What kind of flowers to send? Your choice should depend on the occasion

What kind of flowers to send? Your choice should depend on the occasion

No one is going to object to receiving flowers, unless they’re extremely weird and unappreciative or highly allergic but … what kind of flowers to send?

Frankly, any flower is a wonderful gift and sentiment but there are those who hold tight to the dictates of floriography, which is the language of flowers. This concept dictates what flora should or should not be sent. Flowers represent certain things which may not be fitting for a particular occasion or a person’s religious beliefs.

Floriography came about during the Victorian Era, under the reign of Queen Victoria, who was quite influential and the consummate trend-setter. She was very particular about certain things, including blossoms. Specific flora stood for specific things, such as insulting a person, indicating a broken heart, undying love or betrayal.

The Victorians sent cryptic, coded messages via blossoms. They issued warnings to family members and friends by sending rhododendrons. This meant, “Dude, you are in peril! Hit the road, Jack, fast!”

What all should you know before ordering a bouquet?

Funeral Etiquette

When someone dies and you want to send sympathy flowers, pay heed to the person’s religion. The Protestant and Catholic Churches and the Buddhists aren’t fussy about what kind of flora is sent but Hindus do not consider blossoms a part of the funeral service and Eastern Orthodox Church members prefer white blooms.


Do not send a floral arrangement in the shape of a cross to a Mormon. Jewish tradition does not involve sending flowers when someone dies but a gift or fruit basket is fitting. If you do send flora, send it to the individual’s home.

If the decedent is Islamic or Muslim, consult with a knowledgeable florist or someone who knows the traditions of these religions. Find out which type of bud is appropriate. You do not want to commit a faux pas and send something unsuitable.


For the first wedding anniversary, send carnations, which represent joy and commitment of vows. On the second anniversary, send lily of the valley. For the third, sunflowers. Hydrangeas are perfect for the fourth anniversary as are daisies for the fifth.

For the10th anniversary, send yellow daffodils; the 20th, asters; the 25th, iris; the 30th, lilies; the 40th, gladioli and the 50th, violets and yellow roses.


Send birthday blossoms corresponding with the month the person was born. For example, jonquil and violet are for March; honeysuckle and rose are for June; gladiolus is for an August birth and cosmos and calendula are for those born in October. A December birth? Holly and narcissus.

Specific buds have certain meanings such as a calla lily represents magnificent beauty while a carnation represents fascination. An aster signifies daintiness..

A hydrangea can mean “Thank you for understanding” but it can also mean heartlessness and frigidity.

An orchid means beautiful woman and refinement whereas a rose means elegance and friendship. The amaryllis stands for pride, an apple blossom represents promise and columbine means folly.

The list of flora and their meaning goes on and on.

The next time you send flowers, put some time and thought into the language of flowers and what the flora represents. Even better, after the bouquet is received tell your friend or loved one what the flowers represent. They will be impressed by your knowledge.