of the month
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Dianthus caryophyllus nana
(dy-AN-thus ka-ree-AHF-i-lus non-uh)
Miniature carnation, Spray carnation, Clove pink, Gilliflower,
Miniature, or spray, carnations have clusters of five to six
flowers per stem. The small flowers are usually 1 inch to 2
inches across. Some cultivars have a clovelike scent. Most are
double forms with many ruffled petals.
Carnations are available in hues of white, pink, red, fuchsia,
salmon, orange, yellow, light green, lavender and purple. There
also are flecked varieties and bicolors.
Carnations are popular as potted plants because of their long
blooming season. With proper care and favorable conditions, each
bloom cycle can last several weeks, and the plants can bloom
several times a year.
Hundreds of varieties are available. Familiar cultivars include
the rose-pink ‘Elegance’, with white edges; the violet
‘Exquisite’, with white edges; the scarlet ‘Rony’; and the white
Miniature carnations are available year-round.
IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
Bright, indirect light is best for plants displayed
indoors. Full sun is tolerated outdoors.
WATER Keep the soil moist at
all times. Avoid irregular watering, overhead watering and
standing water on the foliage and flowers.
TEMPERATURE Cool areas (60 F
to 70 F) are best for displaying these plants, but do not
display them below 55 F.
HUMIDITY Carnation plants
thrive in moderate humidity.
SOIL Carnation plants do
best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. The soil pH should be
close to neutral or slightly alkaline for best results.
GROOMING Cut carnation
plants back when they have finished flowering to remove straggly
branches and faded flowers and to keep the plants compact and
neat. Plants can be disbudded during development to produce a
single large flower on each stem.
BLOOMS Remove faded florets
on the stem. Don’t accept plants that show signs of wilt, rot,
mold or yellowing.
PESTS Carnation plants can
suffer from leaf spot and root rot, but few pests are serious
Carnations are extremely sensitive to ethylene gas. Make sure
your carnations have been treated with an anti-ethylene agent at
the grower level or during transportation.
Some information provided by:
The Chain of Life NetworkÆ,
Repetto Nurseries, Half Moon Bay, Calif.
The Society of American Florists,
You may reach “Blooming Plant of the Month” writer Steven W.
Brown, AIFD, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
Most images courtesy of Asocolflores, The Colombian
Association of Flower Exporters
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