Carnations: Versatility & Beauty Incarnate!

LivRio Magazine November 2023, powered by FloraLife

Carnations are hands down, one the most versatile flowers a florist can rely on over the holiday season. As one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world, they have been grown as far back as Roman times right up to the present day, carnations have been captivating humans for millennia and for good reason. Not only are they beautiful, but also long lasting, and often fragrant too.

Like chrysanthemums, carnations are available as standards, which have one large bloom per stem, or as sprays consisting of multiple small flowers on branching stems meaning they can be used in a wide variety of arrangements from delicate corsages to dramatic statement pieces, and of course everything in between.

Carnations are available in a vast array of hues, from antique pinks to bright red and vivid purple, so whether your holiday aesthetic is soft and romantic, classic and bright, or technicolor, you will find the perfect carnation to suit the mood.

In addition to their natural color variance, carnations also lend themselves very well to tinting. Need a carnation in a specific color to match a client’s décor or event? Simply tint a white carnation in any color of your choice, and voila! A white carnation and a dash of tint will save the day every time.

So, if you haven’t already re-discovered the beauty and versatility 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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