Carnations are undoubtedly one of the most admired flowers in the world. One of the fundamental reasons for its popularity lies in the fact that it has a long life even after being cut.
This reason explains its increasing demand for use in bouquets, flower arrangements, corsages and as boutonnieres.Carnations need proper care especially when it comes to certain areas such as watering, fertilization, pinching and disbudding. After the planting via root cuttings, immediate watering is a must. In the initial stages of growth, spraying water through misting is relatively more beneficial. Drip irrigation is a requisite after three weeks of preliminary growth. Watering needs to planned keeping the soil and climatic conditions in mind. Water stagnation needs to be prevented to avoid spread of diseases. For optimum growth, the plants require small but regular application of nutrients. However, chemical fertilizers may prove to be harmful in the first three weeks of planting. Apart from macronutrients, certain micronutrients could also aid in enhancing the growth of the plant in accordance to the type of soil, level of minerals obtained through irrigation and the leaf condition.
For keeping the plant erect, the use of supporting nets is mandatory. These nets used for support are about 4 to 5 layered. The first net is placed at a height of 12 cm above the bed and the rest of the layers are placed above this one with a separation of 15 cm with each layer. The support nets are elevated with subsequent increase in the growth of the plant.
Pinching forms a very significant aspect of care for carnations. It is this process that ensures the production of ace quality flowers. Pinching involves the removal of the tip of the stem in order to facilitate the growth of lateral shoots. The process initiated after about 30 to 35 days of planting, results in only 6 pairs of residual basal leaves. Maintenance of only these many leaf pairs is vital as anything more would hamper the quality of the stem and flower; whereas a lower number of leaf pair would result in reduced production.
Disbudding is also a necessary step towards caring for carnations as it ensures production of excellent flowers. During this process, the unwanted buds are removed to enhance the flower size. Lateral or terminal flower buds could be removed as per the variety of the carnations.
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