Sympathy Flowers – How & When to Send

When someone passes away, whether it is a friend or family member, many of us choose to send sympathy flowers either before or after the devastating event to show our condolences. But, it must be admitted, choosing the type of sympathy flowers to send can be tricky business.

It’s worth remembering that the whole meaning behind sending sympathy flowers is to celebrate life. Therefore, whether the bouquet of flowers is formal or informal, there should always be a handwritten note along with it.

This provides comfort to those who require it and shows that you care about both the deceased and the survivors.


Choosing the right flowers

When choosing the right flowers to send your friend or relative during their time of sadness it’s important to understand which each one means.

Below we have highlighted eight of the most popular blooms used when giving sympathy flowers to a loved one:

  1. Lilies

Lilies are probably the most common flower gifted during the time of a passing as they typically mean that the soul of the deceased has returned to a peaceful state of innocence.

You can also opt for stargazer lilies which literally symbolise sympathy, making them appropriate for when a loved one has departed.

Fun fact: Many Christians believe the lily represents virginity and purity as the Virgin Mary’s tomb was covered in this bloom after her death.

  1. The Peace Lily Plant

If your friend or relative is more of a plant person then why not send them the Peace Lily Plant? Similar the lily this plant represents purity and rebirth of the soul to a greater place.

This plant is also known for its long shelf life so you can be sure your loved one will get plenty of enjoyment out of its stunning petals.

  1. Roses

Just like the lily, the rose is also a very popular flower to presents as a sympathy bouquet. However, each colour rose will have a different connotation so you should keep that in mind when you are choosing yours.

White roses are the ultimate symbol of spirituality, innocence and purity whereas a dark red will evoke grief and love which may be ideal if you are sending flowers during the time of a funeral. Moreover, the yellow rose will be presented to someone who is a close friend in order to show your bond with that individual.

  1. Orchids

No matter what colour you choose you can be sure that orchids are the perfect choice of bloom when it comes to giving sympathy flowers. They each have a universal meaning of “I will always love you” – cue Whitney Houston – however, it is worth noting that orchid plants also make really good gifts and will last longer.

  1. Chrysanthemums

Unlike the flowers listed above, the meaning of these flowers does vary around the world. However, in America and Europe they signify sympathy and honour and therefore are the perfect sympathy flower to gift your loved one.

  1. Carnations

Carnations are often used as funeral wreaths or displays so there is no reason you can’t give them as part of a bouquet as sympathy flowers to your friend or relative. However, like roses, each colour symbolises a different meaning. For example, red symbolises deep love, while white means tenderness and innocence.

Carnations can also be added to a bouquet made up of other blooms to give it a touch of class and beauty.

  1. Hydrangea

While the meaning of this flower is not as well known as many others, it is often thought to symbolise true heartfelt emotions and are therefore the perfect way of demonstrating your sympathy.

  1. Daffodils and tulips

If you want to ensure your bouquet stands out from the rest then why not opt for some spring roses. Both tulips and daffodils represent birth and the renewal of life, presenting a bright, cheerful bouquet, guaranteed to get your loved one smiling again.

Sending the right message

As mentioned, it is extremely important that you hand write the note on the flowers to ensure it comes across as personal to the recipient.

Choosing what to write on card to go with your flowers can be extremely difficult and at times, emotional. To help you with your choice, here are a few popular examples:

  • “With love and fond memories of…”
  • “In loving memory of a dear friend, with love…”
  • “Dearest …May you rest in peace. Love from…”
  • “With deepest sympathy from…”
  • “Our hearts are filled with sorrow. Rest in Peace Love from…”

Frequent Questions about sending sympathy flowers

Sometimes choosing to send flowers after an unfortunate event can be quite difficult as it can be hard to know when the right time is. So, here are some quick tips to help you:

  • You just heard the sad news…Is it too late to send flowers?

Some people choose to send flowers a week or two after the funeral, so don’t panic. Sending flowers is a nice gesture, something you’re never too late for.

  • What is appropriate to send the family?

Naturally, flowers are a great option, but you can also send a food hamper or a plant.

  • Although it’s a sad time you may want to send a bright, colourful bouquet

That’s okay too. While it is a really emotional time, it’s important to get a smile on your loved ones face


Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

1 Comment

  1. Emma Kirby

    To grandad
    You are truly love within everyone, we all will always remember u, always in our hearts for now and forever
    Lots of love
    Emma, Tiffany, Tuleeza and Taylor xx

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