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January Birth Flowers - Carnation and The Snowdrop

January Birth Flowers - Carnation and The Snowdrop

The January birth flowers are the carnation and the snowdrop

January Birth Month Flower: The Carnation

The carnation comes in several different colours to convey different meanings, much like roses. A pink carnation means affection, while a red carnation means ‘I love you.’

White carnations mean pure love, striped carnations means regret that a love is not shared, and yellow means rejection or disappointment. 

Dianthus caryophyllus, carnation or clove pink, is a species of Dianthus. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years.

According to a Christian legend, Carnations first appeared on earth as Jesus carried the Cross. Carnations sprang up from where the Virgin Mary's tears fell as she cried over her son's plight.
Miss. Anna Jarvis (The Founder of Mother's Day) used Carnations at the first Mother's Day celebration.

Of the several kinds of Carnations, the three most common are the annual carnationsborder carnations and perpetual-flowering carnations.

Carnations are also commonly referred to by their scientific name, "Dianthus", the name given by the Greek botanist Theopharastus. Carnations got the name Dianthus from two Greek Words - "dios", referring to the god Zeus, and "anthos", meaning flower. Carnations are thus known as the "The Flowers of God".

Carnations - Meanings

Another reason why carnations have become popular is because they come in numerous colors and each color of carnation has a different meaning. Some of these meanings are listed below.

Carnations What they Mean
Carnations in general Fascination, Woman's Love
Pink Carnations Mother's Love
Light red Carnations Admiration
Dark red Carnations Deep Love and a Woman's Affection
White Carnations Pure Love and Good Luck
Striped Carnations Regret, Refusal
Green Carnations St. Patrick's Day
Purple Carnations Capriciousness
Yellow Carnation Disappointment, Dejection

It is a good idea to check the meaning of the particular color or type of carnation before you gift them to someone.

Some Interesting Facts about Carnations 

  • Carnations express love, fascination and distinction.
  • Carnations are native to Eurasia.
  • Historically, Carnations are known to have been used for the first time by Greeks and Romans in garlands.
  • Carnations are exotic to Australia but have been grown commercially as a flower crop since 1954.
  • Carnation blooms last a long time even after they are cut.
  • Carnation flowers have become symbolic of mother's love and also of Mother's Day. 

About the Carnation Flower and Plant

The single flowers of the Carnations species, Dianthus caryophyllus have 5 petals and vary from white to pink to purple in color. Border Carnation cultivars may have double flowers with as many as 40 petals.

When grown in gardens, Carnations grow to between 6 and 8.5 cm in diameter. Petals on Carnations are generally clawed or serrated.

Carnations are bisexual flowers and bloom simply or in a branched or forked cluster. The stamens on Carnations can occur in one or two whorls, in equal number or twice the number of the petals.

The Carnation leaves are narrow and stalk less and their color varies from green to grey-blue or purple. Carnations grow big, full blooms on strong, straight stems.

Types of Carnations

Carnation cultivars are mainly of three types:

  • Large flowered Carnations - one large flower per stem.
  • Spray Carnations (Mini Carnations) - with lots of smaller flowers.
  • Dwarf flowered Carnations - several small flowers on one stem.

Growing Carnations

  • Carnations grow readily from cuttings made from the suckers that form around the base of the stem, the side shoots of the flowering stem, or the main shoots before they show flower-buds.
  • The cuttings from the base make the best plants in most cases.
  • These cuttings may be taken from a plant at any time through fall or winter, rooted in sand and potted up.
  • They may be put in pots until the planting out time in spring, which is usually in April or in any time when the ground is ready to be handled.
  • The soil should be deep, friable and sandy loam.

Carnation Plant Care

  • Carnations need some hours of full sun each day and should be kept moist.
  • Avoid over-watering as this may tend to turn the foliage yellow.
  • Spent flowers should be removed promptly to promote continued blooming.
  • The quality of the bloom depends on the soil and irrigation aspects for growing carnations.
  • Those who grow carnations should know the importance of pinching, stopping and disbudding.
  • At the time of plucking carnations, leave three to four nodes at the base and remove the stem.
  • The plant foliage should not be exposed to the direct heat of a stove or the sun.

January birthday flowers carnation and snowdrop | Shop Fabulous Flowers

Meaning: Admiration, Love, Hope, New beginnings

Celebrating a birthday in January | Shop Fabulous Flowers Cape Town florist

The snowdrop used to be considered bad luck because it always seemed to appear to grow in graveyards, but nowadays this delicate flower signifies hope and beauty.

Galanthus is a small genus of about 20 species of bulbous perennial herbaceous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae. The plants have two linear leaves and a single small white drooping bell shaped flower with six petal-like tepals in two circles.

As the name suggests, snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are one of the first of all spring flowers to bloom; depending on region, they appear in February and March, often while snow still blankets the ground. This low-growing plant tolerates partial shade to full sun, a variety of soil types, and requires almost no maintenance. It is toxic to animals and humans, but where this is not a concern, it offers the benefit of being virtually immune to feeding by deer and other wildlife.


Common snowdrops are tiny plants (3 to 6 inches tall) that produce one small (1 inch or less), white flower, which hangs down off its stalk like a "drop" prior to opening. When the bloom opens, three outer petals arch out over three inner petals. The leaves are shaped like narrow blades, growing about 4 inches long. Snowdrops are perennial plants that may multiply and spread over time; in fact, they will frequently naturalize. Take advantage of this fact to lift and divide the bulbs when you wish to propagate snowdrops.

Botanical Information

Plant taxonomy classifies common snowdrops as Galanthus nivalis. The genus name refers to the white color of the flowers (gala is Greek for "milk," while anthos is Greek for "flower"), and nivalis is Latin for "snow-like." They are classified as spring bulb plants and belong to the amaryllis family. A native plant to Europe and southwest Asia, snowdrops are winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7. In the southern zones, the bulbs may lose vigor over time; this is plant best suited to cooler climates.

Plants of a similar appearance do exist, both inside and outside the Galanthusgenus. For example:

  • G. elwesii is called the "giant snowdrop" and grows to be twice as tall as G. nivalis.
  • Leucojum vernum, a plant of about the same size as the giant snowdrop (1 foot tall), is called the "spring snowflake."
  • Leucojum aestivum bears the common name of "summer snowflake." It is of a similar size to L. vernum, and both are suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 8.
So how are the snowflakes (Leucojum) different from the snowdrops (Galanthus)? Whereas the three outer petals of the latter are larger than the three inner petals, all six of the flower petals the Leucojum genus are the same length. And how do you tell summer snowflake apart from spring snowflake? Despite the former's common name, it does not bloom in summer, but rather in mid-spring. By contrast, spring snowflake blooms earlier, in early spring. Moreover, a flowering stem of summer snowflake is likely to bear more flowers—up to six, whereas you will usually find just one bloom (or occasionally two) on a flowering stem of spring snowflake. In Latin, vernum and aestivum mean "spring" and "summer," respectively.

Snowdrops January birthday flowers | Shop Fabulous Flowers

Landscape Uses

Snowdrops are usually planted in drifts of grouped bulbs, and they will gradually spread over time. They are often mixed with other spring-blooming bulbs. You can plant snowdrop bulbs under deciduous trees without worrying that your snowdrops will not receive sufficient sunlight since they bloom and begin storing nutrient well before the leaves come out on trees. This fact gives you a lot of flexibility. As petite plants that crave good drainage, snowdrops are also well suited for rock gardens, where they will provide some early-season interest. And they are a natural choice for woodland gardens and for moon gardens, where the white flowers brighten shady areas and the evening garden.

Growing Snowdrops

Snowdrops take full sun to partial shade. Grow them in well-drained soil that has plenty of humus. This plant does not require particularly moist soil in the North; in the South, however, it will need more water.Plant the bulbs 2 to 3 inches deep in the ground, in groups of up to 25 bulbs. Recommended planting time is in the fall. These are small plants that will not have much impact individually, so their bulbs should be planted closely together in groups to create a showy spring display. The typical use is to have a blanket of snowdrops to cover an area, replacing winter's blanket of snow. Do not remove the plant's foliage until it has turned yellow so that your snowdrops have a chance to store nutrients for next year.

Snowdrops readily multiply, and they can be propagated simply by lifting, dividing, and replanting the bulbs in the fall.


Snowdrops have no serious disease or pest problems. However, remember that these are poisonous plants for humans, dogs, and cats alike. Consequently, do not allow pets or children to eat them. Nor should you work with the plants without wearing garden gloves (for example, when picking up the bulbs to plant them); some people can develop skin irritation from handling them without protection.

Companion Species

Other early-short plants that flower early include:

  • Glory-of-the-snow bulbs (Chionodoxa)
  • Crocus bulbs 
  • Winter aconite bulbs (Eranthis hyemalis)
  • Adonis flowers (Adonis amurensis 'Fukujukai')

Winter aconite and Adonis both have yellow flowers. The flowers on glory-of-the-snow can be light pink, blue, lavender, or white. Crocus also blooms in various colours, including purple. All four serve readily as companion plants for snowdrops in a woodland or rock garden setting.

Snowdrops January birthday flower Cape Town florist | Fabulous Flowers

Sources - Wikipedia, The Almanac, The Flower Expert, The Spruce