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Choosing Appropriate Plants for Sympathy Giving

Sending a plant is a wonderful way to show respect for the deceased and a message of caring for those left behind. offers these tips for sending an appropriate plant for sympathy giving.

Green Plants. Plants symbolize life. For the bereaved, this representation of eternal life is comforting and can help them find meaning in their loss. Sending a plant like a Chinese Evergreen or Pothos is appropriate for any sympathy situation, especially if the deceased was a nature lover, or in a business situation when you are unsure of the deceased family’s personal beliefs and values.

Flowering Plants. Sending flowering plant symbolizes the life-cycle: blooms bud, flower, then fade – yet the plant itself continues to grow. This living reminder of the temporal quality of life can bring perspective and understanding.

Sending an appropriate flowering plant is based the tone of the funeral or memorial ceremonies. White flowering plants, like a Gardenia or Azalea are the safest choice, representing purity and a quiet reverence for this more traditional and somber occasion. More colorful flowers, like a Hibiscus or Bromeliad, are more exuberant, making them a more appropriate plant choice for “life celebrations.

Peace Lily. The Peace Lily is a leafy green plant with a small white flower. Traditionally, a white lily symbolizes innocence and rebirth. It comes in many sizes making it appropriate for a funeral service, wake, or as a personal gesture to the bereaved.

Orchid. The exquisite orchid, especially white orchids, is an appropriate sympathy giving when sent to the home or office of the bereaved. Its delicate form expresses the fragility and beauty of life

Rose. The rose is also a traditional symbol of love and friendship, making it an appropriate plant for sympathy giving for the death of a friend, or to express your caring to a bereaved friend.

Each color offers a distinct meaning: red symbolizes romantic love; white symbolizes humility and innocence; yellow expresses friendship and joy; pink show gratitude, appreciation and admiration.

Remember that sending an appropriate gift is lovely gesture, but that the intention behind it is most important. Do not be afraid to “bother” the family or that you are doing something wrong. Send the gift, but also stay in touch with a note or phone call after the funeral. The gift of friendship is the most appropriate sympathy gift of all.