Say it with flowers: the best blooms for every occasion

different bouquets of coloured flowers

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted May 02, 2022

Wondering which flowers are appropriate for Mother’s Day, saying congratulations, conveying sympathy, or wishing a happy birthday? We’ve got the meanings behind a range of flowers to help you choose a perfect bouquet.

Flowers are that perfect gift for a multitude of occasions. Birthdays, house warmings, congratulations, luck, and sympathy.

Over time, many blooms have had meanings attached that give significance to the occasion. While many of us associate red roses with Valentine’s Day or a white orchid with condolences, many of us are unaware of the traditional meanings behind flowers.

Before you pick up a bouquet and simply choose whichever you think is prettiest, you will want to know the language of flowers. 

Floriography - the meanings behind flowers

The best flowers for romance

Roses have long had an association with the art of l‘amour. With this meaning allegedly arising in Greek mythology, roses were said to represent the love and beauty of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, and act as a symbol of love and desire.

Appearing in a similar vein from Roman mythology to Shakespeare and the French enlightenment, today, roses (particularly red or pink) are seen as a sign of eternal love and romance.

A few other bouquets that signify love and romance include peonies, pink asters and pink bluebells.

The best flowers for Mother’s Day

The most popular and traditional bouquet to get mum on Mother’s Day in Australia is chrysanthemums. It may be because the word ‘mum’ is in there, but these budding blooms also flower in autumn and symbolise family love and support.

Available in a wide range of bright hues such as fuchsia, pale pink, white and yellow, these spectacular blooms should light up the face of mums across the country on their special day.

The best flowers for sympathy

When you know someone is going through a hard time, flowers can be a way to show your love, support, and sympathy during this difficult stage. White flowers tend to be popular, signifying grace, sympathy, pureness, and spirituality.

Blooms to consider sending are white roses, lily of the valley, and white lilies. 


Roses are wildly known to be a symbol of love, romance and passion. Image: Getty.
Mum's the word: chrysanthemums are always a winner on Mother's Day. Image: Getty.
White blooms, such as lily of the valley, white roses or white lilies, are a thoughtful touch for someone experiencing grief or loss. Image: Getty.

The best flowers for house warmings

A new house symbolises new beginnings, and what better flower for this occasion than the daffodil? Associated with rebirth as they start the ‘new beginning’ of flowers after winter in the springtime, these are the perfect bunch for a new start.

Alternatively, you could look to buy the new homeowner a classic bloom for their new home, such as a long-lasting orchid or air-purifying peace lily.

The best flowers for forgiveness

Needing to make an apology? Say it with flowers. The blue hyacinths stand for ‘making peace,’ and with their calming blue hue, are representative of wanting to make amends.

Tulips are also known for ‘starting anew,’ with their vibrant colours spreading joy and happiness. They are also long-lasting, which can symbolise commitment and assurance to the receiver.

The best flowers for calmness and serenity

Flowers can have healing properties, one of which may be associated with bringing calm into the home. Lavender has been known to create an atmosphere of relaxation, assisting with stress and sleeplessness.

Lavender can be found in many forms, whether it is in a bunch of flowers, or in products such as essential oils, diffusers, soaps, or balms. 


Daffodils can being joy into a new home. Image: Getty.
Blue hyacinths are striking - perfect for letting someone know that your apology is meaningful and heartfelt. Image: Getty.
Lavender has long been known for its calming properties. Image: Getty.

The best flowers for luck

Wishing someone good luck? Consider lucky blooms such as marigolds, which are symbolic of good fortune and the ‘pot of gold’ at the end of a rainbow.

Peonies, while also symbolising romance, can represent luck and success, while the cherry or plum blossom is a sign of good fortune.

The best flowers for saying 'thank you'

Want to thank someone for their time, generosity or behaviour? Consider blooms such as sweet peas, which say ‘thank you for a lovely time,’ and are perfect for thanking someone for an outing or stay.

Pink hydrangeas are also a popular choice if you want to thank someone for being there for you, and are also poised to be long-lasting.

The best flowers for 'congratulations'

Saying congratulations to someone on graduating, a new job, a play, or a significant event? Spoil them with a bouquet of cheery yellow flowers, such as yellow roses or tulips, or even sunflowers which represent happiness, optimism, and admiration.

Daisies are also said to represent prosperity, happiness, and friendship, while the yellow daffodil can also be used here for warm welcomes, such as a new family member. 


Rich hues like orange marigolds symbolise luck and good fortune. Image: Getty.
Oh, what a sweet pea! The perfect arrangement for saying, 'thank you.' Image: Getty.
You'll definitely brighten someone's day by congratulating them with a happy bloom such as sunflowers. Image: Getty.

If you find that your recipient loves white lilies for romance, daffodils for a housewarming or tulips to say congratulations, then that's great too - when speaking the language of flowers, it's the thought that counts.