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Gifting Flowers - Which Flowers are Appropriate for the Occasion?
5th Jul 2019 | Posted by Wild Poppies

Gifting Flowers - Which Flowers are Appropriate for the Occasion?

Whether you're celebrating an anniversary, saying goodbye to a close colleague or supporting someone through a time of loss, flowers are a great way of showing that you care. With hundreds of varieties and colours to choose from, picking the right flowers can be an overwhelming task.

To help make the process a whole lot easier, check out our flower gift guide below.

What flowers should I buy for Valentine's Day?

Nothing screams, "I love you" more than a beautiful red rose (or three to be exact). These gorgeous flowers are featured in nearly all romance movies, and fill up store displays every February.

While their beautiful red colouring is an unmistakable expression of love, the number of red roses, in fact, also has an associated romantic meaning. A  single stem rose symbolises love at first sight, 12 roses say “I want you to be mine,” and 30 roses represent faithfulness.

Love, at first sight, can also be expressed through a lavender rose which symbolises enchantment. If the rose is closer to a purple colour, this can also emphasise feelings of fascination. Likewise, pink roses are often gifted on Valentine's Day to symbolise gratitude, admiration, and joy.

Alternatively, if you want to give your special someone a flower slightly more unique, red tulips or red chrysanthemums are also a great way of showing your love and passion.

Don't be shy to stray away from red, especially if you know that the recipient isn't a fan of the colour. Just be careful to avoid putting them in the friend zone with a yellow rose or hinting that you're disappointed with a yellow carnation.

What flowers should I bring to a first date?

Although you might be tempted to sweep someone off their feet with flowers on the first date, we suggest giving that a miss. Instead of risking coming off "too pushy," it would be best to wait until you've been on three or four dates before showing your appreciation with a thoughtful bunch of flowers.

Once the time feels right to make this sweet gesture, orchids, pink tulips or dandelions are a great choice as they're not too overwhelming. The symbolism of these flowers is also appropriate, as orchids can convey subtle love or beauty, pink tulips signify happiness, and dandelions symbolise joy.

We recommend bringing the flowers to the recipient's door to avoid them having to carry it around the entire date.

What flowers should I give as a wedding gift?

From the bridal bouquet to the stunning table arrangements, you'll typically find a lot of flowers at a wedding. Therefore, instead of gifting flowers at an already decorated venue, it’s usually best to send celebratory flowers to the recipient’s home. This thoughtful gesture is also much appreciated if you can't make the ceremony.

Almost any  arrangement is suitable as a wedding gift. In particular, pink peonies convey a happy marriage, and white roses symbolise new beginnings. You may also want to accompany the flowers with another present, such as a bottle of wine or a luxury candle.

What flowers should I buy for my wedding anniversary?

Make your partner feel truly appreciated with a gorgeous bunch of anniversary flowers. Red and pink roses are always a safe option as they signify love and passion. Again, make sure to avoid yellow roses as they represent friendship or yellow carnations, as they convey disappointment.

Depending on the number of years you have been married, you can also opt to follow the traditional wedding anniversary flower guide that corresponds with the length of your marriage.

  • 1st Anniversary: Carnation (remember to avoid yellow, which means friendship)

Carnations in their vibrant bloom symbolise new, passionate love, which is perfect for celebrating the first year of marriage.

  • 2nd Anniversary: Cosmos

Cosmos’ stunning colours convey the beauty of a young marriage.

  • 3rd Anniversary: Sunflower

Sunflowers symbolise a strong foundation after three years and represent the cheerful times to come.

  • 4th Anniversary: Geranium

Geraniums help to express the interconnected love two people share.

  • 5th Anniversary: Daisy

Daisies are used to convey fidelity and everlasting love.

  • 10th Anniversary: Daffodil

Daffodils help reflect on the life you and your partner have created together.

  • 15th Anniversary: Rose


Roses are the perfect anniversary gift to celebrate 15 years as it’s a reminder of passion and love for one another.

  • 20th Anniversary: Asther


Asther symbolises the wisdom and experience you and your partner have gained over the past 20 years of marriage.

  • 25th Anniversary: Iris

The iris conveys the strength of your marriage.

  • 30th Anniversary: Lily

The lily reminds you to reflect on all that you have achieved in the last 30 years of marriage.

  • 40th Anniversary: Gladius

Gladius conveys to the recipient how much they mean to you.

  • 50th Anniversary: Yellow Roses and Violets

Although yellow roses are typically used to express friendship, when arranged with violets, they symbolise faithfulness and virtue. Plus, your life partner is also a best friend.

These corresponding flowers are simply a guide. Remember to keep in mind what your partner enjoys. Some years you may decide to switch it up and celebrate with a pamper pack or some fine wine. 

What flowers should I buy for someone's birthday?

Often the best  birthday bouquets are chosen based on the recipient's favourite flower and favourite colour or by selecting a variety that symbolises your relationship. For instance, you may decide on pink carnations to express gratitude for the recipient, gardenias to show joy or yellow roses to celebrate your friendship.

If nothing, in particular, comes to mind, each birth month has a corresponding flower. Matching this with the recipient's birthday can be a thoughtful gesture.

  • January: Carnation (but avoid yellow)
  • February: Violet
  • March: Daffodil
  • April: Daisy
  • May: Lily
  • June: Rose
  • July: Larkspur
  • August: Gladiolus
  • September: Aster
  • October: Marigold
  • November: Chrysanthemum
  • December: Poinsettia
  • It’s worthwhile to remember that flowers aren't just for females. Celebrating a male's birthday can also be expressed by gifting flowers. You may, however, want to opt for a more "masculine" choice such as a  terrarium or a Heliconia Tropical Arrangement. Nonetheless, if you know the recipient isn't personally a fan of flowers, we suggest getting him a thoughtful snack gift basket or a gin gift set.

    Birthdays are also the perfect occasion to combine flowers with a delicious  set of cupcakes or a mouth-watering cake. The recipient won’t be able to wipe the smile from their face as they are gifted both stunning flowers and a decadent birthday treat.

    What flowers should I give to someone who has just had a new baby?

    The best way to celebrate a new life is with daffodils, lilies or daisies, which can all be associated with new beginnings and gentleness.

    New parents will also appreciate any baby gifts, so ideas such as a  bath-time gift set or a hamper filled with baby clothes will have the recipient feeling thankful and appreciated.

    What flowers should I give my mum for Mother's Day?

    Selecting any flowers that you know your mum fancies, is a perfect Mother's Day gift. Otherwise, a safe option is always pink and red carnations or gerbera daisies, as they symbolise gratitude, admiration, and cheerfulness.

    Mothers are always in need of a bit of pampering, so a  pamper gift set is a perfect idea to spoil your mum on her special day.

    What flowers should I give to someone who is feeling sick?

    No one likes to see their loved ones unwell, but watching their face light up as you bring them flowers will likely brighten both your days. The arrangement you select will probably differ, depending on whether the recipient is in the hospital or at home.

    If they are in the hospital, don't opt for highly fragrant flowers. Instead, your safest options are irises or gladiolas, which don't have an intense smell. These flowers are also an ideal choice as they symbolise hope and strength.

    On the other hand, if the recipient is based at home, green roses can be used to convey best wishes for their recovery or marigolds can symbolise resilience.

    What flowers are appropriate for a funeral?

    When selecting a  funeral arrangement, it’s best to avoid orange and red flowers as these colours evoke energy rather than allow the recipient to grieve. Instead, opt for blue, white or green flowers as they convey peace, humility, and calmness. Accordingly, varieties such as chrysanthemums, lilies, roses, hydrangeas, and orchids are most common to offer support during this difficult time.

    Although wreaths and sprays are often displayed at funerals, these are usually reserved for immediate family. It’s also essential to consider the faith of the grieving family, as gifting flowers at funerals is not always appropriate.

    Generally, traditional funeral flowers are acceptable in the Catholic, Protestant Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, and Baha'i faith. They are also usually appropriate in Eastern or Greek Orthodox religions but only in the colour white. The Jewish faith, on the other hand, typically doesn’t appreciate flowers being sent to the funeral home and those of Hindu faith will likely use garlands instead. These preferences may, however, vary between families, so it would be best to check with one of the family members before gifting.

    If you do decide to send flowers, you should always include a  sympathy card. Writing a message can sometimes be difficult, so you may want to base your message on one of our templates.

    What flowers should I send to someone grieving?

    You may also want to express your condolences by sending flowers to the grieving recipient’s house. White lilies, daisies or white roses are an excellent choice as they are all often associated with spirituality and empathy.

    Again, sending a sympathy message along with your flowers is important. A few simple words may bring a lot of comfort to the recipient.

    What flowers should I give to someone at Christmas time?

    If you're seeing family over the holidays or heading to a Christmas party, the host will certainly feel appreciated if you gift them a poinsettia or amaryllis. These stunning red and green flowers symbolise joy and make for a stunning centrepiece or festive house decoration.

    Other perfect flowers for the holiday season include iris, winter jasmine, and narcissus.

    What flowers should I gift at Easter?

    Like Christmas, Easter can also be celebrated by gifting beautiful flowers. During this time, Easter lilies, tulips, and gerberas are perfect flower ideas, that will leave your friends and family feeling festive and well appreciated.

    What flowers should I buy to say thank you?

    When  thanking someone with flowers, we suggest considering their favourite colour or picking a variety that you know they like. If nothing comes to mind, pink or yellow roses are a perfect way of thanking a friend. Alternatively, a more generic thank you can be expressed through hydrangeas or sweet peas.

    What flowers should I use to say I'm sorry?

    We can't guarantee that sending flowers will result in forgiveness, but they will show the recipient that you care. Blue hyacinths are often used to symbolise making peace, and white orchards can represent regret.

    If the person you’re apologising to is a close friend, you may want to opt for yellow tulips or yellow roses to emphasise your friendship. Otherwise, if you’re romantically involved with the recipient, sending 15 red roses is an old-fashioned symbolic way to say you’re sorry.

    What flowers should I give to someone who is leaving?

    Depending on your relationship to the person that is leaving, the appropriate flower may vary. If it’s a close friend, yellow flowers such as sunflowers or tulips are a safe option that will symbolise your friendship and wish them the best as they start a new chapter in their lives.

    If you’re saying farewell to a co-worker, you may want to pick a purple or orange flower such as verbenas.

    What flowers should I give to congratulate someone?

    Whether your friend scored a promotion or your sister is graduating from university, flowers are a great way to say congratulations. Mixed tulips, gerberas, sunflowers, and orange roses are often used to express a job well done, with amaryllis also commonly being used to symbolise encouragement and acknowledgment.

    An accompanying congratulations gift card is always a good idea to add that extra personal touch.

    They say actions speak a thousand words, and gifting flowers does just that.

    To make sure your thoughtful gesture is interpreted correctly, it’s important that you pick appropriate flowers for the occasion. We hope that with this guide, you can easily show those around you how much you care.

    See us in store at 28 Ethel St, Sandringham, Auckland or call us 09 357 6161 if you need help picking the perfect flowers and gift.

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