When April comes, the plants can suitably be placed in a cold frame, having a fall of six inches from back to front. Here the pots may be stood on a bed of. clean coal-ashes. Except when there is frost or rain, the frames should remain uncovered. Do not let the plants stand far apart; the leaves should only just clear each other. They will thus be less affected by winds, and the foliage will afford cooling shade to the roots.
The carnations should not require staking before August. Be careful to put in the bamboo stake at the centre of pot and at the back of the plant, and to push it down to the bottom. Tie the bast to the bamboo, and then to the stem, two inches or so above the soil.
A thick piece of raffia may be used higher up, and the strands split out to secure the snoots as required. The main stem should not grow thicker after August, but be careful to allow for growth in the shoots.
Watering and spraying must be attended to constantly. Three times daily the plants should be looked over, and, in addition to this, the ground around the frames should be damped, in order to encourage a moist atmosphere. Feeding with a weak solution, either of natural or artificial manure, can be practised at regular intervals as an encouragement.
By the end of August the plants should be taken into the greenhouse again. Early housing will cause them to produce much longer stems than would be the case out of doors. Early housing also lessens the chance of thrip and other pests preying upon the carnations during a hot summer, and also induces early flowering.
The house should be evenly heated, a mild temperature being maintained, so that the plants are not weakened by forcing. From the middle of October onwards, carnations should be ready for conservatory decoration. Up to this time - indeed, throughout the entire cultivation - the greatest care should be exercised in the matter of cleanliness, including weeding and stirring up the soil of pots.
At a time when plants which have flowered are taking a slight rest, no stimulating food must, of course, be given. Care must be taken to keep the greenhouse cool and wholesome in the dull days of December. Propagate only from well-matured shoots, on every kind of recreation.