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  • Writer's pictureMay

Why The Attitude Towards Carnations?

So, since I am in the shop most days, I hear a lot from my customers. I hear which flowers are their favorites, which are their least favorites, and which ones they are indifferent towards. There are a few select flowers, however, that I hear very strong opinions on. The most common flower I hear love or hate for is carnations! Why is this? Well, I unfortunately don’t have the answer to that one – but I can tell you the opinions of I have been given on carnations, and what I think of them myself!

Green trick carnation and other carnations
Green Trick

Carnations are a long-lasting flower and have the botanical name dianthus. Did you know that a “green trick” is in the dianthus family? Check out these fuzzy, green stems! I remember being 17 and working in a flower shop and saying to my boss “Hey, have you ever noticed the stems of these green trick look like a carnation?” This is when she told me they were in the same family! I thought it was so cool, yet so strange.

From what I have seen, a cut carnation stem lasts at least a week or more before it starts to look “tired”. Even once it loses the initial brightness, it is still quite sturdy and lasts for another week or so. I have from time to time had customers return and tell me their carnations lasted for three weeks, or even a month! I do not advertise them to last this long, nor can guarantee they will last this long. With the proper care (water, fresh cuts, flower food) they definitely will last longer.

Many of those who come in to buy carnations that ARE fans of the flower will tell me they love the longevity of the blooms. They love the array of colors they come in (more shades of pink than you can imagine, yellow, green, orange, red, burgundy, white, peach, purple, and I am sure more that I am not thinking of off the top of my head). They love the scent they have (I personally do not find the scent to be very strong, but when I do catch a whiff of one they do have a nice, light scent to them). Sometimes I hear that they love the shape and/or the amount of petals on a carnation. Of all these reasons, longevity is the reason that is predominantly given for the appreciation they have for the flower.

“What about the people who DON’T like carnations?”

What I hear most often from those who are not fans of carnations, is that they are cheap. Which is true, they are less expensive than a rose, a lily, or many other flowers. But the pricing doesn’t mean they are poor quality! They just happen to be easier to grow than many other flowers, therefore making the end price to the consumer lower than others. I also hear a stigma that they are ‘funeral flowers’. Which is quite strange to me, I have never known them to be a funeral flower. It is something I hear quite often though. Carnations are actually the first flower that was traditionally used for Mother’s Day, especially the white carnations.

So, from reading the above, have I changed your mind on this inexpensive but mighty flower? Why or why not?

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