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carnations - what do do this winter?

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by Ronda on September 24, 2006 03:39 AM
Hi!
Another question for the experts.

I live in zone 5, West Virginia. This June I planted a flower bed of Hardy Carnations I ordered from Direct Gardening. I do not know if I am supposed to cut them back before winter or not?
I have included some pictures of the carnations.
Any Advice?
Thank You again for your help!

Ronda
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Ronda
by tkhooper on September 24, 2006 03:42 AM
Hi Ronda don't cut them back they need to reseed. Carnations are biennials.

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by Ronda on September 24, 2006 05:19 AM
tk,
I think this is going to be a dumb question.

Does this mean I will not have any flowers/carnations in that flower bed next spring/summer! What to do?

Thank You
Ronda

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Ronda
by Ronda on September 24, 2006 05:36 AM
tk,
According to Direct Gardening, where I ordered the Carnations from, they bloom every year?

See below? From there website:

Carnation, Hardy Mixed
Item # 6595 Dianthus

Bloom at intervals all summer and into fall!

Fill your yard and garden with magnificent masses of exciting and colorful winter-hardy carnations. Outstanding in the garden, they make beautiful and gragrant cut flower bouquets. They have always been a favorite of florists, but they'll look even lovelier growing exactly where you can see them every day for months on end. You can depend on their returning beauty and fragrance in larger clumps every year. We send mixed colors of our choice that may include red, pink, yellow or white.

Thanks, Ronda

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Ronda
by tkhooper on September 24, 2006 05:42 AM
It sounds like they have given you a mixture of first and second year plants. And as they reseed your clump will get larger. This is all good just don't deadhead and you should be fine. It looks gorgeous.

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by Ronda on September 24, 2006 05:52 AM
tk,

Thank You! I feel sooo much better now. Thank you for the compliment. It means a lot to me, because I have so much trouble with flowers.

Thanks Again

Ronda

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Ronda
by daylily77 on September 24, 2006 08:14 AM
They do look gorgeous! I love all the color!
by PartyGirl on September 25, 2006 12:35 PM
This is going to be a dumb question, but where are the carnations in the picture? All I see are Portulaca - Moss Roses.

PG

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PG
by Ronda on September 25, 2006 06:52 PM
Daylily77, Thank You

PG,
Well all I know (and that is not much : ) is what I ordered. I ordered Hardy Carnations. Did they send me something else? I always thought the flowers did not look like the carnations I have seen in flower shops. But, I thought maybe this was a different type of carnation. Did they send and did I plant something else?

Thank You!
Ronda

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Ronda
by tkhooper on September 25, 2006 09:44 PM
My eyes aren't that good I would need a close up of one of the plants.

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by Ronda on September 25, 2006 10:01 PM
tk and PG,
I will take a close up picture this evening when I get home from work and send it.

But...I was looking on the computer at pictures of Portulaca and I think PG is right!

How do take care of Moss Roses. I live in zone 5. Is zone 5 okay for this type of flower? Any special instructions/winterizing I need to know?

I love this forum!
Thank You
Ronda

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Ronda
by Ronda on September 26, 2006 07:58 AM
Hi [wavey]
Here are the close up pictures of the Hardy carnations. Or at least that is what I thought I planted. What do you think? Are they Moss Roses?

Thanks Again!!!!!
[kissies]
Ronda
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Ronda
by melcon6 on September 26, 2006 08:51 AM
They are beautiful portulaca, [thumb] [flower] just ask Loz [Big Grin] .

They will reseed, but they are an annual so you might want to collect some seeds , also. I would let the company know about this and they will probably replace them for you in the spring with the carnations that you originally ordered. Send them the picture if you have to.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!!!!!!!
by PartyGirl on September 26, 2006 03:02 PM
Ah, well, the old eyes aren't going yet, I guess, but last night I was sure straining to see the carnations!

Moss Roses will reseed with abandon...can I give you some ideas & information? Right now, the color placement is so pretty -- you can actually see the big mounds of color of each individual plant. Next year, you'll have more plants, but they won't be as big, so instead of being a 12" mound of yellow next to a 12" mound of coral, they will likely be 8" mounds...so more polka dotted in a way.

You can save the seed -- and Portulaca has got very interesting seed pods. Look right next to an open flower and you might see a pointy thing that could either be a 2nd bud, or a seed pod from the 1st flower on that little stem. The seed pods usually have dead petals on them. Wipe away the brown stuff (which is dead petals) and you'll see a little shiny round knob with a little x-shaped indentation, and that's the seed pod. If it's green or red with a little bit of a point, it's a pod that will bloom. With your thumb, try to dislodge the rounded knob. What could happen is that you will find the knob is HINGED. It literally hinges open like a Faberge egg and seeds are both in the lid and the egg. The ripe seeds are dark brown or black and very small. If you dislodge one that has lighter seeds, just dry it and it will ripen on a paper plate or a cereal bowl. You might also dislodge the whole thing and get the seeds out that way, but the hinge is cool. I think the Latin name, Portulaca, has something to do with that hinge, which I believe is faily rare in the world of seed capsules.

Some cool things to do with moss roses: If you want to get creative, a the end of the year, when the moss roses get ratty looking or a frost comes, you can pull the plants or cut them off BY COLOR. For example, pull all the pale pink ones and lay them on top of the ground around some pale pink Heritage (or other) pink roses for about 2 weeks. Likewise, pull the red ones and put them somewhere you'd like red flowers next year, the orange ones might look good with Sunset snapdragons...you get the idea. It doesn't look too great to have the moss roses laying on the ground for two weeks, but the leaves are falling from the trees and there is a lot of debris on the ground anyway, so maybe you can get away with it. In any case, Moss Roses (and Impatiens if you're interested) will go ahead and ripen their seed, even if the plant is out of the ground. You will literally get 1000s of seeds that you wouldn't have if you threw them in the trash or compost as soon as you pulled them. I see a little room to the left and a lot of room to the right where you could lay the plants, but maybe you'd like to get some carnations for there. [Wink]

As far along as your flowers are right now, there is plenty of seed in that bed already for them to come back next spring, and you could certainly harvest more for yourself or trade.

Right now I am trying to figure out how to corral the seeds to trade. Pulling plants and putting them in paper bags is only working so-so. The seeds are little and are getting caught in the folds and cracks at the bottom of the bags. I have enough of the moss roses growing here, I could probably use a pillow case, but I imagine all of the seeds getting caught in the seams....or worse, th plants rotting! Right now I am trying to find bags without the square bottom -- bags like you'd get if you bought a pair of gloves from a dept store. I think there are fewer seams in them.

I have rambled on long enough -- try to find the hinge and if you have kids, show it to them, too!

Oh, one more thing -- if there is a color you don't like, a color that doesn't go with the rest, or a color you think there is too much of, you can pull that color and throw it away leaving a better mix to reseed.

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PG
by PartyGirl on September 26, 2006 03:06 PM
Forgot to say: The reason I read this post originally is because I have some baby carnations I started from seed and I wondered what I should do with them this winter. The seed pack said "Giant Chaubaud Mix". I am pretty sure carnations are only marginally hardy here. They were started about July 20th +- and about 2 inches tall. I could mulch them, but I wondered if there is anything else I need to worry about --like crown rot?

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PG
by TulsaRose on September 26, 2006 06:49 PM
Ronda, you've been given some great advice on the care of your annual Portulaca "Moss Rose" and I would like to add the pictures are beautiful. [Wink]

Now a word of advice...before you order anything else online, first check out the source at Garden Watchdog to see if they are a good company to do business with. That link goes directly to the info on Direct Gardening, a company that should have a big, red warning banner on their homepage that says BUYER BEWARE!!!

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Rosie z7a
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by Ronda on September 26, 2006 06:54 PM
PG,
Thank you so much for the information and advice. I know what I will be doing this week after work!

I have a couple of questions. Hope they are not to dumb.

1) Once I get the seeds out of the pods and let them dry, do I store them for next year? Can I put them in a zip lock bag? Do I wait till next spring to plant them in the ground? Or do I put the seeds in the ground once I cleaned out that flower bed and/or where I want some Moss Roses now?

2) Is there any particular way you should plant these seeds?

2) Once the first frost hits and I pull out the Moss Roses there will already be a lot of seeds laying in that flower bed, right? So next spring Moss Roses will grow again in that bed, right?

Thank You! I love this forum. I am so glad I found it. I do not know what I would do with out it and all of the wonderful advice. Because of all of you I might actually be able to finally grow flowers!

Ronda
Just want to make sure I understand everything.

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Ronda
by Ronda on September 26, 2006 07:03 PM
Rosie,
Thank You! I have learned my leason. Great site!

Ronda

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Ronda
by tkhooper on September 26, 2006 07:50 PM
Self seeding usually doesn't produce as many plants as you would get if you do the planting yourself.

I've grown moss roses from seed and started them 6 weeks before my last frost date in my location. They are a "fine" seed (very tiny) so planting them just means sprinkling them on a tray of dirt and then patting them in so they don't all wash to one location when watered. Keep the soil moist during germiniation. The easiest way to keep the soil moist is to put a tent or lid over the tray until they germinate and then take it off once they sprout. If you don't have a lid then what I do is use a spray bottle about twice a day to moisten the soil. I use the lightest setting the bottle has. And then transplanted them into the garden once night time temperatures were above 55F. Below that and they will die off.

Zip lock bags are fine as long as there is no condensation in the bag. Also remember that the color the seeds produce may not be the same one as the mother plant due to cross polination. I found that the oranges were a more dominate color from my patch of portulaca. Just remember to keep the bags rightside up so the seeds don't escape. The best way I have found to keep the little buggers corraled is to use one of the seed templates you can find links to on this site and glue them together just like you would a commercial package. The once you have the seeds inside glue the entire top down or tape it down. Just remember not to leave any area unsecured or they will escape. I bet you can tell what happened to my first seed harvest right? Yep they escaped.

One more thing before I end this post. You can overwinter your portulaca in the house if you have a very very bright place to put them. You will probably still have to prune them to keep them from getting to leggy but they will survive. I don't think the plants look as good the second year but I have done it.

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by dodge on September 27, 2006 07:16 AM
I agree with Portulaca.....

Those arent carnations.. I have some and they dont look like that ..

Do you have any seeds off the Portulaca to trade/

Thanks ,
dodge [grin]

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''''Those who live in the Lord Never See Each Other For The Last Time!''''
by Ronda on September 27, 2006 08:14 AM
tk - Thank You for your advice. [clappy]

Dodge,
I probably will have...If I do it right. [Confused] I am a beginner Gardner and I have never tried anything like this before. According to PG, I should have a lot of seeds. I will be more than happy to share. I probably will not be able to get to that flower bed until next week. It is crazy this week. Let me know how to trade and exchange personal information so I know where to send the seeds to.

Any additional advice on this "seed" process is welcomed. [perplexed] Now I am really nervous. I hope I do not mess it up. [scaredy]

I bet your carnations are beautiful. Maybe I will try for carnations AGAIN next spring.

Thank You
Ronda

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Ronda
by dodge on September 27, 2006 08:36 AM
Rhonda,

Just be calm.. YOur ok..Well all started here, same as you ..(Knew nothing)
First thing you do to exchange private messages to me, do you see the tiny envelope on your header bar here........(where the date is posted)
You click on that an you can send me a private message)
YOu can try it now if you want to see if it works, Just say your testing.

Now to collect seeds.......
Behind every blossom ......when it drops off , seeds will form....In those it is like a cone.
They must turn brown......To be ready to use the seed....
All seeds are either brown or black.......
Show me photos of when they seem brown and I will try to guide you......
Relax.....We all started same as you.

dodge

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''''Those who live in the Lord Never See Each Other For The Last Time!''''
by PartyGirl on September 27, 2006 03:02 PM
Ronda,

You're welcome. I don't grow a great variety, but what I have, I have a LOT of [Smile] TK answered all your questions, and I don't really have anything much to add except some iscellaneous observations. If you collect seeds while you're talking on a portable phone it goes a lot faster. And for every pod you "mess up" you'll just have that many more seeds in your bed for next year, so you really can't mess this up. I think there are between 50-75 seeds in each pod --ya don't need many pods to make a full package the size Burpee would sell. (And didja notice you already have a taker for your collected seed?, so you can trade that seed for something else that will bloom all summer...marigolds, nasturtiums and Four O'Clocks are all easy.)

One more word of advice -- while you're bent over picking pods, keep your butt facing the wall, not the street. Oh, wait, that isn't advice for you, is advice for *me* hahahahaha!

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PG
by PartyGirl on September 27, 2006 03:18 PM
Ronda,

You're welcome. I don't grow a great variety, but what I have, I have a LOT of [Smile] TK answered all your questions, and I don't really have anything much to add except some iscellaneous observations. If you collect seeds while you're talking on a portable phone it goes a lot faster. And for every pod you "mess up" you'll just have that many more seeds in your bed for next year, so you really can't mess this up. I think there are between 50-75 seeds in each pod --ya don't need many pods to make a full package the size Burpee would sell. (And didja notice you already have a taker for your collected seed?, so you can trade that seed for something else that will bloom all summer...marigolds, nasturtiums and Four O'Clocks are all easy.)

Good luck, but really, it's more important to have fun!

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PG
by Ronda on September 27, 2006 06:20 PM
PG,
Thank You
And the advice about your butt facing the wall is good advice for me too. My house faces the street, so sometimes people who are driving buy my house gets a nice view!

Have a great day!
Ronda

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Ronda
by PartyGirl on September 28, 2006 02:20 AM
Oh, dang! -- at the last minute I took that paragraph out, thinking other people might not find it as funny as I did. I didn't realize I had hit 'send' a full 15 minutes EARLIER with the whole post, with that paragraph included.

Oh well, It *is* funny -- I always think of painted plywood yard signs that look like a lady bending over, and in fact that's what gave me the idea to position myself with my butt toward the house....

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PG

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