Carnation flower is famous for cut flower. There are hundreds of varieties of carnation with a wide range of hybrid varieties. It has good keeping quality any easy transportation process. Anyone can easily cultivate carnation in any climate. It is cultivated in Greenhouse. For all of this reason, carnation flower cultivation becomes very popular in several countries.
Carnation Flower Types:
- Standard Carnation: One single stem of standard carnation holds only one flower.
- Spray Carnations: Every branch produces more than one flowers. This plant has many shorter branches.
- Micro Carnation: These flower plants are famous as ornamental pot plants. Micro carnation has shorter stems and produces more flowers than any other varieties.
There are some carnation flower cultivation types and they are Sonsara,, Solar, Dakar, Raggio di sole, Cabaret, Laurella, Tanga, and Isac.
Carnation Flower Cultivation Process:
You can cultivate it in any type of soil. But, Sandy loam soil rich in organic matter is ideal for carnation cultivation. The ideal pH value is pH 6.75. There should be a good drainage system for carnation cultivation.
The cool climate is good for carnation cultivation. Carnation cannot tolerate hot and humid climate. Carnation production needs a cold but steady temperature with low humidity and long days with high light intensity.
Temperature is an important factor in Carnation production. It affects the development and flowering of carnation. Areas with light intensity throughout the winter and at the same period, the temperatures during summer months are mild are suitable for carnation production. The day temperature should be 18°-24° C and the night temperature should be 10°C-15°C.
Carnation needs at least 21500 Lux natural light intensity for good photosynthesis.
During the beginning of development and growth, humidity should be around 80% to 85 %. But at the mature stage of carnation, the humidity should be 60% to 65%.
Seedling Production of Carnation Flower:
It is a big chapter of the Carnation flower cultivation. You can produce seedlings in three ways.
By Using Seed:
Sow the seeds 2cm deep in a well-drained mix. The distance between two seeds should be 12 inches. Apply water occasionally through mist spray. The compost should be always moist but not wet. Within 2 to 3 weeks the seeds will germinate.
Take cuttings from the terminal growth. The length of the cutting should be 4-6 inches. Then plant these cuttings in pure sand. During planting make sure that the lower leaves don’t touch the surface. After 25 to 30 days the cuttings will be ready for transplanting.
By Using Division:
First root out the entire clump. Separate the plant segments manually or use two gardening forks and collect the corms. Then replant the new divisions. Give irrigation after planting.
Greenhouse for Carnation Production:
The greenhouse is a common method of the Carnation flower cultivation. Produce carnation in a greenhouse as it is sensitive to temperature and light. Make sure that there is adequate ventilation area on sides and top. Use white color shaded net to control light intensity. Dispense whitewash to east, west and west sides of the greenhouse. It will provide a shield to the plant during the summer season.
Beds for Carnation:
Plow the selected land properly. Then apply Dazomet @ 30g/m2 or H2O2 @ 300 ml/m2 in the land. Make the beds for carnation. The size of the bed should be 100 cm width, 30 cm height, convenient length. Leave 40 cm space between two beds for a footpath. In the time of bed preparation, implement Neem cake (@1 kg/m2) after fumigation.
Implant seedlings spacing 15×15 cm. Implant 22 to 25 plants per square meter.
Special Practices of Carnation Flower Cultivation:
Carnation flower cultivation needs support during the stage of growing. Otherwise, it will collapse. Provide at least 5 or 4 layers of service material. Metallic wire woven with nylon mesh is good support material. Support these layers with strong poles at every two meters. Tie the metallic wire around the bed along the length with the support of the poles. The bottom net size should be 7.5 x 7.5 cm, then two layers of nets of 10 x 10 cm and 12.5 x 12.5 cm. The uppermost net should be15x15cm.
Provide pinching operation to improve the quality of carnations. After planting it helps to develop a major stem. When there are 5 nodes in the plant, give the first pinching. This will help to raise six lateral shoots. Pinch 2-3 of these lateral shoots. If you use the double pinching method, then pinch all the lateral shoots. You should select single, one and a half or double pinch method depending on the need of crop spread.
Remove the side buds. For spray carnation, remove the terminal bud.
During the bed preparation, apply neem cake 2.5 ton/ha, Phosphorus 400 g/100 sq.feet and Magnesium sulfate 0.5 kg/100 sq. feet as basal. Mix Calcium Ammonium Nitrate and MOP at 5:3 ratio. Apply this mixture @ 2.5 g/plant once every month through top dressing method.
Provide irrigation with drip system once in 2-3 days. Carnation crop needs 4-5 litter water for per square meter in a day.
Pest and Disease:
They live in the buds and undersides of leaves. They suck the sap from the stems, leaves, and flower buds.
Control: To control this pest spray the plants with Thiomethoxam 1ml/liter or Imidachloprid @ 2ml/liter.
Red Spider Mites:
It is really difficult to identify the spider mites as they are very tiny and very small. They produce fine silk webbing and suck sap from the leaves.
Control: Turf out the affected plant and leaf debris and spray Azardiractin 50,000ppm 3ml/liter.
Thrips imbibe the sap from leaves and flower. In case of heavy infestation, leaves may turn pale and shrivel.
Control: To control this pest spray Fipronil 1.5 ml/lit (or) Imidachloprid 2ml/litre.
Fusarium oxysporum causes this disease. It is one of the most serious diseases of carnation.
Control: Drench the soil with Carbendazim @ 0.1 % or Difenoconazole @ 0.05 % at monthly intervals.
Fairy Ring Spots:
When this disease attacks, black pin-head sized spore masses occur in concentric rings around the surface of those stains.
Control: To prevent this disease at first spray mancozeb 1.5gm/lit and Sulphur 1gm/lit.
After 4 months of planting, flower starts coming and continues up to 18 months. Harvesting time varies according to the varieties of carnation. Harvest the standard carnations when the outer petals unfold nearly perpendicular to the stem. Harvest the spray carnations when two flowers open and the remaining buds show color. Collect flower every day leaving bottom 5 nodes of a stalk. It will facilitate the side shoot development.
After harvesting grade the flowers based on stem thickness, stem length and quality of flower as A, B, C, D. Add Critic acid and 5 mg Sodium hypochoride to per liter of water. The pH level of this water should be 4.5 to 5. Soak the carnations in this solution for 4-5 hours. This will increase the vase life. After that, place them in a refrigerated room at 0-2°C for 12-24 hours. Then pack them in pre-cooled cartons lined with polyethylene film. Make sure that these cartons have sufficient vent holes. Store these cartons of flowers in a cool chamber at 0°C temperature with good air circulation and a constant relative humidity of 90-95%.
Each plant produces 8 flowers in a year.
Carnation can be cultivated in all climate as it is cultivated in a controlled condition. Anyone can easily cultivate it commercially. It would be a good profession for him as there is a great demand for carnation in the international market, especially in European countries.