Learn to Grow Carnations and Dianthus
This is a serious course equally valuable to the home enthusiast or the commercial cut flower grower.
You learn about growing quality carnations (planting, watering, pest & disease control, fertilizing), different ways of growing them (e.g. as row crops in soil, in hydroponics, in a greenhouse); and harvesting, post-harvest treatments, and quality control.
Tutors are experienced and university trained horticulturists most with several decades of industry experience.
The course has a practical slant with an emphasis upon lerarning about subtle differences between lots of different varieties; as much as developing a sound foundation in the horticultural techniques that can be applied to improve the quality of carnations you grow, whether as cut flowers, or as garden plants.
(Illustrated above: Carnation Duchess of Westminster)
There are 9 lessons in this course:
Review of the system of plant identification
Methods of propagating this group of plants
Propagation of selected varieties
Pest and Disease
Harvest, Post Harvest and Quality
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
What Are Carnations?
Carnations are all (botanically), the species "Dianthus caryophyllus" - there are of course several hundred species of Dianthus (Sweet William is Dianthus barbatus.) The perpetual flowering carnation originated from Dianthus caryophyllus being bred with other species of Dianthus - at least with Dianthus sinensis. This type is reported to have been bred in Lyons, France around 1830.
In this course we will be dealing with species in the genus Dianthus (carnations) only. There are four types of Dianthus grown as ‘Pinks’: annual, cluster-headed, cottage and rockery. The most common species known as pinks include:
Carnations are plants bred and selected from clove scented species of Dianthus. The original development started in the 19th century. In 1903 a breeder (Mr H. Burnett, Guernsey) developed a perpetual flowering carnation as a hybrid. The development of other hybrids followed rapidly.
There are two main types grown as cut flowers are ‘Standard’ and ‘Spray’.
- Standards have the side buds removed, to produce a long stem with one terminal flower. Most standards grown are bred from an American cultivar called "William Sim"
- Sprays are not disbudded. They are grown with many flowers branching from a stem, and are sold as a bunch.
Extract From a book on Annuals by our Principal (John Mason)
Common Names: Carnation, Pink, Picotee, Sweet William, American Carnation, Malmaison Carnation, Maiden Pink, Deptford Pink, Indian and Chinese Pink
Origin: Eurasia to South Africa.
Appearance: Opposite leaves. Showy, often fragrant, mostly pink flowers.
Culture: Sunny position. Rich, ordinary slightly alkaline soil. Stake taller varieties and prune stems after flowering.
Propagation: Seed (annuals) in autumn or early spring, cuttings or layering (perennials) in summer.
Health: Aphids, thrips, caterpillars, slugs, rust and virus infections are all possible problems.
Uses: Rock gardens, front of borders, pots, dry areas.
Cultivars/Species: Around 300 species of annuals, biennials and perennials. Annuals include D. chinensis (pink), D. barbatus (Sweet William), D. armeria. Cultivars: ‘Gran’s Favourite’, ‘Musgrave's Pink’, ‘Sooty’, ‘Memories’, ‘Pink Fizz’, ‘Candy Floss’, etc.
HOW TO ENROL
Click box below on left hand side - follow instructions.
IF YOU NEED ADVICE - click here to use our FREE ADVISORY SERVICE