can be grown outside in the summer. Plants are only brought inside to protect the blooms from the elements. There is a misconception that Carnations are a hot-house plant.

Q. What is a fancy?


A. Fancies have a ground colour and another colour on the outer part of the petals.

Q.  When is the best time to order plants?


A.  Order your plants as soon as the catalogues come out or the websites say they are taking orders.  The nurseries will not send out plants until they are well rooted.  

Q.  I have heard the word 'Pipings' what does it mean?


A. Piping is a form of propagation where the material is obtained by pulling out the tip of a growing shoot with three to four pairs of leaves.

Q.  If I get into a mess with my plants who can I ask for help?


A.  The BNCS can put you in touch with experts in all fields of Carnations or Pinks.  Fill in the form on the contacts page with as much information as possible and we will get back to you.


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