HomeFlower MeaningCarnation Flower - Dianthus Caryophyllus

Carnation Flower – Dianthus Caryophyllus

Carnations, the flower of Gods, are a sight to behold! These pretty blooms come in almost every color and used for various purposes including gifting and decorating. In ancient times, carnations used to adorn the crowns and tiaras of the royals. And in present times, carnations are adored by flower lovers from all over the world alike.

These hardy flowers have been around for more than 2000 years and stood the test of time. Carnation is currently one of the top 5 most cultivated flowers in the world. These enchanting flowers are not only beautiful but versatile and useful too.

About Carnation

Carnations are herbaceous perennial plants with hermaphrodite flowers, although, annual and bi-annual varieties are also common.

  • Scientific Name: Dianthus Caryophyllus
  • Order:  Caryophyllales
  • Family: Caryophyllaceae
  • Genus:  Dianthus
  • Species: D. caryophyllus

Carnation Flowers History

Legends associated with Carnation:

According to a Greek legend, Goddess Diana fell in love with a shepherd who didn’t reciprocate her feelings. Angry and dejected, Diana removed his eyes and destroyed his body. Carnations sprouted from the remains of the shepherd.

According to another Roman myth, when Mother Mary saw her son Jesus carrying the cross on his shoulders, her tears transformed into white Carnations. This is why carnations are associated with motherly love.

Cultivation history of Carnation:

Carnations have been cultivated for at least 2000 years in different parts of the world, primarily in the Mediterranean region, including countries like Spain, Italy, Sardinia, Croatia, Albania, Sicily, and Greece.

How to Grow Carnations Flower?

Carnations Plant Cultivation

The ideal temperature for growing carnations is moderately cool, about 20°- 24° in day time, and about 10°- 16° in nights. Carnations need at least 4-5 hours of sunlight and they are great to produce at greenhouses. Well-drained soil helps carnation to thrive. Winter is the best season for planting carnations.

You can grow Carnations from Seeds and from Cuttings.

Growing carnation from seeds

To grow carnation from seeds, first, select a container with a drainage hole and fill it up with soil and compost. Place the seeds at the center of the container and cover them completely with soil. Water, and leave them for sprouting which should happen in the next 7-10 days. When shoots start to appear, you can transfer them to a pot or the flower bed.

Growing carnation from cuttings

To grow carnations from cuttings, you need to take 4-6 inch pieces of cuttings. Place them in a pot with damp soil mixed with compost. You can also cover the tips of the cuttings with rooting hormones before placing them. This will make the process faster. Water the cuttings regularly in timely intervals.

Taking Care of Carnation Plants

To make sure your newly-grown plants are healthy and growing properly, ensure the following:

  1. Carnations are susceptible to attacks from bugs and other parasites. Use appropriate pesticides to prevent such damages.
  2. Carnations need moderate sunshine. Place them strategically in a place where the flowers can receive direct sunlight for a few hours a day.
  3. Maintain the soil quality including its humidity and the manure ratio.
  4. Water them plenty, at least once every day.
  5. Make sure the leaves are not affected by any fungal/bacterial infections. Apply medicines if that happen.

Carnation Flower Meaning

Carnation Flower Meaning

Carnations come in so many colors, either naturally or as a cultivar. During the ages, each color of carnation has been assigned a particular meaning or symbolism across cultures.

Here’s a quick guide to carnation color meanings and symbolism.

White Carnations

White carnations are the symbol of motherly love. It is the no.1 most popular flower for Mother’s Day in the US. They also symbolize luck, spirituality, and innocence.

Pink Carnations

Pink carnations are the symbol of admiration and affection. Pink carnations are often given to someone you have a crush on, since they symbolize the beginning of a romantic relationship. Pink carnations also denote femininity and fertility and that’s why it is a staple in baby-shower and new baby flower bouquets.

Green Carnations

Green is the symbol of youth. So, green carnations stand for new beginnings, youth, and energy.

Red Carnations

Red is the color of love all around the world. Much like the red roses, red carnations denote passionate love, intense feelings towards someone. It also signifies long-standing relationships and the triumph of love over all obstacles.

Purple Carnations

Purple is the color of royalty. Purple carnations symbolize aristocracy and regality. In the past, the color purple was extremely rare and expensive, and only the rich people could afford to use them. That’s why purple has been associated with the riches for a long time.

Carnation Flower Count Meanings

Like the Rose, Carnations also have special meanings attached to their counts. Here’s a list to help you remember:

Carnation Flower CountCarnation Flowers Count Meanings
1 CountLove at first sight
2 CountBe mine
3 CountI love you
5 CountYou are special
10 CountYou are perfect
13 CountI love you for time eternity

Occasions Where You Can Use Carnations

Carnations are extremely versatile flowers that can be used in virtually every occasion that you can imagine, some examples being:


Carnations make great wedding flower bouquets for the bride. As a groom, you can add carnations in your lapel, or wear boutonnieres made of carnations. The bridesmaids can also wear corsages made of carnations. You can even include carnations in the wedding cake decoration or the venue decoration.

Also Read: Type of wedding flowers


Gifting a bunch of carnations to your spouse on your anniversary is the ultimate romantic gesture. Choose red, pink, or white blooms for your romantic anniversary flower bouquet.


Carnations symbolize new beginnings. That’s why they are perfect for birthday gifts.

Graduation Present

Carnations are perfect for graduation presents. Traditionally, the color purple has been associated with academic achievements, and purple carnations make great graduation presents. You can also pick white, pink, or other cultivar carnation shades as per your likings.

Get well soon present

Flowers help an ailing person cheer up very quickly. Carnations are the perfect ‘get well soon’ present for many reasons. Firstly, if you’re offering flowers to a bedridden person, or a person in the hospital, you don’t know for how long they are going to be there. Since carnations stay fresh for weeks and don’t even require much maintenance efforts, gifting a bunch of carnations will enable the sick person enjoy the bouquet for a long time.

Congratulatory bouquets

When you want to congratulate someone, pick up monochromatic bouquets. Here, you can go with carnations solely, in any one shade of pink, yellow, or red. Or you can mix and match with other colors, as well as other types of flowers including rose, gerbera, and daisy.

Sympathy bouquets

Carnations go very well in funeral and memorial flowers. White carnations are the symbol of peace and spirituality, and so, white carnations are extensively used in sympathy flower bouquets. White, red, and green carnations are often used in funeral sprays, funeral wreaths, and standing funeral flower arrangements. Gifting a flower bouquet to the family of the deceased for a memorial service is a good way to go too.

Which Countries are Famous for Carnations?

European countries like Spain, Greece, and Italy are where carnations originate from. Apart from them, Monaco, Slovenia, Sicily, and Albania are famous for carnations. Even USA is very famous as a carnation-loving country.

Did You Know?

  • In the past, Carnations were used as medicines to treat several conditions like hair loss, dermatological problems, muscle fatigue, and more.
  • Carnations are edible and its petals are very commonly used in salads, or for garnishing various dishes. They are also used in drinks as flavoring agents, and carnation essence is used in several perfumes and other fragrant products.
  • Dianthus, the scientific name of Carnations, literally means “Flower of God”.
  • Carnations are one of the most long-lasting flowers, and can stay fresh in a vase for up to 2-4 weeks.
Which month has the birth flower as Carnation?

Carnation is the birth month flower of January.

Carnation is the national flower of which countries?

Carnation is the national flower of Spain, Monaco, and Slovenia. Carnation is also the State Flower of Ohio, USA.

What does a Carnation flower symbolize?

Carnations symbolize love, affection, joy, femininity, and new beginnings.

What colors do Carnations come in?

Carnations come in shades of Red, Scarlet, Pink, Yellow, White, Orange, and Green.

How to preserve Carnation flowers for longer?

Carnations are generally hardy flowers and they don’t require any special care or effort. However, to elongate their freshness even more, you can follow the instructions given below:
●    Put the flowers in water immediately when you receive them.
●    Trim the stems at a 45° angle every alternate day. This will allow the flowers to absorb more water.
●    Change the water in the vase every alternate day and add flower foods.
●    Keep the flowers away from direct heat sources, direct sunlight, and ripening fruits.
●    If possible, store the flowers in the refrigerator at night.



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