Growing Perpetual Flowering Carnations

Growing Perpetual Flowering Carnations

For the smaller greenhouse, it is best to produce carnations on a two year basis, otherwise these plants become extremely leggy, and for that matter invariably fall prey to various diseases.


Good light, airy conditions are essential, with a minimum temperature of around 50° F. Plants can be grown either in 9-in. Pots or in specially raised beds, 4 ft. wide, with soil raised 8 to 10 in. by slabs of concrete at the side. Drainage holes must be made in the base of the bed. The compost to use for carnations is John Innes No. 3.


Plants will generally arrive from the nursery in 3-in. Pots and they should either be put into 6-in. Pots with John Innes No. 3 compost or set out at 8 x 10 in. in the bed. After plants are established, remove tips to encourage side shoot development, the side shoots being stopped eventually at 5-6 in. Plants must be adequately supported either with canes if pots are being used, or if in beds with wires longitudinally secured to metal uprights and string across these. Regulars watering, even temperatures around 55-60°F., and adequate ventilation are all essential. If growing in pot move plants into 9-in. Pots when they have made sufficient growth in 6-8 months.

When flower buds form, remove all but that in the centre. Feeding starts when the first flowers are cut, a well balanced fertiliser being used.

Cuttings may be taken from healthy plants for rooting in sand, so that a regular supply of new stock can be maintained.

Red Spider is the main pest.


These can also be grown in greenhouses on a short term basis by taking cuttings or layering annually and growing for one year. Use John Innes No. 2 Potting Compost and keep cool.

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