After looking at a carnation’s delicate ruffled petals, it’s easy to see why they’re one of the most popular cut flowers. And while these flowers look stunning on their own, they also fit well with other blooms. We’re going to introduce you to some of the best flowers to pair with carnations so you create a beautiful bouquet.
The Best Flowers to Pair With Carnations in Floral Arrangements
1. Baby’s Breath
If there’s one flower that is considered a classic pair to carnations, it’s baby’s breath. Both of these flowers have a delicate and romantic appearance that makes them go together like salt and pepper.
Although these flowers have a similar aesthetic, the baby’s breath blooms are much smaller than the carnations. This difference in size provides enough contrast to keep the bouquet interesting.
While carnations are known for their ruffled petals and round shape, lilies are known for smooth lines. Pairing the trumpet-shaped lilies with round carnations creates a nicely contrasting arrangement.
Some lily options include pink and white stargazer lilies and white Easter lilies.
If you’re looking for a flower that’s a similar size and shape as carnations but a bit different, check out chrysanthemums. Also known as mums, these flowers have layers upon layers of smooth, pointed petals.
There are all sorts of mums, and many of them pair well with carnations. Button mums have small flowers that work well with the carnations’ ruffles, and spider mums elongated petals help balance out the delicate carnations.
4. Gerbera Daisies
While a carnation’s delicate petals seem almost to blend together, a gerberas daisy’s distinctly separate petals are quite the opposite. That means you can pair carnations and gerberas for a nice contrasting bouquet.
And although the flower shapes are pretty different, carnations and gerbera daisies are around the same size. So while the bouquet will be intriguing, the flowers will fit together well.
Both the rose and carnation are two classic cut flowers, which is one of the reasons they pair so well together! And since you can find a variety of rose shapes and colors, you can choose one that helps you create just the mixed arrangement you’re imagining.
Opt for tea roses if you want a more refined and elegant look. And if you’re looking for something a bit more romantic and whimsical, grab some garden roses to pair with your carnations.
One of the rules of bouquet-making is to strive for balance in texture, color, and height. That’s why elongated snapdragons pair well with more compact carnations.
Try using multiple carnation stems to create a base for your bouquet, then tuck in a few snapdragon stems to add some height and intrigue.
Another elegant flower that pairs well with carnations is the lisianthus. Both of these flowers have soft petals that arrange to form small, round flowers. However, the flowers are different enough that they create a bouquet that isn’t too one-dimensional.
Lisianthus often includes multiple flowers on a single stem, so you may only need to have two or three stems in a medium-sized arrangement.
While eucalyptus isn’t a flower, this plant produces greenery with a subdued blue-green shade that pairs great with carnations.
Another reason why eucalyptus pairs well with carnations is its elongated shape. You can tuck a few stems of this greenery into your carnations to add a bit of depth to the arrangement.
9. Calla Lilies
Don’t let the name of these flowers fool you—they’re not actually lilies. However, despite the misnomer, their sophisticated cup-like shape makes a stunning pair for carnations.
Since the calla lilies and carnations have such different shapes and textures, using only these two flowers can be a bit jarring. To help soften the bouquet, add some flowers like garden roses or spray mums.
The last flower that pairs well with carnations is stock, also known as Matthiola. Stock produces many small ruffled flowers on long stems—it looks like a bunch of tiny carnation flowers on a stem!
Mixing carnations and stock with greenery like eucalyptus can help create a calm yet cheerful bouquet.
Flowers That Pair Well With Carnations FAQs:
What Flowers Pair Best With Carnations?
All kinds of flowers can pair well with carnations! Some flowers to try out include roses, snapdragons, chrysanthemums, and lilies.
How Do You Arrange Carnations?
Since carnations are flatter, it’s best to put them in your bouquet first. You can then add taller stems and larger flowers like lilies and snapdragons.
How Long Do Carnations Last?
Carnations will last one to two weeks in a vase. Keep them out of direct light and warm temperatures to help them stay fresh.
Now that you know flowers that pair well with carnations, you can select a few of your favorites and create your bouquet.
For more, see our in-depth guide to carnation growing zones and native ranges, tips on managing non-flowering carnations, the best locations to plant carnations, and how to propagate and transplant carnation flowers in your garden.
Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.
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