Growing Potted Carnations Only Six Inches Tall:
Miniature potted carnations or mini carnations as a house plant are fairly new to the market. They are available in a wide selection of colors, including pale yellow, white, salmon, pink and purple. Several of them are quite fragrant. These new mini carnations range in height at flowering time from 6 to 8 inches. The leaves are regular size, but the stems are very short and the flowers smaller than even the florists miniature carnations which are sold as cut flowers. Currently the two most often available cultivars appear to be the Monarch and the Mini Spice types. Most are sold via common floral outlets for under $5.
Carnation - January Flower of the Month:
January 29th is National Carnation Day in the US. The carnation is also the flower for the month of January. Long life as a cut flower and good fragrance have made them a favorite with florists. Potted plants of carnations have just started to appear on the market. These mini carnations are true florists type carnations, rather than Dianthus sp.
Growing Potted Miniature Carnations Indoors:
Like the full size carnations, mini carnations are a temporary flowering houseplant which cannot easily be coaxed back into bloom once they have bloomed out. Carnations prefer bright but indirect sunlight and cool day and night temperatures. The temperature conditions which cause the mini carnations to flower are difficult to recreate in most households. If you have a cool greenhouse with grow lights, you may be able to get the plants to rebloom.
Miniature carnations, like their larger cousin carnations, prefer soil to be well drained, not constantly moist. They don't like water on the leaves so it is best to soak the pot in water when the soil is dry to the touch. Don't leave them sitting in a saucer of water as they will easily develop root rot.
Pests of Miniature Carnations:
Miniature potted carnations rarely have pests as a house plant. Problems are usually caused by over watering or temperatures which are too high, causing the flowers to blast or stop development in the bud stage.
Care of Miniature Carnations While Flowering:
While your miniature carnations are flowering make sure they are in moist but not wet soil, in a bright spot in indirect light, with cool temperatures if possible. Remove spent / dead flowers to encourage the plants to keep blooming. These mini potted carnations may flower for several months if conditions are right. They do not need fertilizer. The bud and flower growth is light controlled, so your little plant will likely stop flowering after the buds which set in the green house have all opened. These plants need specific temperatures and day lengths to set buds.