The Best Sympathy & Condolence Flowers

Losing a loved one is always extremely difficult, but being supportive of someone else who has lost a loved one can also be a confusing situation, as you attempt to navigate how to best comfort them. If you have a friend or family member who has recently lost a loved one, you may be wondering what an appropriate sympathy gift may be. A flower delivery is a generous and meaningful gesture that can provide comfort to those who are grieving or going through a difficult time. Depending on the type of flower, you have several options in terms of arrangement shape: you can send flowers in wreaths, standing sprays, gift baskets, as cut stems in vases, or as potted plants. Whether you send flowers directly to your loved one’s house, or you have them shipped to a funeral home, flowers can help you express sentiment and condolence to your loved ones during these hard times. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some popular sympathy and condolence flower types, so you know what to send the next time one of these events happen.

We understand how difficult it can be to figure out how to express your condolences appropriately during these times of trouble. If you’re looking for a flower arrangement to send to a loved one, look no further than our special collections. Our roses are real roses that can last for up to a year when cared for properly. Browse our floral collections online today, or check out our Inspiration page for more ideas.

The Lily Flower: A Great Sympathy Flower

The lily flower is one of the most common flowers associated with funeral services in the United States. The lily is often considered to be symbolic of the soul of the deceased, and the flower is a hopeful ode to beginning again, as one might in the afterlife. A part of the genus Lilium, these beautiful and delicate flowers are often interpreted as a symbol of innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. White lilies are very common in Christian denominations, as the snowy Madonna Lily is often used to represent the Virgin Mary. The striped pink version of the lily, known as the Stargazer Lily, represent sympathy and is thus a very popular flower for lily bouquets that are used during times of trial and encouragement. Peace lilies and calla lilies are also frequently gifted as sympathy plants.

The Rose: Express Your Condolences With This Beautiful Flower

As one of the most recognizable flowers in the world, the rose is a very popular floral option for funerals. Even though roses are typically used in romantic settings, they have a universal connotation of love and respect, and their lovely aroma and beauty make for a welcome gift during difficult times. White roses tend to evoke reverence, humility, and youthfulness, as well as spirituality, and so they may be a good choice to send to someone who is religious. Red roses tend to convey respect, love, and courage, so if you had a significant relationship with the deceased and/or the person suffering the loss, consider sending red roses as a way to show your love. Dark pink roses, while less common, can be used as a memorial flower to express appreciation for all that the deceased has done in his or her life. Yellow or orange roses are good choices when a dear friend is lost. Dark crimson roses symbolize grief and sorrow, which may be the best flower to send to someone if they have lost a loved one. With roses, no matter the color, anyone who receives them is sure to feel loved and know that you send them the deepest sympathy.

If you’re looking for a sympathy floral bouquet that will outlast all other flowers, consider sending your loved one a custom rose bouquet. Our roses are real, live roses that can live up to a full year with the proper maintenance. We treat our flowers with a proprietary solution and unique color pigmentation process that transforms our roses into long-lasting arrangements. Browse our array of collections online to find the perfect sympathy bouquet for your friend or loved one.

The Gladioli: A Popular Flower For Funeral Services

Another popular flower to send to someone who has lost a loved one is the gladioli. These flowers feature a long, pointed shape and a long stem, and most arrangements are composed of multiple flowers that can measure up to four feet tall. They are often used in standing funeral sprays, which are a classic and elegant arrangement that can be found in most traditional funeral services. It is believed that gladiators in ancient Rome wore gladioli to protect them from death, which lends to the belief that the gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity in the flower world. They are available in a wide range of colors: from white to pink and green, you have the ability to customize your sympathy flower arrangements to meet your unique needs.

An important caveat with sending a bouquet of gladioli to a loved one’s home, however, is that this flower is poisonous to dogs and cats. If your intended recipient has such pets, it is best to consider another floral option.

The Carnation: A Sign of Sympathy and Remembrance

Just as carnations are used in schools for Valentine’s Day, carnations at funerals may help relay a sense of innocent love, so they are another popular choice for sympathy flower deliveries. White carnations carry connotations of innocence, modesty, and purity, while pink carnations are a sign that you are thinking of the deceased. For Catholics in particular, pink carnations, which are believed to have been created from the Virgin Mary’s tears, would be a wonderful option. Red carnations are indicative of admiration. Mixing these colors in a mixed flower bouquet will create a delivery that sends a nuanced message of remembrance and pure love. Additionally, there are a plethora of other color variations to choose from should you wish to create an even more unique mix.

These flowers are an economical choice if you have to watch your price range. They also look terrific in small and large bunches, as solely-carnation bouquets or alongside other types of flowers as part of mixed sympathy arrangements. Further, because carnations smell wonderful and can last up to three weeks with proper care, they are a perfect choice for someone in grief as that person will surely be occupied with other things. Having long-lasting, fragrant flowers will keep their home a comforting place. Additionally, not only will the carnation’s small, soft silhouette serve as a gentle visual presence in the recipient’s life, but their size also makes creating beautiful arrangements in different shapes very easy for florists. You can choose to send your bouquet in the shape of a heart or other, more personalized, shapes, and for that reason, they are often used on casket sprays as well.

The Chrysanthemum: A Traditional Funeral Flower

Chrysanthemums, which are also known as mums or chrysanths, actually have a long history of being used in funeral proceedings. In many parts of Europe, this flower is known to symbolize death and was once used only during memorial services or on graves. In many Asian countries, a chrysanthemum in white signifies grief, although it may sometimes be used to signify rebirth. In the United States, chrysanthemums have a more lighthearted connotation and, depending on the color, are more so used to represent the full life lived by the lost loved one. But the combination of the flower’s historical and modern usage makes this a safe go-to when choosing what floral arrangements to send to a friend who has lost someone, especially if the recipient is from Europe or Asia.

Chrysanthemums come in a variety of colors. In yellow, they can symbolize sorrow, while violet chrysanthemums symbolize wishes to get well. Further yet, red chrysanthemums signify love. Any mix of the variety of colors available will be sure to create a beautiful and meaningful bouquet or sympathy basket. 

The Orchid: A Flower of Eternal Love

In any color, orchids send the message of eternal love; this is because the orchid flower tends to live much longer than other flowers. However, depending on the color, orchids can convey a secondary message: when you want to send a message of sympathy, consider picking pink or white orchids. Orchids are a rarer choice for condolence flowers; orchids are a wonderful choice when you have a close relationship with the grieving person because of their longevity and strong meaning. 

The Tulip: Bring Hope Into the Home With Flower

Although a less common choice, a bouquet of tulips can serve as a reminder that hope remains even after loss. Sending tulips to your loved one who has suffered may help to send encouragement and brighten their mood. Yellow tulips convey cheerfulness, while red tulips can be used to represent a perfect love. So even though this flower may not be the first to come to mind when thinking of condolence flowers, it may be a good option when you think someone needs a pick-me-up.

The Hyacinth: A Flower Symbolic of Sorrow 

Hyacinths are often utilized to help bring a sweet aroma to funeral flower arrangements. When used in the funeral context, hyacinths created an atmosphere of deep sorrow, which is a meaning that dates back to ancient Greek mythology. According to Greek myth, when a discus killed a young prince named Hyakinthos, who was a beloved of the god Apollo, Apollo created a beautiful new flower and named it “hyacinth” in honor of Hyakinthos. With this origin story, hyacinths are the perfect flower to convey sorrow and sympathy for one’s loss.

However, it is important to note that, to some, this flower signifies games and rashness, so be sure that your intended message is received. 

The Lilac: A Dedication to a Life Lost Too Soon

White lilacs signify youth, purity, and innocence. Thus, for situations in which the departed was a child or young person, lilacs are a particularly apt choice. When the deceased or the grieving recipient is religious, consider violet lilacs, which represent spirituality. If you want to send the message that you believe the departed has now come to a state of peace, choose blue lilacs, which symbolize happiness and tranquility.

Further, lilacs, in general, are a wonderful gift for someone grieving because of the lilac’s aromatic power— lilacs are often used in aromatherapy to help alleviate depression and increase feelings of relaxation and calm.

The Hydrangea: A Gift That Will Bloom for Years to Come

A truly special and long-lasting gift to consider is potted hydrangeas. Because a hydrangea plant has flowers that are not cut, the recipient can, in time, take the hydrangeas from their pot and plant them in their garden or yard. Gifting hydrangeas in this way sends the message of your everlasting support, especially because it is often considered to be a symbol of heartfelt emotion.

The Hibiscus: For the Loss of a Beloved Woman

These delicate and lovely flowers are a go-to when the deceased is a mother or wife. This flower is often used to represent femininity and a delicate beauty. Consider giving a hibiscus arrangement when the departed female has ties to island cultures like Hawaii or Caribbean nations, because of the hibiscus’ strong association with island culture.

The Forget-Me-Nots: A Flower Whose Name Says It All

As its name suggests, forget-me-nots are representative of remembrance and closely-held memories. Giving a bouquet of forget-me-nots to the family of a deceased loved one tells the family that the departed lives on in your memories and remains in your thoughts. These flowers also signify undying love and connections that last through time. Whether the deceased was your close friend, a colleague you admired, or a longtime mentor, the dainty, bright blue forget-me-nots will demonstrate that the deceased had a meaningful impact on your life.

When is Giving Flowers Not Appropriate?

While flowers are most often a loving choice of gift in a difficult period of grieving, there are some situations in which giving flowers may not be appropriate after a death. For instance, when the deceased was Jewish, the family will likely hold a Shiva Call, which takes place over the course of seven days after the deceased’s passing. For this tradition, not only is it not customary to bring flowers, it is typically not welcome, as flowers are not part of the Jewish mourning tradition. As a general rule, it is best to pay attention to the wishes of the deceased’s family. If they request that no flowers be given, no matter the reason, the most courteous and respectful thing to do is to abide by that request.