The Q&A Archives: Care of Carnations

Question: Park's Seed Co. sells Clovedrop Carnation seed, which I have growing and blooming. From seed to bloom takes approx. 5 months. Some have bloomed and foliage is now turning yellow/white. We have fed them Jack's Classic Bloom Booster and these plants do not seem to like that. What do I feed them to keep them green?

Answer: Jack's Classic Bloom Booster contains some trace elements and is actually formulated for acid loving plants. I'd use a general purpose fertilizer without the trace minerals. Miracle Gro, Kellogg's, Peter's, etc. If you prefer using a bloom booster look for one with a low nitrogen, high phosphorous, high potassium content. A 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 will promote flowering. Once your Carnations are established, they will grow well and bloom from the spring and throughout the summer. The perennial varieties are hardy. They will withstand light frosts before going dormant for the winter. Perennials should be mulched for winter protection against extreme cold temperatures. Good luck with your plants!

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