The Great North Carnation Society

Affiliated to the BNCS

Growing Pinks, Border Carnations and Perpetual Flowering Carnations

May

BORDER CARNATIONS

The weather has improved dramatically over the past few weeks, I had started to cast doubt on whether the plants would start to spindle and it was only last month that we had several days of freezing temperature and towards the end of last month we even had the odd hail and snow showers, so my fears were grounded. Now with this warmer weather the stems are really starting to elongate, I had noticed that on some cultivars the leaves had joined together and were actually starting to rot as they would not open, this was far more than curly tip and I put it down to the very cold snap that must have sent the plants into some form of check and stopped them growing; so I thought I would spray these damaged stopped plants a dose of Epsom Salts just to give them a boost and start them growing again and it seems to have worked although some of the leaves look unsightly the stems are now growing.

The task of tying the stem to the cane seems to increase daily so it’s a job to go around every morning to make sure the stem is growing straight. As previously stated I normally attach rings at regular intervals on the stem to the cane but leave the new growth until it is strong enough before attaching a ring. The one thing you have to be very careful of is reaching over to the pots at the back as it is quite easy to catch one of the shorter stems in the front pots and damage it. I find it is best to have some working space where pots can be taken to be inspected, apart from attaching the stem to the cane it is also a good idea at this time of the year to give the plants a good looking over for any pests.
Spraying should be a priority now that the weather has improved, sticking to a weekly or monthly regime should keep the plants clean, try to make sure the new growth at the base is given maximum priority as these are next year’s plants and it is far better to have clean healthy stock.