Carnation Required Climate, Cultivars, Propagation, Fertilizer, Deshooting, And Flower Harvesting Technique

Carnation Required Climate, Cultivars, Propagation, Fertilizer, Deshooting, And Flower Harvesting Technique
Carnation Required Climate, Cultivars, Propagation, Fertilizer, Deshooting, And Flower Harvesting Technique

Carnation is one of the leading cut flower crop in himachal Pradesh. It has gained popularity due to beautiful cut flower production and rooted plant business. It is cultivated in polyhouse/polytunnel in order to get quality flowers throughout the year. At present, the area under carnation production in the state is 65.3 hectares.

Carnation Required Climate

Carnation is a winter loving crop and can be successfully grown in mid-hill zone 1200-1500 M amsl of himachal Pradesh. It is grown in polyhouse which require a day temperatures of 20 to 24 C and night temperature 13 to 16 C. the optimum CO2 concentration on cloudy days should be 300-500 PPM whereas for sunny days it is 750-1500 PPM. The relative humidity level inside the polyhouse should be 60-70 per cent.

Carnation Growing Medium

Carnation does well in a well drained soil. Loamy soils are preferred for its cultivation. The pH of growing medium should be between 6-7. However, growing medium consisting of soil + FYM + cocopeat (2:1:1, v/v) is recommended for quality flower production under naturally ventilated polyhouses.

Carnation Cultivars

Colour Standard Types
Red Master Rubesco, Riberra
White Niva, White Wedding
Yellow Liberty, Sunrise
Peach Madras, Farida, Malga
Purple Marathona

Carnation Normal Planting And Flowering Time

                                                Planting Time Flowering Time
Low Hills Sept-Nov Feb-March
Mid Hills Jan-Feb April-May-June
High Hills March-April July-Oct

Rooted cutting should be planted on raised beds of 1.2 M width with 0.5 M Path between beds. After planting, 3-4 flushes of flowers may be taken continuously from the same plants per year.

Carnation Planting Density

For commercial cultivation of carnation, 25-32 plants should be accommodated M2 in rows. For standard types 20×20 cm spacing is optimum (2500 plants/100 sq m).

Carnation Propagation

  1. Carnation Maintenance of Mother Block: the beds of mother block should be fertilized one week before planting with 20:5:5 g/m2 NPK as basal application. Full dose of phosphorus and potassium and half dose of nitrogen should be incorporated into the beds. Remaining half dose of nitrogen should be applied at the time of planting. To apply above quantity of NPK, nitrogen can be applied through urea (43.47 g/m2), phosphorus through single super phosphate (31.25 g/m2), and potassium through Muriate of potash (8.3 g/m2).

Besides this, mother plants require fertigation twice a week also which should be started after 30 days of planting. It should be done in such a fashion so that each plant receives about 150 ml of fertilizer solution each time. This fertilizer solution should contain 200 PPM N and 280 PPM K. For this any water soluble fertilizer of the grade 13-0-45 @622 mg/1, calcium nitrate @ 510 mg/1 and Urea @ 104 mg/1 can be used. In addition to this, vermicompost @ 1 kg/m2 and Biofertilizers mixture @ 3 g/plant is added in the root zone. For preparing the Biofertilizers mixture, 1 kg mixture of each of Arbuscular Mycorrhizae (AM ), Azospirillum and Phosphorus Solubilizing Microbes (PSM) are mixed with 1 kg of well rotten FYM.

  1. Carnation Cutting Preparation and Plantation: Take terminal cuttings (8-10 cm) from healthy mother plants. Remove 1-2 pairs of the lower leaves and treat the cut ends with 500 ppm NAA for 5 seconds. Plant at 3×3 cm distance in trays of propagation beds containing cocopeat and sterilized sand (1:1 v/v). Rooting is obtained in 20-30 days with manual misting in a polythene chamber.

After rooting the cutting should be transferred in hardening chamber containing sterilized mixture of sand: Soil: FYM (1:1:1 v/v). Keep the cutting under metallic mini portable tunnel of the size 3×15 cm covered with a layer of hessian cloth and transparent polythene, respectively. During first week, keep the sides held open and later open both the sides. The cuttings are ready for sale transplanting into the fields after 3 weeks of hardening period.

About 1, 50,000 cutting can be accommodated in a medium sized chamber (10×4 m). The optimum temperature inside the chamber should be maintained between 20-30 c. in winter, 100 watts bulbs can be hung 1 meter above the cutting at 1.5 meter apart during night.

  1. Carnation Storage of Unrooted Cutting: the unrooted cuttings of carnation can be stored in cardboard boxes for 35 days at 2 c with 75 per cent relative humidity without significant change in quality. The packing of cutting in these boxes should be done by placing a layer of cellophane sheet on all sides of the box which should also be used for covering the cutting after placing them in the box.

Carnation Fertilizer Application

Carnation Water Soluble Fertilizers: apply 100 ppm N & 140 ppm K twice in a week after 40 days of planting. For applying 100 ppm N, Dissolve 315 MG of any water soluble fertilizer of grade 13-0-45, 112 MG of calcium nitrate and 87 MG of urea in one Litre of water. For 140 PPM K, dissolve any water soluble fertilizer of grade 13-0-45 In 1 Litre of water. A part from this fertigation of plants of carnation cv. Master with 250 PPM N and K through urea (0.54 G/1) and MOP (1.62 G/1) supplemented with 250 PPM NPK (19:19:19 i.e. 1.32 G/1) spray once a week is beneficial for cut flower production.

Carnation Biofertilizers: VAM + Azospirillum + PSM (5-10 G of this mixture is to be applied in the root zone of the plant at the time of planting).

Carnation Pinching: it is the removal of tip portion above 5-6 pairs of leaves and is done 30-35 days after planting.

For Early Crop: Single pinch (First Pinch)

For Spreading the Harvest: pinch and a half. It means a single pinch of a main stem, and later when the resulting shoots are long enough (6-8 cm or 45-50 days after first pinch), half of the largest shoots on each plant are pinched. The half pinch actually is the two or three pinches per plant at the later pinching time. The system reduces the amount of first crop and provides steady production of flowers.

For Late Harvest Double Pinch: Single pinching followed by another pinching of all the shoots, when they are 6-8 cm In length.

Deshooting: Unwanted shoots should be removed when they are 2-3 cm long. Generally in standard cultivar, terminal shoots are retained while in spray, axillary shoots are retained.

Disbudding: In standard cvs. Remove the latest buds and retain the compact terminal bud on each shoot. The best time for disbudding is when the terminal flower bud is about 15 mm in diameter. In spray types, the main flower bud terminal is removed to encourage lateral flower buds to develop.

Carnation Staking And Supporting

Wire mesh system 15×15 cm mesh supported by stakes of metal or fixed at the corner of beds. Make 2-3 layers of mesh laid together on the soil surface (15 CM Above the soil) and upper layers are separated 20 cm apart. As the plant grow, the stems must be constantly stalled or caged within the respective mesh opening to maintain straight stems. Staking nets are readily available in the market.

Carnation Supplementary Lighting

It has been found very effective for increasing stem length, flower size and early flower production. 100 w incandescent bulbs, hung at 1.5 m above the beds at 1 m spacing during Nov-Jan for 12 hours.

Carnation Flower Harvesting

The flowers of standard carnations are harvested at paint brush stage.


Local Grades

Grade Stem Length (CM)
A >45
B <45>30
C <30


On an average 230-260 Stems/m2/year

Carnation Packaging Transportation And Storage

Twenty stems are firmly tied at the base with tape or rubber bands and the flowers are wrapped in cellophone paper. These bunches of flowers are packed in a standard size caryan of 120x60x30 cm and sent to the market.

Carnation Physiological Disorder

Calyx Splitting: use rubber bands to prevent calyx-splitting. Night temperature should not be below 10 c extreme fluctuation of temperature and irregular irrigation should be avoided.

Carnation Plant Protection


  1. A) Branch Rot Alernaria Dianthi: the rot occurs at the leaf base and around the nodes; usually the leaves and branches are affected. Spots are first ash grey but later become dark brown or black.

Control: use proper sanitary conditions. Propagative material must be disease free. Avoid use of contaminated soil.

  1. B) Fusarium Wilt Fusarium Oxysporum F. SP. Diathi: Initial symptoms of the disease is chlorosis and wilting of lower leaves and shoots. Typically, only one side of the plant is affected. Affected leaves and shoots wither and die. After symptoms appearance, stunting of plants may occur. When cortical tissues are peeped away to expose the vascular cylinder, cambial area appears brown and dry.


  1. Follow crop rotation with non-host crops.
  2. Soil solarization before planting the crop is recommended.

Mix neem cake or pine needles dried and finely chopped uniformly in top layer of soil @ 2 per cent (wt/wt) prior to 15-20 days of planting of rooted cuttings of carnation to reduce the wilt infestation.

  1. Stem Rot Rhizoctonia Solani: Complete and sudden wilting at or just below soil level, lesions develop on the stem but roots are not often affected, the stems rot at soil level which causes the stems to break.


  1. Follow proper sanitation.
  2. Follow crop rotation with non-host crops.

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