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The Most Suitable Flowers for Expressing Your Sympathy

October 5, 2022

Close up of a sympathy bouquet for a funeral

It’s common to give flowers to express your sympathy when someone loses a loved one. It’s a thoughtful gesture that says so much and serves as a powerful and poignant reminder that you’re thinking of the family. If you know someone who has experienced a loss and you want to send an arrangement, you might be unsure about what to send.

That’s a normal concern. Some flowers, after all, might seem a bit too uplifting to be appropriate for the occasion. Others may lack the meaning that you want to convey. In cases of both color and sentiment, selecting the right stems can make all the difference when you want to offer your condolences. Here are some of the most suitable flowers to give when expressing sympathy.

Flowers to Give to Express Sympathy

  1. Details to Remember
  2. Lilies
  3. Roses
  4. Tulips
  5. Carnations
  6. Calla Lilies
  7. Chrysanthemums
  8. Orchids

Details to Remember

Before you begin, consider the basics of sending an arrangement. If you want to send something large and more substantial, it’s best to have it delivered directly to the funeral home in time for the service. If your preference is to send something smaller that the family can keep, you can comfortably send it to their home instead.

Color selection is important, but don’t feel too stuck on avoiding a particular hue for any reason. Red tulips, for example, are symbolic of love and can be perfectly suitable to give when you want to share your sorrow with the family. If the deceased’s favorite color was yellow or they happened to love sunflowers, it would be more than appropriate to give this type of flower in honor of the person’s life. Every situation is different, so use your best judgment when determining the most appropriate option to give.

As for when to send the arrangement, don’t feel that you’re limited strictly to the day of the service or the days just before. Even if it’s already happened, you can still send something to the home if you’re moved to do so. It’s never too late to show that you’re thinking of the family and offer your support and love.


Among the most popular of all funeral flowers are lilies. In the Christian faith, the white lily is considered a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s highly representative of rebirth and new beginnings, and it can be a thoughtful option to give, especially to a religious family. Some people worry that it may indicate “moving on” and looking to the future, but it’s more an opportunity to encourage the family to remember their loved one with a smile.


You can never go wrong with roses, which are symbolic of eternal love. Yellow roses may be given to honor the memory of a precious friend and to remember the special bond shared with the person. Dark pink roses are often used to express gratitude to the person for their presence in your life. White roses are also a beautiful choice, symbolizing innocence, purity, and simplicity. The Buttercream is a subtle and elegant option you can send to the family’s home as a reminder that they are on your mind.


You don’t always have to send the most traditional flowers, especially if the family is planning more of a celebration of life event instead of a conventional funeral service. Such gatherings are typically more informal and don’t necessarily abide by traditional rules and guidelines. Tulips make a thoughtful option for these types of events, as they offer a brighter perspective and serve as a powerful reminder of Mother Nature’s innate beauty. Double The Mulberry is a thoughtful choice that brims with color and character.


With their distinctive ruffles, carnations are impossible to miss. You’ll find them in a variety of arrangements. They might dot an elegant funeral wreath, for example, or their stems may populate a larger arrangement alongside other flowers. These flowers are thought to symbolize the deepest form of love — and historically, they’ve been used precisely for that. In fact, the white variation of the flower is used in memory of fallen soldiers in the Netherlands. And ancient lore suggests that carnations sprung forth when the Virgin Mary cried upon witnessing Jesus carry the cross. The purple carnation is used as a funeral flower in France.

Calla Lilies

The calla lily is a versatile flower that evokes a sublime sort of beauty. They’re commonly found in white, a symbol of pure innocence and gentle charm. This variety makes a suitable choice for a funeral. However, other colors are just as fitting depending on the person you are honoring. For example, a pink calla lily expresses your appreciation for the person’s presence in your life, while yellow is symbolic of gratitude for the relationship you shared.


While the mum is generally considered an uplifting flower for its fanciful ruffled appearance, giving this flower can also be a thoughtful way to express your sorrow for the loss. Throughout Asia, the white mum is considered powerfully symbolic of grief. While it’s considered a more uplifting flower choice in the United States, it can be a fitting choice for a celebration of life or to honor the person who was always the life of the party or who always viewed life through a positive lens.


The orchid is a timeless treasure that is not only meaningful but also enduring. It will outlast most flowers, and it’s a thoughtful way to send a message to the family that you’re sorry for their loss. At the same time, it’s also an expression of your care and love for the person who passed away. The Murano is a quietly exquisite and reserved plant that conveys your message in a thoughtful style. You can send this right to their doorstep.

No matter what you choose to send, remember that there are no right or wrong answers. What matters most is that you offer your support and express your sympathy. Sending flowers is simply a kind gesture that will not go unnoticed.


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