January Birth Flowers: Symbolism of the Carnation & Snowdrop

Published April 7, 2021
Carnation & Snowdrop flowers

Carnation is a January birth flower and so is snowdrop. You can grow both January birth flowers or give them as a bouquet gift for anyone with a January birthday.

Carnation for January Birth Flower

Carnation is a popular flower. This beautiful, ruffled flower is often used as filler flowers in flower arrangements and bouquets. It is a wonderful January birth flower that you can easily grow in your garden. You can find all types of floral arrangements to send to someone whose birthday is in January.

Pink carnation

Carnation for Your Garden

Besides pink, carnations come in red, white, dark pink, peach, purple, orange, yellow, and various bi-color combinations. You can grow carnations from seed or purchase bareroot stock for faster growth.

Fragrant Carnations Are Great Cut Flowers

Carnations are very fragrant. Their perfume can be different from one color to another. They are excellent cut flowers, growing up to two feet tall.

Sunlight, Soil, and Water Requirements for Carnations

You need either a sunny or partial sunny spot in your garden to plant carnations. The flower requires a minimum of 5 hours of full sunlight. Carnations need well-drained soil. Carnations don't like a lot of water. Watering once a week is usually sufficient. Be sure you don't over water.

Start Carnation Seeds Indoors or Direct Sow

You can start the seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost in spring. You can transplant your carnation seedling after the last spring frost. If you decide to direct sow the carnation seeds, you'll need to wait until the danger of frost has passed. For regions with mild winters, you can sow carnation seeds in the fall.

Symbolisms and Meanings of Carnations

The carnation is the symbol of love. It's believed that the name carnation comes from the time of Greek gods. The carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) is translated as flower of the gods and flower of love. It's believed that the carnation comes from the word coronation and was used in coronation wreaths. Carnations were a favored decoration in Ancient Rome.

Tears of Blessed Virgin Mary

Another story about the very first carnation tells how the flower was created from Mother Mary's tears as she wept at the cross of her son, Jesus. A carnation sprang from the earth when her tears fell to the ground. This story was memorialized by Leonardo da Vinci in his 1478 painting, Madonna of the Carnation. The painting features the Madonna holding a pink carnation.

Carnation Official Mother's Day Flower

Ever since the da Vinci painting, pink carnations have been the universal symbol of a mother's love. It shouldn't be surprising that the carnation is the official Mother's Day flower. In the past, when mothers wore corsages to church on Mother's Day, the corsage featured pink carnations.

Meanings of Different Colors of Carnations

Besides pink, carnations come in red, white, dark pink, peach, orange, yellow and various bi-colors. If you want to send someone carnations to celebrate their January birthday flower, then you need to know the meaning behind the colors to better express your feelings for the birthday gal or guy. Some colors have multiple meanings, and a few have contradicting meanings. You can always clarify your meaning with a message card accompanying the flowers.

To express:

  • Admiration - Send light red carnations.
  • Pure love or good luck - Send white carnations.
  • Passionate heartfelt love - Send deep red carnations.
  • Gratitude, motherly love - Send pink carnations.
  • Eternal love - Send pink carnations.
  • Rejection - Send yellow carnations.
  • Cheer up, best wishes - Send yellow carnations.

Snowdrop for January Flower

The snowdrop (Galanthus) emerges from the snow with its bell shaped white flower. The flower head droops as though bowing under the burden of snow as it pushes above the snowline. This elegant flower only has two leaves that resemble blades of grass.

White Flowering Snowdrop Flower

Snowdrop Is a Symbol of Hope

The snowdrop January flower is a symbol of hope. It emerges from the cold harsh winter with its delicate flower and minimalist leaves. It isn't likely that you can find this flower for bouquet giving, but you can grow your own and create an amazing floral arrangement should you choose.

How to Grow Snowdrops in Your Garden

You can add the delicate snowdrop flower to your garden as a way to celebrate one of your January birth flowers. The snowdrop requires a cool climate and doesn't grow well in hot environments. The snowdrop requires soil that is well drained and a cool and moist environment.

Where to Plant Snowdrop

You'll need to select an area in your garden that receives partial sunlight. The snowdrop flower prefers to grow in an open meadow or forest floor so it can spread out. However, you can successfully grow snowdrops in garden containers and flower beds. You'll need to plant your snowdrop bulbs in the fall to give the bulbs a period of cold to stimulate spring growth.

Low Maintenance With Little Care Required

The snowdrop doesn't require watering as a rule due to the time of year that it blooms when the snow is melting. The grow season is too early for many insect pests and the cold weather keeps common plant diseases at bay.

Explore Your January Birth Flower

Discovering your January birth flower means you learn about carnations and snowdrops. The two birth flowers are quite different from each other, but each one can make a wonderful addition to your home garden.

January Birth Flowers: Symbolism of the Carnation & Snowdrop