Carnations are of the Near East origin. The have been cultivated for the last 2,000 years. The name "carnation" is believed to come from Greek. Carnis (flesh) symbolizes the original colour of the flower, or comes from the word incarnacyon (incarnation), which refers to the incarnation of God made flesh. Another version is that "carnation" stands for "coronation" or "corone" (flower garlands), as carnations were used in ceremonial crowns in Greece. The Greek botanist Theopharastus also called this flower dianthus.
The carnation is believed to symbolize pride and beauty.
Carnations are used in a variety of floral arrangements, and also in costume decorations as boutonnieres, as well as in corsages. Carnations exhale a piquant clove-like scent and their blooms last for a long time. The most common colors are white, red, and pink. Today florists tint white carnations into any color imaginable for special occasions.
Carnations bloom from the spring and throughout the summer. The perennial varieties are very strong. They easily withstand light frosts before going dormant for the winter.
Carnations are grown from seed. They can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or planted indoors for transplanting later. If planting outdoors, sow them early in the spring into rich, well-drained soil.
Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a month.
Fresh-cut carnations that are still in "bud" should be given space to open to their full potential - do not group them into a tight bouquet. Carnations will open faster, if placed in a warm room for 12 to 24 hours.