Carnations: The Perfect Holiday Bloom!

LivRio Magazine November 2022, powered by FloraLife

Carnations are one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world. Records show that they were grown by the Romans and Greeks, and in Tudor times were used for culinary and medicinal purposes. They are also reported to have been one of Shakespeare’s favorite flowers supported by how often they appear in his plays.

But don’t let their ancient history fool you into thinking Carnations are passé. Despite their popularity suffering a dip in recent times, rest assured that carnations are back and with a fabulous vengeance!

Gone are the bright brash colors of the past. Instead today’s Carnations are available in a stunning range of colors from the soft creams to the dramatic purples and so many other shades in between to suit every mood.

Carnations are truly every florist’s best friend, not only are they beautiful, but also long lasting and often fragrant too. Carnations are available as standards, which have one large bloom per stem, or as sprays consisting of multiple small flowers on branching stems making them even more versatile.

With all this in mind, however you celebrate the holiday season, whether it be traditional red and white, romantic and muted, or vivid and bright, you can count on finding the perfect Carnation for your aesthetic.

Despite all the current choice, can’t quite find the color you need? Don’t worry, there is a solution! White Carnations offer the perfect base to add color to.

So, if you haven’t already re-discovered the beauty of Carnations, make sure to do so this holiday season and prepare to fall in love with this ageless beauty all over again.

Carnation Care and Handling Tips


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

Shipping and Storage

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

Re-hydration at Store Level and Storage

  • Start processing with a clean bucket, sanitized with FloraLife® D.C.D.® Cleaner.
  • If received dry packed, conditioning of stem ends is recommended to prevent blockage and promote uptake. Cut approximately 1” or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife, and treat with FloraLife® Quick Dip.
  • 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.
  • Store in a cooler at 34 – 38° F with a relative humidity of 75-85%
  • Allow minimum 2 hours to hydrate placing buckets in an area with good airflow.  
  • 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” 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™ during storage or transportation or FloraLife® EthylGuard at farm level 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 Carnation care and handling click here:

*Product availability depends upon geographical region.
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