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Caring for spring cloves - how it works

The feather carnation is one of the most colorful perennials. Already in April you can admire the beautiful flowers. But only if it is cared for under optimal conditions.

Spring cloves are fairly easy to maintain and undemanding plants. Cloves are very popular with many hobby gardeners. It is therefore no wonder that the feather carnation is one of the most popular perennials. They don't grow big, but the feather carnation can convince with a colorful flower pattern. It shines in the most beautiful colors. Whether white, soft pink or in bright red - the feather carnation simply convinces in every color.

And the best? Carnations are commonly known as easy-care plants. And so the spring carnation does not require any special consideration. However, the location of the feather carnation is of great importance. If this is not chosen correctly, the plant can shrink.

❀ General care instructions for the feather carnation

If you opt for spring cloves, also known as Dianthus plumarius, you do not need to follow long care instructions. When planted in the garden, in rock gardens or used to green walls, the plant can survive all year round, even without additional water.

Only in flower boxes, tubs or as a houseplant does the spring carnation have to be watered in between, since the roots cannot grow too deep. The same applies to exceptionally hot and dry summers.

However, the feather carnation has to be watered more often if it is kept in a bucket or in a flowerpot by the window or planted on a slope. Here the feather carnation is unable to pull sufficient moisture out of the ground. However, it is enough to give her a dash of water if the soil becomes very dry. Fertilization is completely unnecessary and only needs to be carried out once in spring, if at all. The undemanding type of cloves allows poor and poor soils.

»My tip for feeding and fertilizing:
Guide the pouring spout directly to the root area and release the water straight to the ground. If the flowers become damp and wet, they rot faster. In addition, the water collecting on the leaves increases the heat from the sun, so that the leaves turn yellow faster.

❀ Handling spring cloves in winter

In the winter months, the feather carnation can easily remain in the flower bed and requires no additional protection. Even fertilization is very economical. The plant is used to poor soil and comes with a dash of fertilizer in spring all year round.

Again, potted and balcony plants make a difference. The spring cloves are unprotected in these planters and can be endangered by the frost in the ground. Therefore, planters should be set a little higher in winter. To do this, however, it is sufficient if you place the bucket on two wooden strips or on a styrofoam plate.

❀ Pruning of feather cloves

If you want to get the magnificent flower dress of the spring carnation, you should plan a little time during the flowering period:

  • Remove old flowers so the plant can breathe and has room for new buds
  • If the feather cloves grow too densely, you can thin them out
  • The thinning takes place in spring or after the last flowering
  • In the spring, remove dead shoots and damaged leaves
  • If the plant grows out and looks bare, cut it back by a third

Krankheiten Possible diseases of the feather carnations

The feather carnation is not particularly sensitive. Therefore, you are unlikely to have any problems with pests settling on it or the plant contracting an illness. However, this only applies if you choose the correct location.

Store feather carnations in shady and too damp places, the plants develop a fungus that can cause the roots to rot. The fungus does not appear in dry and sunny locations.

If aphids do settle on the feather carnation, you can spray them with a broth of nettles. Neem oil (e.g. available here) also works against the pests.

In order to preserve the flowers for a long time and to prevent rotting in the flower area, we recommend watering the spring cloves only below the leaves and flowers. If water settles on the flower, it rots faster. In addition, the leaves can develop yellow spots if the sunlight is intensified by the water on them.