Carnation is the national flower of Spain. The carnation’s history dates back to 2,000 years when it was used in art and decor .In early times carnations were mostly found in shades of pale pink and peach but now  they are easily available in red, yellow, white, purple, and even green. The fact that it continues to endure after so many years and in numerous colors has made it one of the world’s oldest and most popular flower. Carnations have a lot of meanings, but the most common are fascination, distinction, and love. Carnations has become the official flower of Mother’s Day in the early part of the 20th century and is now accepted worldwide. Its scientific name dianthus can somehow be translated as “the heavenly flower”.

Some Facts about Carnations:

  • Carnations are native to Eurasia.
  • Anna Jarvis was the one who gifted carnations at the first Mother’s Day celebration, as it was her mother’s favorite.
  • Due to the fact that carnation blooms last long even when cut, they are highly used in boutonnieres, corsages, bouquets, and in a wide range of floral arrangements.
  • The three most common kinds of Carnations are annual carnations, border carnations and perpetual-flowering carnations. Their name “Dianthus” is given by the Greek botanist Theophrastus.

Factors Influencing Growth of Carnations:

Some of the main factors affecting the growth of Carnations are listed below:

  • Sunlight: Carnations require full sunlight, about 4-5 hours everyday.
  • Soil: Carnations blossom in fertile, well- drained, slightly alkaline (pH 6.75) soil.
  • Water: Carnations do not require much water, except in the hot months. Avoid over-watering as it may tend to turn the foliage yellow. Just spray water on the plants in order to keep them moist.
  • Temperatures and Lighting: The production and development of flower buds are improved under long-day conditions. It increases the plant’s length. Carnations are best grown at an even temperature, as fluctuations stress calyx splitting. Accurate temperature is around 12°C (night) and 24°C (day).
  • Manure: It is excellent for the carnations to provide them with good compost like cow manure, peat or pine bark. Use an organic matter that is well-rotted or decomposed as. You only need about a one-inch layer to work lightly into the soil. Too much soil or nitrogen will also lead to split calyx.
  • Mulching: Mulching prevents weeds in the carnation flower bed and also helps in holding moisture in the soil. Mulching should not be done at the time of growing Carnations. A 2-inch layer of mulch keeps soil moisture from evaporating and provides winter protection for the plant. It is beneficial to use organic mulch such as wood chips.

Carnations – Messages

Another reason why carnations have been revered for centuries is the variety of its colors as each color of carnation delivers a different message. Some of them are written below:

Light red carnations, for example, are often used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. Wearing a white carnation is to honor a deceased mother and wearing a pink carnation is to honor a living mother. Purple Carnations are associated with capriciousness while Striped Carnations with regret and refusal. Green Carnations are preferably given on St. Patrick’s Day. Yellow Carnations are used to express disappointment and dejection.

It is wise to check the meaning of the particular color or type of carnation before gifting it to someone.

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