Carnations are among the most widely recognized cut flowers in the world, favored by florists and commonly used in floral arrangements. With their elegant blooms, long green leaves, and gorgeous colors, carnations are a sacred symbol of love, charm, and respect, conveying warm wishes and strong affection.
These beautiful flowers are especially popular on occasions like Mother's Day and Teacher's Day, and their price can even surpass that of roses. As a flower lover, it's important not only to understand how to combine carnations with other blooms to create unique and charming floral arrangements but also to know how to care for them properly.
Here are some tips for growing healthy carnations:
1. Soil Selection
Soil or growing medium is the foundation of any plant's growth. For carnations, it's essential to create a loose, breathable environment that retains moisture and nutrients. These fibrous-rooted plants prefer loose, fertile, and well-ventilated soil, with a soil aeration gap of around 30%. Clay and silty soils can hinder carnation growth and need to be improved by balancing the solid, liquid, and gas phases of the soil. Sandy loam is the best soil for growing carnations.
2. Temperature Requirements
Temperature plays a crucial role in carnation growth and development, affecting everything from flower size and shape to the longevity of cut flowers. Carnations thrive in cooler temperatures, with the ideal range for growth and development being 19-21℃. It's essential to maintain a temperature difference of no more than 10℃ between day and night.
If the daytime temperature is too high, carnations may develop narrow leaves, small flowers, and poor branching. Nighttime temperatures that are too high can result in weak stems and small flowers with dull colors. When the temperature exceeds 35℃ in summer or drops below 9℃ in winter, growth may slow down or stop entirely.
3. Light Requirements
Light is the primary energy source for plant growth, and carnations have a high demand for light. While strong light may be harmful during the nursery or bloom period, there's usually no need to worry about the effects of intense light on carnations.
These plants are "long-day" plants, meaning that the longer they're exposed to sunlight, the more they'll develop and grow. Additional lighting can help promote internode elongation, suppress lateral branch growth, and enhance flower color and diameter.
4. Watering Method
Carnations have shallow root systems, so it's crucial not to plant them too deeply (no more than 2 cm deep). Water the plants immediately after planting, and then water them thoroughly when the soil becomes dry.
Carnations are not tolerant of humidity, so avoid excessive watering except during peak growth periods, flowering, and summer. Keep the soil at a consistent humidity level and avoid over-drying or over-wetting the soil during flowering.
5. Fertilization Method
Carnations require constant soil fertilization to support their long growth periods. Apply a sufficient amount of fertilizer during cultivation, using organic fertilizers such as stable manure, compost, and bone meal to improve soil physical properties and enhance fertility. This will create a humus-rich, easy-to-cultivate loam.
Compost and manure should be composted and rotted before application. If the soil is not very fertile, fertilize more frequently with thin applications of fertilizer. Potted plants can be fertilized every 7-10 days, with increased fertilization during growth spurts. Fertilizers can be applied in the form of cake fertilizer water, chicken manure water, or intermittent compound fertilizer.