The Carnation Flower - A Few Things Worth Knowing
The carnation flower is just about everyone's favorite. As a flower garden plant, it is easy to grow. As a cut flower it is practically unsurpassed, given its combination of attractiveness, longevity, and clove-like fragrance. The carnation flower is popular in corsages, wedding bouquets, or simply a flower to be stuck in one's button hole.
Carnations come in many colors and varieties. Some consider the individual colors of the carnation flower to have significant meaning, just as roses have. In that respect, one might have to be a little careful in giving someone a bouquet of carnations, possibly conveying an unintended meaning. For safety's sake, a bouquet of mixed colors or at least a couple of different colors shouldn't get anyone in trouble.
Also Called “Dianthus” - Carnations belong to the Dianthus genus, and are sometimes referred to as Dianthus in seed and plant catalogs.
The word Dianthus comes from the Greek, and literally means the "Flowers of God". The meanings of the various colors of carnation flower often have to do with affection or love. The blossom's sweet fragrance probably has something to do with that.
One exception is the bright yellow blossom, which does not mean , as one might suppose, "I'm thinking about you", like the yellow ribbon around the old oak tree, but instead conveys a meaning of disappointment or dejection, in any event not a happy meaning.
The bottom line - don't give a yellow carnation bouquet to anyone you like. It could backfire. Striped carnations aren't much better. Green is OK, but only around St. Patrick's Day, which is the only time you'll find green carnations anyhow. Giving someone a white, red, or pink carnation is the best choice. It tells them you care for them.
Three Basic Types Of Carnation - Carnations come in three basic types of plants:
Those having a single large flower on a single stem
Plants having a number of smaller blossoms on each stem
Dwarf varieties, also having several blossoms on one stem
The carnation flower you are most apt to get if ordered from a florist, will be the large blossom on a single stem. These can also be the most difficult to grow, being truly specimen plants in many instances, and a great deal of work goes into growing a carnation that can truly be a show piece.
By and large, however, carnations are easy to grow in the home garden, and the blooms, whether single or many per stem, will not disappoint. The easiest way to grow carnations is from cuttings, which can be taken in late fall or winter and simply rooted in sand and placed in pots.
Carnation Growing Tips - When growing your own carnations, just remember carnations are sun-loving plants and should have 6 to 8 hours of sun a day to be at their best.
For the best results, the soil needs to be kept moist, but don't over water the plants or the foliage will turn yellow. Placing the plants in rich loamy soil is always best.
Carnations are generally quite disease and pest free. Once they start blooming, the spent flowers need to be removed if you want the blooming to continue throughout the growing season.
Pinching buds encourages new branching, allowing many more blooms to appear on a single plant. Pinching off the buds of the carnation plant can almost be considered an art form, and if one is planning on growing this lovely flower, is a subject worth looking into.
Having several carnation plants in the garden will supply plenty of cut flowers throughout the growing season. If you want, grow a bed of yellow or striped carnations. Just be careful who you give a bouquet of those flowers to.