Enjoy the wonderful fragrance and lovely appearance of carnations, but want a garden that blooms throughout the summer? Well, carnations will fit right into your garden, as they bloom all summer long from late spring, usually beginning in May. As is the case with hydrangeas and roses, regular deadheading and cutting of blossoms will encourage the growth of new buds, and lengthen the bloom time.
What Are Carnations?
The botanical name for carnations is Dianthus caryophyllus, and they are cheerful, bright flowers that have a rather crimped, crinkled look caused by a double layer of petals that come in a wide range of colors. They are quite commonly used as cut flowers because of their long stems and ability to survive extremely long once placed in a vase.
How to Grow Carnations
Ideally, carnations should be planted during what are called the transition seasons, such as spring or fall, when it’s not either too hot or too cold out. During the wintertime, if you want to begin growing your carnations, your can plant your seeds indoors and then transfer them outside when the weather turns warm again. Don’t worry, they are hardy plants and will handle the transition well, without fainting or becoming sickly.
If you want your carnation seeds to thrive, it’s essential that they receive at least 4 hours of sunlight a day, so be certain when you plant them that there will be enough sunlight for them. Proper drainage is also a must. Try and select an area where you can dig deep enough to support the strong root system that carnations have.
After you’ve selected a nice, sunny area to plant them, place your carnation seeds about 30cm apart, directly under the surface of the topsoil. In order to ensure that they will flourish, use a little compost to make the soil extra nutritious.
Proper Care For Carnations
With newly planted carnation seeds, it’s crucial that they receive lots of water during the first few weeks so that they can establish their root systems. It’s critical to have soil with adequate drainage as the water must make its way down even to the deepest roots. You should water your carnations completely once a week until a root systems develops. Then you can water them whenever the topsoil is dry.
There is one more thing you must do in order to keep your carnations healthy and robust, and that is to vigilantly and carefully prune them. While they are still just starting out and have not grown that big yet, you can prune them by simply removing the old flowers and leaves. This is an excellent way of getting more nutrients and water to the plant itself, rather than wasting them on dead flowers and leaves.
After your carnations have started to bloom, you must prune them to encourage new growth. In the summer, pruning your plant will enable it to keep producing new flowers. Cut the dried flowers right above the node of the leaf and it won’t be long before new growth will appear.
Furthermore, keep in mind that flowering plants such as carnations require a special fertilizer that enables them to grow better and produce more blooms. With all that energy they expend, it’s no wonder that they need a little extra help! It’s a good idea to give your carnations fertilizer about once every 2 months, to make certain they are getting all the nutrients they need.
Carnations are one of the simplest, low maintenance flowers to grow and they’re the ideal plant for anyone wanting to add to their garden, but not willing to tackle trying to grow anything too difficult. They even come back every year, so you can’t get much easier than that.
Carnations are interesting and beautiful flowers. They grow quickly and are very sturdy, and they’re adored worldwide for their brilliant colors and lovely fragrance. If you provide the proper care for these undemanding flowers, they will reward you with abundant blooms. Plus, once you’ve planted them in your garden, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have introduced not only a plant that is easy to care for, but one that will bloom throughout the summer, continuing to impress all who see it.