There are many ways to grow carnations from seed. The most common way is to sow the seeds in soil or compost, in a sunny spot. Carnation seeds will germinate quickly and should be ready to plant out after three weeks. Once planted, water regularly and keep the plants well-watered during dry periods to encourage growth.
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Guide in Growing Carnation
There are a few common ways to grow carnations from seeds, such as You can start carnations indoors in the potting mix starting seeds and moving them outside, sowing them directly in the ground, or growing them in pots. Most plants won’t bloom in their first year, so it’s important to be patient.
Pick the Location
Carnations grow best in full sun and soil that drains well and is slightly alkaline, with a pH of around 6.7. Choose a place to plant that gets at least six hours of sun a day. Loosen the top 2 inches of soil and add organic matter such as compost or aged manure (10-15% of the total weight). You can also sprinkle in some kelp powder if you have a water shortage or want to encourage better drainage.
Get the Site Ready
A few days before planting, mix potting soil with a few inches of compost or other aged organic matter to make sure the soil is healthy.
Start Seeds Indoors
You can start carnation seeds indoors up to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. You can find starter potting soil mix and starter trays at a garden center or nursery. Sprinkle seeds over the mix and cover with a very thin layer of soil. Mist the soil to keep it moist, and use a plastic bag to make it feel like a warm greenhouse. If you use the plastic bag method, watch out for mildew on the top of the soil. If it gets too wet, take off the plastic bag and let the soil dry out a little.
Carnations should be planted in the early spring, about two weeks after the last date of frost. When seedlings grown inside are five inches tall, they are ready to be moved outside. Dig holes that are the same size as the starter pot. If you are planting more than one, put the holes about a foot apart. If the pots are made of peat or are biodegradable, you can put them right in the ground and fill them with soil. If they are not, carefully wiggle them off so you don’t hurt the young roots, and then put them in the soil. After you put the plant in the hole, gently press the soil down and give it a lot of water. If you are planting seeds outside, plant them 14 inches deep and lightly cover them with topsoil. Keep the soil moist, and when the seedlings show up, spread them out to about 10 inches apart to give them space to grow.
How to Grow Carnations from Seed
1. Choose a Container With Good Drainage
Choose a container with good drainage that is at least 12 inches in diameter. The pot should have a center hole at least 2 inches in diameter, so you can easily put your hand down into the soil to provide support for the plant while it grows.
Choose a container with holes in the bottom to let the water out. You can use anything, from the bottom of an empty milk carton to a tray for growing seeds. If the container doesn’t have holes in the bottom for drainage, poke the holes there.
2. Get the Container Clean
Mix together one part bleach and nine parts water. Soak the container for 15 minutes in the solution, then let it dry in the air. This cleans the tray for the seeds.
3. Put Potting Soil in the Container
Fill the container to within 1 inch of the top with moist potting mix. Use your fingers to lightly press down on the soil so it stays firm in the pot.
4. Planting the Seeds
Spread the seeds over the top of the soil. Put them about two inches apart. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil (about 1/8 inch). Press lightly on the soil to make it firm over the seeds.
5. Keep the Seeds Wet
Spraying water on the surface of the soil makes it wet. Use a spray bottle instead of running water, which could wash away the seeds.
6. Put the Pot Inside a Plastic Bag
Fine Gardening says to put the container in a clear plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap. Use an elastic band or twist tie to close the bag. Covering the pot keeps the soil moist for a longer time.
7. Keep the Pot Somewhere Warm
Put the container somewhere warm. Try to keep the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If needed, put the container near a heater or put a heating pad underneath it.
8. Wait for the Seeds To Sprout
Check the container every day and mist the soil with water as needed to keep it damp. When the seeds start to grow, take off the plastic.
9. Location in a Sunny Spot
So the seedlings can grow, move the container to a sunny window. Keep checking how wet the soil is and spray it with water when you need to
10. Put the Seedlings in the Garden
Plant the seedlings in the landscape when they have two true leaves.