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Cutting carnations

Now in July, the first flowering of garden carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) is over. At the end of flowering, cut off the withered stems. This promotes the second flowering, because the plant cannot concentrate on seed production. Where necessary, also prune the shoots a little to promote more compact, cushion-shaped growth of the plant.

To help the carnation with the subsequent formation of new blossoms, fertilise it lightly: either gently work a cup of compost into the root area or a good half teaspoon of mineral fertiliser per plant. However, do not fertilise too much, as garden carnations have low nutrient demand. If formation of new blossoms then begins, the carnations form several buds on each shoot tip.

They behave in a similar way to rosebuds: if you prefer abundant blossoms directly in the flowerbed, then, in addition to the main bud, leave the accessory buds on the flower stalk. If, on the other hand, you wish to use the garden carnations as a vase decoration, they achieve a better effect with individual blossoms. In this case, cut or break off the accessory buds at the flower stalk at an early stage. Now the energy of the plant is concentrated on producing just one blossom, which will thus grow slightly larger than together with others.

Tip: There are numerous varieties of garden carnation in blossom colours white, pink and red, but also in yellow and even in two colours. A general distinction is made here between standing and hanging carnations. Especially hanging carnations are a real enhancement also for plant pots and balcony boxes due to their attractive growth shape, accompanied by a contrast-rich blaze of colour.