The Q&A Archives: Carnations

Question: I recently planted four carnation plants in my garden. They are very healthy dispite a very hot, dry summer. Of the four, only one has flowered. The other three have grown a healthy mound but no sign of flowers. Am I doing anything wrong? Do they need a years growth before normally flowering? Is the one flowering plant the oddball?

Answer: If your carnations are planted in a sunny bed and are growing well, they should begin to flower any time. It's possible that the hot conditions have retarded the flowering of three of your plants. Carnations normally will flower best if slightly water-stressed, so perhaps you've been giving your plants a little too much water, even though you're only trying to compensate for the summer weather. Hold off on fertilizer and cut back slightly on water, supplying a deep soaking only once or twice a week. I expect your plants will begin blooming in a few short weeks!

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