"There are two principal ways of growing the tree, or perpetual flowering, carnation, which has recently become so popular. The European system, since it is more suitable for ordinary culture, will be dealt with here. The second method is that of growing plants in the open ground during summer, and planting them indoors - not in pots, but on greenhouse benches - before the autumn. This is the American system. It is, of course, costlv, though it is most successful for those who wish to grow carnations on a large scale. But for amateur gardeners the other is the better method.
Having obtained two or three good plants, the prices of which will range - according to date of introduction of the variety, and also to size of plant - from 9d. upwards, it will be necessary to work up a stock from them. The winter months, from December to March, are the most suitable for this work.
The cuttings taken must be properly matured, not spindly and weak, nor from such wood as is running away to flower. Shorten the cuttings, if necessary, to three inches, and remove the lower leaves, allowing four to remain.
Use a sharp knife for making the cuts; this should be done in a horizontal direction immediately below a joint. Do not let the cuttings lie" about. If the house is sunny, keep them shaded while waiting to be struck. Have ready pots or boxes of clean silver sand; the coarse Bedfordshire variety is the right medium for striking cuttings.
Clean and crock pots for the purpose, placing one large crock over the drainage hole, and covering with smaller ones. Then fill up the pots with sand, which should be in a moist but not wet condition, pressing it down rather firmly.
Put the cuttings in with a small wooden dibber, and be sure that their ends are fixed in the sand. The cuttings should be put close to the rim of a four or five inch pot, and be buried up to their lowest leaves. The pots may then be stood over a flow-pipe, in order to give the bottom heat advisable. This, however, should not exceed 500.
If a small glass case or a handlight is available, the pots should be placed under it. A sheet of glass can be laid on the top of pots or boxes placed over a pipe. If the pots can be plunged in cocoanut fibre, so much the better.
Copyright Lady Dainty
A beautiful example of a perpetual flowering carnation