The Q&A Archives: Carnations

Question: Carnations are my favorite cut flower. I have tried several times to raise these flowers, but even the potted carnations turn out to be very small flowers which I would consider dianthus pinks instead of carnations. Do I need to buy a specific variety?

Answer: There are two distinct categories of carnations; florists' and border types. You've probably been growing the border types. They're bushier and more compact than florist's type. Dianthus caryophyllus, the clove pink carnation is the florist's type that's normally grown in greenhouses. These plants are carefully groomed to produce large flowers. Growers leave only the terminal bud on each stem, pinching out all other buds down to the fifth joint, below which new flowering stems will develop. Florist's carnation plants are generally started from cuttings, rather than seeds.

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