Red Carnation - A Guide to Red Carnations

Red Carnation

Red carnations represent love, passion, adoration and affection. They cannot go unnoticed as they have that certain charm and allure that captivates the human eye in an instant. Very popular, red carnations managed to keep their classic beauty and maintain the status of “an old favorite in the flower world”.

Red Carnation Description

  • Family: Liliaceae
  • Origin: There are two suppositions involving the origin of the carnation: one implies that the etymology of the word has roots in the Greek “coronation” or “corone” – flower garlands used by the Greeks in their ceremonial crowns - and the other supposition states that “carnation” has a Latin origin, derived from “caro” or “carnis” which can be translated as “flesh” or “incarnatio” as in the incarnation of God into flesh.
  • Sun exposure: Full sun is needed for the healthy growth of the red carnations.
  • Height: Red carnations grow from 15 to 20 inches.
  • Soil: Red carnations need a slightly alkaline soil, well drained and moist.
  • Leaves: Red carnation leaves are green with grey and blue influences. They are long and narrow with a needle pin appearance.
  • Blooming time: The red carnation has an extended blooming period, but although we can find them in florists’ shops all year long, their main flowering time is known to be from mid spring to summer.
  • Maintenance: Red carnations should be cut off all their spent blossoms so that the flower can bloom repeatedly.
  • Propagation method: Red carnations can be propagated through planting seeds, by cuttings and by division.

Red Carnation Species

Light, spray and dwarf carnations are the three types of red carnations. The light are the regular ones, with one big flower on top of the stem, the spray are the ones which have smaller flowers and the dwarf ones are those which have on one stem several flowers.

Red Carnation Meaning

Their color means love, pure gratifying love. Light red carnations stand for respect and admiration while deep red, scarlet carnations have a deeper meaning, a meaning of desire and passionate love. They are used in fraternities as a symbol of loyalty and survival and they became, in 1904, the official state flower of Ohio.

Red inspires beauty, heat, strength – red is the color of the heart, and mixed up in the blooms of the carnations, it can only express one feeling – love.

Red Carnations Arrangements

Red carnation arrangements are uncountable. They are a safe choice and a favorite for all occasions.

Red carnation arrangements in baskets or as centerpieces are very popular. They are used for birthday and wedding decorationsm but also, if mixed with white carnations, they can beautifully become an honoring arrangement used in official ceremonies.

Now if you want to welcome your new neighbors and you don’t know how to cook, you can send over a nice red carnation arrangement, a high triangular one with: red carnations, white snapdragons, lilies, gladiolus and blue delphinium.

Red Carnation Bouquets

Round, star-shaped, cascade, posey or hand-tied – you can find red carnation in all of these types of bouquets as they are spreading their beauty everywhere. Red carnation bouquets are romantic and sweet.

If you think of a way to surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, then a red carnation bouquet is the way to do it. You can go the safe way by choosing a single variety bouquet or you can try a round red carnation bouquet surrounded with fresh gypsophilia and tie them up with a silk bow.

Red carnations can also take a beautiful form in a round bouquet concocted with red hypericum berries and surrounded by dried salix vines. Also, you can cheer up a red carnation bouquet in an instant if you choose to mix them with cream, red and white reagan chrysanthemums and, to spice the “party” up, you can brilliantly use yellow solidago.

Red Carnations in Gardens

Red carnations are perfect for colorful gardens. They cheer the flower beds instantly with their unique frill shaped bloom. Red carnations may be used as border flowers or for the house foundation. They require full sun and moist soil in order to have a fresh look the whole season.


In order to keep the cut red carnations fresh you should be aware of some damaging factors. First, the temperature in which the cut red carnations are kept in should be moderate, the flowers should not be exposed to the sun, nor should they be placed anywhere near an Air Conditioner.

Secondly, you should pay great attention and see whether there are any broken flowers on the stems and you should immediately get rid of them. Also, do not keep freshly cut red carnations near fruit, nor vegetables, these will alter the flower very quick.

Finally, do not keep cut red carnations near smoke, as it will slow the water absorption of the stem.