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What Is a Mini Carnation?

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  • Written By: R. Stamm
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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A mini carnation is a delicate flower with many blooms perched on top of a single stem. The flower’s botanical name, Dianthus, literally means "Zeus flower" in Latin and is a smaller version of a carnation. The blooms blossom during the fall months to the spring months in temperate climates and rocky soils. The flower produces blooms all year round when grown in greenhouse environments. It is a versatile flower used in floral design and as a filler plant in gardens.

The multi-petal, double-blossom mini carnation produce blooms that are approximately 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) to 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters) in width. The blooms sprout on multi-branch stems with multiple blooms per spray. They grow in a rainbow of pastel or bright colors, and some blooms are bi-colored or frosted.

While there are varieties of the mini carnation growing in the wild, in southern Europe, they seem to grow best in greenhouse environments. In some North American temperate climates, they grow well outside as perennials and will not survive in harsh climates. These flowers grow best in soils containing lime that are well-drained, gritty, and sandy. They thrive in areas of full sun exposure and will grow 2 feet (about 6 decimeters) to 3 feet (about 9 decimeters) in height.

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With proper care, a mini carnation will last between eight and 14 days in the vase. It is also necessary to remove any foliage resting below the waterline from the stem. The stem is cut with a sharp knife at an angle under water. The cut stem is placed in a vase with a solution of warm water and floral preservatives or floral food.

The Mini carnation is available throughout the year and is a versatile flower. The full blooms add bulk to arrangements, which make these flowers common as fillers, or they look superb in arrangements by themselves. The flower is a common choice for corsages used at weddings, proms, or other celebrations and is also used for funerals. When grown outside in gardens, they add color and fill in open spaces.

In order to get the most use out of purchased mini carnations, it is essential to know what to look for. The best carnations for purchase have tight buds with one or two open per stem. The colors are vibrant with no brown petals or marks around the edges, and the blooms do not appear shriveled. The flowers sit perkily on a firm stem with little or no drooping.

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