White Carnation - A Guide to White Carnations

White Carnation

White Carnations are both simple and sophisticated. These lovely flowers stand for purity, love, faithfulness and good luck. Grown for over 2000 years, the white carnations are known for their exquisite ornamental use. A white carnation bouquet is a perfect gift for one’s mother, it’s a perfect bride’s bouquet and it is considered to have a divine beauty in garlands.

White Carnation Description

  • Family: Caryophyllaceae
  • Origin: The Greeks and the Romans were the first to use white carnations in garlands. Flowers were cultivated primary for their decorative quality and the white carnations are believed to be one of the first of this kind.
  • Sun exposure: White carnations grow better when kept in full sun. However, they can survive in partial shade, too.
  • Height: White carnations grow from 12 to 18 inches.
  • Soil: Damp, slightly alkaline soil is preferred when growing white carnations.
  • Leaves: White carnations have slender leaves which can grow up to 5.9 inches and they are light bluish-green in color.
  • Blooming time: Mid-summer is the basic blooming period for the white carnations.
  • Maintenance: White carnations should not be watered excessively and when grown in the ground they should be seeded 12 inches apart from one another in order to develop properly.
  • Propagation method: White carnations can be propagated through planting seeds, by cuttings and by division.

White Carnation Species

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

White Carnation Meaning

White carnations are a symbol for any act of love. They stand for true love and good luck. White carnations are also the flowers of those who are born in the first month of the year, January.

Although its color inspires a calm feeling, the white carnation is sometimes used by children in order to emphasize the departure of one’s mother or when sitting at your first exam in college, like England’s Oxford University students do. Also in college, the white carnation is used as a symbol for different fraternities and sororities from Universities.

White Carnations Arrangements

White carnations arrangements are wonderful, as these white flowers can be mixed with almost any other color. It is very easy to form a beautiful arrangement when using white carnations. They can be mixed up with flowers like lilies, daisies or poms. You can manufacture beautiful garlands with white carnations or even place them on top of wedding cakes.

White carnations arrangements can be very elegant. They bring light when set on a table, they refresh the interior in which they are placed. They can be used in large amounts and still not give the sensation of being “too much”, as they are quite calming for the human eye. They keep it simple, but they still manage to brighten up a room.

Also, white carnations arrangements appear very clean and fresh all the time and they go with everything, with any other kind of accessory.

White Carnation Bouquets

White carnations bouquets are amazing especially in weddings. They are very stylish when tied with silk bows or just wrapped up in lace.

White carnation bouquets are mostly round and rich. They can be mixed up with red roses, white hydrangeas, green cymbidiums, dried salix vines or stephanotis.

White Carnations in Gardens

When grown in gardens, white carnations should first be seeded indoors at the beginning of February and then be transplanted in the garden in late March. They should be watered, but not too much, as you don’t want any standing water above the soil in which they are planted.

When planted in gardens, white carnations may be seeded between begonias, pinkish flowers or vinca. In order to have all season long a colorful garden, you should try to mix perennial with annual flowers and camellia bushes. White carnations can also be a wonderful ornament for the foundation of a house, so keep this in mind for next spring’s seeding.


The bloom of a white carnation can stay perky for as long as two weeks if it is taken care of properly. Change the water from the vase every two days and place once a week a little sugar cube. This will freshen up the bloom an revigorate the stem.

White carnations are very popular for their ornamental purpose. They are excellent in both cut and dried arrangements. White carnations will always be elegant and classy and they will always be a sure way out for you when trying to choose a fancy posy as a present for your mom on Mother’s Day.