Flowers make great gifts. They are beautiful and have been scientifically shown to improve mood and reduce stress. Flowers fit in the décor or almost every room in your home as well, which makes them an extremely versatile gift. To ensure your recipient loves their flowers or arrangements, you need to follow a little etiquette.
Flower sending etiquette has changed significantly over time, but that doesn’t mean it has lost importance. In fact, the messages you put into your flower gifts may matter more than ever. You don’t want to give offense or annoyance to anyone with your flower arrangement. Follow the tips in the rest of this article. In the end, you will be an expert in flower-sending etiquette and know the best flowers and arrangements for each person in your life.
Flower sending etiquette
In the 19th century, the rules of etiquette surrounding giving and receiving flowers was extremely strict. Let’s be honest, the rules governing any behavior in the Victorian era were strict! But in the last century or so the etiquette of flower-giving has loosened up. That doesn’t mean there are no etiquette rules anymore, though.
Here are a few important rules to follow the next time you plan to give a flower or arrangement.
1) Keep pets in mind.
Unfortunately, some plants and flowers are toxic to pets. Most of the time these plants are only toxic when ingested. For example, lilies are toxic if eaten by cats. However, it is still better to be safe than sorry. Do not send someone a flower or plant that may be toxic to their pet.
ASCPA publishes a list of the known flowers and plants that are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. This list makes it extremely easy to stay away from certain flowers and plants for homes with pets. We’d recommend consulting the list before sending flowers to a friend or loved one’s pet-filled home.
2) Condolence flowers require special consideration.
Sending flowers or plants as a condolence gift requires special consideration. This is one situation where some etiquette rules still apply. Most people prefer not to send extremely colorful flowers for funerals or other sad occasions. Some even prefer that certain flowers or plants—a deceased loved one’s favorites maybe—be sent, and no others.
Always abide by the person’s wishes when sending condolence flowers. Also, consider where the person would like you to send the flowers. You may be asked to send condolence flowers to the funeral home or other location. Again, do as the grieving person asks in condolence situations.
3) Always consider personal preference.
No, we don’t mean your own personal preferences. You should instead focus on the recipients’ preferences. What flowers do they prefer? What are their values? What type of décor or furniture do they have in their homes?
By keeping your flower and plant gifts personal, you will ensure that the recipient feels seen and loved. Don’t be afraid to ask someone’s flower preferences either. This is the best way to find out exactly what type of flower arrangements they prefer.
4) Traditional or not is your choice.
Just because a flower is traditionally used for a certain situation does not mean it is a bad choice. Sometimes traditions are there for a reason. For example, red roses are typically given to a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day. Roses are one of the most popular flowers in the world for a reason. Don’t reject giving a rose bouquet on Valentine’s Day just because everyone else does it too.
On the other hand, sometimes it is a good idea to break with tradition. Feel free to consider different flowers or arrangements for certain scenarios. In today’s relaxed etiquette environment, it is much less stressful to pick out a great flower gift.
Best Flowers and Arrangements for Each Person
Knowing the etiquette of flower giving doesn’t mean you understand what flowers to give each person. Below are the best flowers and arrangements for each type of person.
A quick note: These are only guidelines. Obviously, if your recipient has a favorite flower or arrangement, feel free to give them it. Not all men will like live plants and not all women will want a flower subscription. These are just suggestions for those of you who have no idea what flower may work for someone special in your life.
Red Roses for a romantic partner
Our first suggestion is probably the most self-evident of any on this list. For a romantic partner, we recommend red roses. Of course, we do! Red roses are popularly known as the romance flower. Roses in general have this meaning. But, the many different colors of roses provide nuanced meanings. Red roses have mean romantic love for centuries.
If you want to give a traditional gift that immediately screams “I love you,” try red roses.
Sunflowers for friends
Sunflowers are a bright and sunny flower. They are unique and eye-catching. With its bright yellow color and large blooms, a sunflower bouquet is hard to miss. Sunflowers have also traditionally have been used to mean adoration and loyalty. These are two sentiments that are more than appropriate to give a friend.
You should probably stay away from romantic flowers when giving a gift to a friend. Sunflowers, instead, are bright, sunny, and happy. They are a perfect gift for a Galentine’s Day celebration or girl’s night out.
Carnations for moms
Red carnations are typically given to moms on Mother’s Day. The red carnation has long been associated with mothers. In the Christian tradition, it is said to have bloomed where Mary’s tears fell as she watched Jesus carry the cross. It is no wonder that the carnation has become the symbol of a mother’s love.
You don’t have to wait for mother’s day to buy your mom a carnation. They come in many colors and color combinations. And, they work well as a filler flower in any arrangement. Send a carnation bouquet today, and your mom is sure to thank you.
Tropical Flowers for fathers
Mom’s do not have to be the only parent that gets a flower on their special day. Dads can be a problem though since many people do not want to give their dads a “girly” flower. Tropical flowers provide a great solution to this problem. They usually have unique shapes and smells. Plus, they will not carry the same cultural association with romance as some of our Western flowers.
Live Plants for men
Just as with Father’s Day, it can be hard to find an appropriate flower or arrangement gift for men. Unless you know exactly what type of flowers they prefer, you may be concerned about giving them something too “feminine.” Live plants are a great way to get around this problem.
You can find tropical plants, like orchids, money trees, or Bali Anthuriums as live plants on our website. You could also consider a succulent live plant. These are all perfect options for the plant-loving man in your life. Plus, they are gifts that will provide long-term enjoyment.
Flower Subscription for women
Women are admittedly a lot easier to buy flowers for. There are so many flowers that most women like. If you are looking for a unique flower gift for a woman, try one of our subscription plans. We offer monthly, weekly, and bi-weekly plans. There is even a monthly all-rose subscription available.
With our subscriptions, you will receive a special curate bouquet that includes a specific number of blooms. The plan you choose determines the number of blooms your bouquet receives. For example, the Bloomsy Deluxe monthly plan has 20-24 steam while the Bloomsy Farm Classic provides 18-20 stems.
It doesn’t matter what number of stems your plan has, though. All of our subscription bouquets are beautiful and long-lasting. They all ship directly from our participating farms to your door. The farms we partner with are Rainforest Alliance certified. You never have to sacrifice your love for the environment when you choose our arrangements. Our subscription plans make the perfect gift for a woman you love.