The Significance of Carnations on Mother’s Day

We all want to celebrate and show appreciation to the most important woman in our lives on her special day, don’t we? Instead of forking out a huge fortune to impress Mum, who would probably frown upon the act of splurging on unnecessarily expensive gifts, why not give her a simple yet meaningful gift of carnations to convey your innermost thoughts and emotions?

Carnations are often bought in bouquets to express one’s gratitude or to send well-wishes to one’s maternal figure. Native to the Mediterranean region, the ruffled flowers come in red, pink, white, purple and yellow. Although they are beautiful flowers, Carnations are not as popular as Roses or Sunflowers on any normal occasion, often being used as fillers in flower bouquets instead due to their puffy shape, which adds bulk to a bouquet. Carnations make good bouquet fillers as they complement almost any flower without stealing the show, the way a mother would encourage and show support to her children from the sidelines so that their children can shine at their brightest. 

The Carnation gained widespread fame as the official flower for Mother’s Day when Anna Jarvis, the “founder” of the modern Mother’s Day, distributed hundreds of her mother’s favourite White Carnations when she first celebrated this day officially in the USA in 1908. Ever since, the Carnation has become a symbol of motherly love. Its symbolism can also be traced back to a Christian legend, which says that Carnations bloomed on the ground where the Virgin Mary shed tears as Jesus carried the cross, symbolising a mother’s love for her child. 

Pink Carnations

The most commonly gifted Carnations on Mother’s Day are Pink Carnations. The Pink Carnation is a symbol of a mother’s protective, nurturing and unconditionally-loving nature. Other colour variations include the Red Carnation, which symbolises love and affection, and the White Carnation, which symbolises pure love. You should never give yellow carnations on Mother’s Day (or to anyone on any ordinary day, for that matter) because these flowers signify disappointment and rejection. 

Although Carnations tend to have a poor reputation as cheap bouquet fillers, there are many traits that make Carnations a good choice of flowers used for gifting. Carnations are hypoallergenic flowers, so you don’t have to worry about buying a bouquet of Carnations for your mother who is allergic to flower pollen. They can last for up to three weeks even with little nourishment, so that your mother can admire them for a little longer than most freshly cut flowers. They are strong, sturdy flowers that can thrive in any condition without much nourishment, able to stay fresh for up to three weeks with the right care and attention.


Have you ever given your mother a bouquet of carnations on Mother’s day? Why not try it out this year? Be spoilt for choice with FARM Florist’s wide variety of Mother’s Day gifts!

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