This is a great time of year to ensure a good supply of carnations for next year by taking cuttings. Cuttings of carnations, or pinks, are traditionally known as ‘pipings’.
I have first taken precautions by cleaning up after the last set of cuttings. I’ve cleaned my cutting surface, the blade, the dibber, the secateurs, the pot, the lot, using a kitchen bleach spray.
I have taken 10 stems to use as cuttings, trying but not always succeeding to find non-flowering stems. To remove a piping, grip the base of a stem with one hand then the top with the other and gently pull. A 10cm or so length should come away at a leaf node, leaving a few pairs of leaves at the top. For those with flowers, I’ve trimmed the flower head off.
I’ve removed the lowest pair of leaves. I’ve used rooting hormone powder, first dipping the stem in water, then shaking off the excess powder. Just the cut end of the stem needs rooting powder. I’ve set them up in a clean 9cm pot using a gritty cuttings compost, 2 parts grit to 1 part vermiculite. Finally, I watered them in and sprayed with fungicide.
I’m keeping them in the heated bench as bottom heat should help with rooting. A propagator, or a sunny windowsill with a plastic bag over the pot would also do the trick, although it will need airing every now and again to prevent rot.
These cuttings should root in a few weeks, we shall see.
I’ll be back, with an update on rooting.