Sympathy Flowers


There is nothing worse than when someone we know experiences a death or tragedy. It can be hard to know exactly how to express our sympathy. You don’t want to appear too pushy or crowd someone in their time of grief. That is why sympathy flowers have been extremely important for thousands of years. 

Yes, the tradition of sending flowers as an expression of sympathy goes back to antiquity. Flowers were left on and around the graves of prehistoric man. Some scholars believe that this practice began as a way to express sympathy as well as to cover the scent of the decomposing body. 

A great example of one of the earliest instances of flowers being used in funerals is the Shanidar cave in Iraq. These researchers found evidence of flowers and other plants around the graves of Neanderthals. The remains date to 60,000 B.C.E.! That’s a long time for flowers to be used as symbols of grief and sympathy. 

Sympathy flowers have pretty much been used consistently since 60,000 B.C.E. Flower gained especial significance in the Victorian era (the 19th century). Suddenly sympathy flowers had less of practical use and more of an esoteric one. The 19th century is when funeral homes began to be used. Advances in burial techniques also meant that dead bodies did not smell as much anymore. Flowers were not needed to mask a nasty scent. Instead, they began to symbolize sympathy and were used to surround the dead in meaning. 

The flowers used became extremely important. They each gained their meanings. Even flower colors were given meanings. The expanding importance of flowers to funerals and expressing sympathy in the 19th century have helped keep the tradition alive.


Sympathy Flowers

Here are a few appropriate ways to convey your sympathy.

  • A CARD

Today we do not need flowers to cover up any unpleasant smells. Our modern embalming process does that for us. Instead, flowers are often sent as a sympathy gift. They are an amazing way of offering solace, comfort, love, and caring. Often flowers are used in every aspect of a funeral service. They will surround the casket in the funeral home. Attendants will place them on the casket before it is lowered into the ground. Sympathy flowers and plants are even sent to people’s homes. The bright colors in a bouquet of sympathy flowers or even the beauty of an all-white bouquet can help bring light to a dark time. Flowers cannot make up for a person’s loss or provide complete healing. But, they represent eternity and immortality for a reason. As a symbol of renewal and rebirth flowers work amazingly well as an expression of your sympathy. Giving the right sympathy gift can make all the difference in the world. To know what type of sympathy gift to send, you need to consider the recipient. Extremely personal sympathy gifts are probably more appropriate for a close friend or family member. Cards, flowers, and gift baskets will work for anyone, including work colleagues or acquaintances. Also, keep in mind the person’s likes and dislikes. Perhaps you can send them a beautiful bouquet of sympathy flowers in their loved one’s favorite colors. Or, maybe a framed photo or collage surrounded by single-stem flowers is a better idea. Flowers can be a personal sympathy gift too! Keep in mind that some people do not want sympathy flowers. If your friend has specifically requested no flowers be sent, you need to respect their wishes. The other gift options above will show you care just as well.

Flowers for Sympathy

Flowers can be an amazing personal sympathy gift!
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Here are some sympathy flower ideas

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The best way to get the perfect gift is to have the professionals curate a selection for you!

Here at Blooms,Box, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best blooms in beautiful bouquets from our farm partners (who are all Rainforest Alliance certified and sustainable). Let us build a very special custom bouquet for you every month that your spouse will love! We promise it will always be unique and one-of-a-kind - and also that you'll enjoy it, guaranteed.

Our bouquets feature hand-tied arrangements that typically focus on a single type of flower that inspires us for the month. It arrives thoughtfully arranged with greenery that highlights the beauty of the featured flower and is designed to last in a vase for weeks.

For another gift idea, why not send her a bouquet that reminds you of your special day? BloomsyBox offers many one-of-a-kind flowers that she may have picked for your wedding, or even the colors of the wedding brought to life in a stunning arrangement. To see our single-stem bouquets, click here.

Types of Sympathy Flower gifts

One of the best things about sending flowers to express sympathy is that they will work for anyone. Whether a close family member, friend, acquaintance, or work colleague, sympathy flowers are an appropriate gift. There are not many times that a single type of gift will work for everyone in your life.

There are a few ways that you can send sympathy flowers. 

  • Live plants
  • Bouquets
  • Basket
  • Wreaths

Each type of sympathy flower gift has its own pros and cons. They may also be more appropriate for one recipient or another. 

Live plants can be a wonderful, lasting remembrance gift. They are often sent to a loved one’s home. You may not want to give live plants to an acquaintance because you can’t know if they are up to the task of caring for a living plant. If you decide to give a plant as a sympathy gift, you have multiple options to choose from. Orchids, money trees, succulents, and peace lilies are all great options. Shop our live plants here.

Bouquets are the most common type of sympathy flower gift. There are infinite flower combinations and varieties available for sympathy bouquets. You can tailor this gift to the recipient very easily. There are very few people that do not enjoy a bouquet of fresh flowers. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about etiquette with sympathy bouquets. This gift is appropriate for anyone!

At BloomsyBox we offer an easy subscription program for flower bouquet gifts of any kind. Give your acquaintance, friend, or family member the gift of a bright bouquet delivered weekly or monthly. All flowers in our bouquets are hand-picked and combined to be as beautiful as possible. Why send just one bouquet that will die in a week or two when you can give the gift of a BloomsyBox subscription to express your sympathy? 

Learn more about our subscription service here.

Sympathy flowers can be given as part of a gift basket as well. Fruit baskets, food baskets, and even goodie baskets are sometimes given as a sympathy gift. While flowers may not be the centerpiece of these gifts, they often play a big role. Interspersing flowers between the food, fruit, or goodies adds splashes of color. 

If you are a crafty person, you should use our beautiful single-stem bouquets as part of a gift basket. This way you can give sympathy flowers while also giving another sympathy gift as well. 

Wreaths are a popular group gift. Get everyone in your office to send a sympathy flower wreath as a group gift. Families will also send a flower wreath as a group. Wreaths are best sent directly to a funeral home for use in the funeral service. They do not work as well as a sympathy gift in any other context. 

Give a Gift

For an extra special gift, Martha Stewart has curated a monthly collection of her favorite roses in stunning, unique colors that you won't easily find anywhere else. She handpicked a rose for every month of the year, so why not let the style maven herself style a beautiful collection for your special someone for the whole year?

How to send sympathy flowers

Sympathy flowers do not have to be hard to send. This is a tough time for everyone, including you. Let your sympathy flower delivery be zero effort in your time of grief. 

The first step for easy sympathy flower delivery is to decide what type of gift you will be sending. Do you want to send a wreath, basket, plant, or bouquet? 

Once you know what you want to send, it is time to decide on the type of flowers. Don’t worry if you are not a flower expert. Let the professionals at BloomsyBox create a unique one-of-a-kind bouquet for you. Our design experts will pick the exact right flowers for each and every box. 

Purchasing a flower subscription from BloomsyBox could not be easier. You select the plant or bouquet from our flower shop—or have our experts create a specially curated one—give us the correct address, tell us how often you’d like us to send the flowers (monthly or weekly), and the duration of the gift. Voila! You’re done giving your sympathy gift. It is that easy. 

No one wants to have to send sympathy flowers. None of us like to see anyone we know in pain. But, a gorgeous flower gift from BloomsyBox may be able to help ease their burden a tiny bit. 


Here are some sympathy flower ideas

Did you know that flowers have meanings even when they are used as sympathy gifts?

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You may associate flower meanings with declarations of love and caring. Indeed, you would be right. Assigning romantic meanings to flowers goes back at least to the 19th century. However, sympathy flowers can have meanings as well. 

Carnations – Carnations come in many colors and look wonderful in a bouquet. The different colors can express different meanings in addition to sympathy. For example, white carnations symbolize innocence while pink carnation means remembrance. 
Chrysanthemums – Chrysanthemums are a symbol of grief and loyalty around the world. They are used in Europe as well as Japan and Korea. Chrysanthemums come in many colors, which gives you many options on the meaning they express.

Lilies – Lilies are more associated with funerals and grief than any other flower. White lilies are the most popular. They symbolize purity and sympathy.

Orchid – Orchids means “I love you.” When you give an orchid as a sympathy flower, you are telling the recipient that they will always have your love and devotion. This is a great flower to give to a relative or close friend.

Roses – Roses are probably best associated with romantic occasions such as Valentine’s Day. However, they can be used as a sympathy flower as well. You again have many color options to choose from with roses, they smell amazing, and they look wonderful in arrangements. Roses brighten up any flower display, including sympathy bouquets or wreaths.

Sympathy flowers can be delivered any time you want to express your sympathy to someone. Funerals are the most famous use of sympathy flowers. We’ve all been to funerals glutted with beautiful bouquets of all types. 

You don’t have to just send flowers for a funeral. Any time you want to express sympathy, you can send flowers. If someone has lost their job, is struggling with some other life event, or just feeling down, sympathy flowers will be appropriate. 

You may be wondering about the etiquette for sending sympathy flowers. If you don’t know whether your gift will be appropriate or not, following these tips. 

  • You can send sympathy flowers at any time. Just make sure that the delivery does not happen during a funeral service. 
  • Always ask the recipient whether they would prefer flowers sent to their home or the funeral home. You don’t want to send sympathy flowers to the wrong location and create more problems for the recipient.
  • Consider sending a regular subscription box of flowers. Doing so will show you care all the time, and not just in the person’s hour of need. If they are a flower lover, they will adore the variability of their monthly—or weekly—bouquet. Every delivery will be a surprise, and that may just be what the recipient needs to get through their time of grief and hardship.

The best way to get the perfect gift is to have the professional curate a selection for you!

Here at BloomsyBox, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best blooms in beautiful bouquets from our farm partners (who are all Rainforest Alliance certified and sustainable). Let us build a very special custom bouquet for you every month that conveys your sympathy perfectly! We promise it will always be unique and one-of-a-kind – and also that you’ll enjoy it, guaranteed. 

Our bouquets feature hand-tied arrangements that typically focus on a single type of flower that inspires us for the month. It arrives thoughtfully arranged with greenery that highlights the beauty of the featured flower and is designed to last in a vase for weeks. 

For another gift idea, why not send a memorial plant? BloomsyBox offers many one-of-a-kind flowers that may have meaning to the person who has lost a loved one. Perhaps you know the deceased’s favorite flower or color. Giving a live plant, to a recipient who feels up to caring for it, can provide a living memory of a loved one. To see our sympathy plant options, click here.

Flowers for Sympathy

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