Carnations: The Star of the Holidays

LivRio Magazine November 2021, powered by FloraLife


Native to Mediterranean countries, Carnations have been cultivated as a cut flower for over two-thousand years. Once used in Greek and Roman ceremonial crowns, the popularity of Carnations saw a decline in the nineties and the turn of the millennium due to their seeming unsophistication. But thankfully, they are back and in a big way! Carnations are by far one of the most versatile and useful flowers in a florist’s arsenal. Not only are they beautiful, and often fragrant, if properly cared for, they can easily be enjoyed for up to two weeks.

Helping their revival are the breeders who have developed Carnation varieties in a myriad of sophisticated, trendy, and interesting new hues.  And these are not your grandmother’s Carnations. Instead of the brash bright colors of the past, these new varieties come in muted colors ranging from café au lait to blush pink and subtle mauve. These are Carnations that command your attention for all the right reasons.

Just like Chrysanthemums or Roses, Carnations are available as standards, which have one large bloom per stem, or as sprays consisting of multiple small flowers on branching stems. Either way, they are ideally suited to making the perfect holiday arrangement, whether you’re a traditionalist who rocks the classic red, white and green look, or looking to create a romantic vintage Christmas theme. Carnations will have you covered.

So, for the most on trend Insta ready floral creations be sure to include some beautiful Carnations and prove the haters wrong!

Carnation Care and Handling Tips


  • Standard Carnations: Choose stems with closed blooms but showing full color.
  • Spray Carnations: Choose stems with closed blooms, showing some color on lower buds.

Shipping and Storage

  • Shipping and storage temperatures should be 34 – 38° F / 1 – 3° C. with a relative humidity of 75 – 85%.
  • Dry storage is best, but only if temperatures are maintained between 34 – 38° F / 1 – 3° C.

Re-hydration at Store Level and Storage

  1. Start processing with a clean bucket, sanitized with FloraLife® D.C.D.® Cleaner.
  2. If received dry packed, conditioning of stem ends is recommended to prevent blockage and promote uptake. Cut approximately 1” / 3cm or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife, and treat with FloraLife® Quick Dip.
  3. Place flowers in a holding treatment such as FloraLife® Express 200 or FloraLife® Clear 200.  Do not put flowers directly in metal/galvanized buckets. Use clean, high quality water that has not been treated with a water softener as the salt levels can be damaging to flowers.
  4. Store in a cooler at 34 – 38° F / 1 – 3° C. with a relative humidity of 75 – 85%
  5. Allow minimum 2 hours to hydrate placing buckets in an area with good airflow.  
  6. Always remember FIFO (first in/first out) when rotating Carnations or any other flowers.

Vase Care

  • Remove any leaves that might be below the vase solution.
  • Cut approximately 1” / 3cm or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife. If received dry, treat with FloraLife® Quick Dip.
  • Immediately place flowers in vase solutions containing FloraLife® Crystal Clear or FloraLife® Express 300.

Special Considerations:

  • Botrytis can develop in the blooms. Always maintain the correct temperature and humidity levels during storage.
  • Carnations and Mini Carnations are ethylene sensitive. Insist that your supplier treats with an ethylene action inhibitor such as EthylBloc™ or FloraLife® EthylGuard to protect exposure. Do not store or display near ripening produce or products that produce ethylene.
  • When cutting stems, do so between nodes.

To learn more about best practices from the experts in flower care or to inquire about products and availability in your region, visit or contact your local FloraLife representative.

*Product availability depends upon geographical region.