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How to do protected cultivation of Carnation

It is one of the most important winter season flowers which is used as a cut flower, highly suitable for bedding, pots, edging. Flowers are single or double with various colours and having a clove like fragrance. It is grown widely in U.S.A. and Europe.  In India, it is cultivated on limited scale for commercial cut flowers production.

Dr. Sangeeta Soi

Variety of Standard type: Domingo, Pink, Candy, Headline, Kelvin Valtico, Tempo & Vest, White Liberty, Kobra, Keero, Plash & Priti 
Variety of Spray type: Ejo, Karma, Barbara, Kareena, Vestmoon, Basic & Iceland 
Family: Caryophyllaceous araceae 


It is one of the most important winter season flowers which is used as a cut flower, highly suitable for bedding, pots, edging. Flowers are single or double with various colours and having a clove-like fragrance. It is grown widely in U.S.A. and Europe.  In India, it is cultivated on limited scale for commercial cut flowers production.  It is widely cultivated as a garden flower in pots or beds. 

Climate and soil requirements: 

1. Temperature 
The ideal night temperature is between 10°C and 12°C, and the best day temperature is between 22°c and 25°C. 

2. Soil 
The Optimum Ph of between 5.5 and 6.2 is required. Electrical conductivity 1.2mS/cm to 1.5 mS/cm 

Carnation is propagated by seed, layering, and cutting. 

i) Marguerites or Chabud type is best raised from seed.   
ii) The border carnation is propagated form layering. (Curring usually do not root easily). 
iii)Perpetual carnation by stem tip cutting. 

Seed Rate: 
400 to 500 gm/ha. 

By Cutting: 

Plants are propagated through terminal cutting.  Highest percentage of rooting was observed when cutting were made in the month of Nov.  – Feb. and were treated with 500 ppm NNA for 15 minutes.  Sand is found to be the best rooting media cutting take about 3 weeks to root and after that planting can be done in well prepared field. 

Raising of Seedlings and Planting: 
Seeds are sown on a raised bed during Sept.-Oct and watered regularly.  Seed will germinated within a week and seedling will become ready for planting within a month of sowing and seedlings are transplanted at the distance of 20*30 cm or 30*45 cm in a bed. 

Nutritional Requirements: 

25 to 30 tonnes, FYM + 400 kg N +200 kg P2O + 100 kg K2O per hectare.   

Special Cultural Practices: 

1.  Pinching (Stoping): 

When the plants are about 20-25 cm long pinch about 7.5 cm of growing point just by bending near a node of with the help of shaving blade, as this encourages development of side shoots.  About 3 to 6 shoots are retained for flowering.  In border carnations stopping is not practiced as these produce one stem only. 

2.  Deshooting: 

Deshooting is also practiced to remove unwanted weak shoots. 

3.  Disbudding: 

Disbudding is practiced to obtain long stalk and larger bloom.  The axillary or secondary flowers borne on main stem or terminal shoots are disbudded as soon as they are large enough to handle only one apical bud is kept in each stem. 

4.  Staking: 

When plants start growing it should be provided with bamboo support to avoid the disloging of plants. 


Flowers are harvested with long stem and pocked in a bunch or bundles of 6 12.  Picking is done 2-3 times a week.  Blooming period is 3-4 and yield per plant is 70 to 100 flowers, 10-12 lakhs of flowers per ha. 


Cut-flower production, the minimum requirement being a 30% shade –net structure or a well-ventilated plastic tunnel. Planting density should be 28 plants to 32 plants per square metre for field planting. 


The best irrigation system that is good for carnations is a drip system, which will keep the foliage, and flowers dry. Insufficient water will result in poor-quality blooms. 

Pests and diseases 

Bacterial wilt 

Causal organism: Pseudomonas caryophylli 

Control: Since it is a soil-borne bacterium, it can be controlled by steam pasteurizing of the medium. 

Green peach aphid 

Green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, is the most serious insect pest and Carnations; it reduces by scientific methods. 

Harvesting and yield 

Standard type flower harvested when their outer petals starts to elongate outside calyx (paint brush stage). Spray type flower harvested with 2-3 open flowers on each stem. Standard type: 300-350 flowers/m2 

Source:  Institute of Horticulture technology & Agriculture Information bank. 

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