Karen Fratti
April 22, 2017 2:21 pm

Most people associate carnations with old-fashioned prom corsages and boutonnieres. But the carnation is making a serious comeback this spring, so if you’ve been invited to a wedding this summer, expect to see some colorful blooms on your table (or maybe even in the bouquet). Carnations are affordable, too, which is likely one of the reasons they’ve earned themselves a reputation for being less cool or classy than other flowers. But carnations are beautiful! And they come in SO. MANY. COLORS. Which means there are so many options for making arrangements, bouquets, or perking up your living room with a tiny vase of carnations.

Michael and Darroch Putnam, a florist couple based in New York, told Vogue that they’re on board with the carnation comeback. Said Darroch:

He added, “Then there are these fun little guys called spray carnations; they’re almost fuzzy looking.”

What’s not to love about fuzzy little color bombs (that you can actually afford)?

Ready to tackle this trend head-on? Here’s some carnation inspo to perk up everything from your apartment to your head table this season.

Mix and match your buds.


Play with texture and size.

Keep it simple with complementary colors.

So fluffy!

Try them in a flower crown.

Millennial Pink, anyone?

Blend them in with other blooms.

The cool thing about carnations is that each color also means something, so you can make an arrangement based on whatever message you want to send to your guests at a table or just put on a table in your house. You can send yourself a little inspirational message every time you look at them.

Here are some common meanings and carnation colors:


White carnations mean purity or luck, perfect for a wedding.


Light red carnations mean admiration, so you can add some to a bouquet for your BFF.


Dark red carnations symbolize love and affection, so save these for your secret crush.


Pink carnations symbolize gratitude, which means they make a great way to thank someone with flowers!


Yellow carnations mean disappointment or rejection, so uh, you might want to skip these, unless you’re Pretty Little Liars’ A.D. or something creepy.


Purple carnations symbolize capriciousness or spontaneity, so be a geek and use them to ask someone out on a date or something fun.

Whatever you choose to do with your carnations, have fun. We’re all about keeping this colorful carnation kick for as long as possible.