Carnations: Can Can & Mini Spice

bellegallica_zone9(9)November 30, 2012

I'm growing two carnation varieties from seed: Can Can Scarlet and Mini Spice White.

I found a culture sheet online for "Can Can" Scarlet which advised not to pinch the seedlings, that they would branch on their own. It's true because I didn't pinch, and they have begun branching at the base and are turning into sturdy little plants.

The info I found on Mini-Spice said they were basal branching as well, but so far they haven't done so. They are getting rather spindly and want to flop over, so today I began pinching them back and firming the soil around their base to keep them upright. I refuse to stake, and it seems silly to stake plants that will only be 6-8 inches tall anyway.

I guess my question is, if you've grown Mini-Spice before, do you feel it necessary to pinch? Because I would have pinched them back weeks ago if I knew.


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I should begin by saying that I am not a big fan of pinching back anything. It isn't a common practice for us in the greenhouse business and it's considered primarily a grower's-choice appearance option.

That said, both varieties you mention should not require it. This, assuming they are getting sufficient light. "Spindly, flop-overs" are almost always a result of insufficient light/sun exposure - either lumens, hours, or both.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 2:40PM
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I would believe that except that Mini-Spice received the same treatment as Can Can, but the latter is standing completely upright, and is quite fat and sturdy without pinching. Maybe Can Can is the superior plant. Since I've pinched back Mini Spice they have finally sprouted growths from every node including the very bottom.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:20AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You might want to post over on the Annuals forum here and see if the other growers there have had similar experience with this variety.

In addition to their light requirements I know they require cooler than normal growing temps (45-50 F) for the sturdiest plants. Perhaps your air temps can be reduced if you are growing them indoors. If outside there is little you can do about it.

They are an F1 hybrid so you may have gotten some not-fully-stabilized seed.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:57PM
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You very well may be right, though. It could be the Mini Spice variety requires more light.

I can't find it now, but I think I do remember reading some information that suggested the Can Can variety was more suitable for ordinary gardening conditions while Mini Spice would require more greenhouse type care with supplemental lighting, temperature control, etc.

I will start some more Mini Spice and give them extra light to see what happens.

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:27PM
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