The Q&A Archives: Supporting Carnation Seedlings

Question: I planted Burpee's Carnation (Super Giants Mixed-Chabauds) and the germination rate was terrific. The seedlings are all healthy and growing, but they have all fallen over. They are not "damping off" as they continue to thrive. They are fragile and difficult to prop up. I've even tried mini-stakes. Is this a characteristic of carnations? Any advice on how I can solve this problem? Thanks.

Answer: These carnations need a great deal of support. The commercial carnation nurseries place a large web net over their beds and the carnations grow up through the webbing. In some cases, there will be two tiers of support. Use long stakes and plenty of them and tie the stems to the stakes as they grow! Place them in the pots when the seedlings are relatively small so that support can be given early on.

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