Flower-Giving Etiquette - Traditions Around the World

Flower-Giving Etiquette - Traditions Around the World


Think you know how to give someone a bunch of flowers? Think again! As you’re probably aware, traditions and customs vary around the world, and it’s no different when gifting flowers. We’re here with the 101 on flower-giving etiquette - see how you measure up!


It won’t be a shock to learn that here at Oleander, we’re big fans of giving flowers as gifts. But, the international world of flower-giving is a complicated one. The symbolism of flowers has been around for years, and therefore includes both good and bad connotations. Whilst some people don’t care about associations with different types of flowers, there are those who may be accidentally insulted or snubbed if the wrong flowers are gifted for the wrong occasion. So whoever your recipient is, brush up on your gift-giving etiquette and avoid a floral faux-pas:


Latin America

In general, it’s best to avoid giving purple flowers, as they’re popular for funerals in many Central and South American countries. And, giving 13 of anything is considered bad luck.



Thinking of taking a bouquet as a gift for the host to a dinner party in Brazil? Skip the roses – a dozen roses symbolize passion and should be reserved for romantic interactions only! 



It’s considered inappropriate to send white flowers in Germany unless they’re for a funeral.



Avoid gifting yellow flowers for romantic situations as it symbolizes unfaithfulness!



Avoid the number four - it’s associated with death. Cut flowers are also typically reserved for funerals.



For almost any flower-giving occasion, brightly colored flowers are a safe bet – but frangipani, or plumeria, are considered funeral flowers. Bringing flowers when you first visit someone’s home is appropriate, but don’t take them to a business meeting!



Three is a lucky number in Singapore, but six is actually considered unlucky. The good news is that here, modest gestures are valued over extravagant personal gifts, so a tasteful flower arrangement is almost always appreciated.


So now all you globe-trotters out there will know exactly how to gift flowers no matter where in the world you are! If you’re staying at home, however, and want to send a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers or a stunning vase arrangement, for any occasion, you’ve come to the right place! Head over to our order pages here for delivery within the GTA or pickup in store. 


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