How to Use Carnations in Vases


Carnations are frequently given as simple gifts for dance recitals, school plays and other events, but don't get the face time they deserve in home decor. Carnations can be arranged in any of a variety of vases to look simply stunning. Paired with complimentary flowers, branches or even fruit, you can make a stunning display. The next time you have some of these affordable flowers on hand, put them in a vase and let them take center stage.

Step 1

Select carnations that are firm and only slightly opened for a long-lasting display. Carnations are readily available from florists year round. You can purchase them in a variety of colors, or give them your own tint. Carnations are well known for their ability to absorb food coloring placed in the water and display it on their petals.

Step 2

Cut the stem of each flower at a slight angle. Carnations have thick nodes along their stems. Cut the carnation in between these nodes to allow it to absorb the most water.

Step 3

Combine the carnations with flowers that have a contrasting shape. Feathery varieties such as gypsophilia will be anchored by the solid rounded shape of carnations. A stark branch with small groups of hypericum berries makes a striking contrast to the stable shape of a carnation. For a fuller and more traditional looking bouquet, arrange a thick bunch of carnations alone, in concentric circles in a wide mouthed vase.

Step 4

Place the carnation arrangement in a tall and thin vase for a simplistic piece. Use a wide mouthed vase for rounder arrangements. White carnations in a solid white vase look very modern. Colored carnations in a brightly colored vase can make a bold statement.

Things You'll Need

  • Carnations
  • Scissors
  • Contrasting flowers
  • Vase


  • Paula Pryke's Flower School: Mastering the Art of Floral Design; Paula Pryke; 2009
  • Apartment Therapy: Beautiful, Frugal Flowers
Keywords: flower arranging, flower display, carnation displays

About this Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.