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Mother’s Day and Flowers: A Time-Honored Tradition

Mother’s Day has long been synonymous with flowers. In fact, the tradition of giving carnations, and then eventually wearing them as corsages, began all the way back at the inception of the American version of the holiday. Why? Well, carnations were the favorite flower of founder Anna Jarvis’ mother. Anna Jarvis arrived at the first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 with 500 of these gorgeous flowers!

But the tradition has both grown and relaxed a bit since those early days, and now there is less stress placed on the type of flower your mother receives. It’s no longer necessary to concern yourself with the type of flower Mrs. Jarvis’ mother loved but rather with the type of flower your mother loves.

Magenta OrchidDainty Blooms CorsageRed I Love You Roses

The Mother’s Day Corsage

The traditional flower for the corsage may be an orchid, but the type of flower is much less important these days than the color of said flower. If your mother wears a white flower, it indicates her mother is deceased. If she wears a red or pink flower, it indicates her mother is still alive. You definitely want to get those colors right. Confusing them could end up with your mother answering uncomfortable questions from concerned friends!

And if you are a woman, the same applies to you. Wearing a corsage does not indicate that you are a mother, but rather that you are wearing something to honor your own mother. It’s traditional for the man in your life to provide you with that corsage, though certainly not a requirement if you need to do it yourself. So if you are a woman who has no children of your own, don’t get caught up on whether or not it’s okay to wear a corsage this Mother’s Day. It is.

Peach Rose TopiaryEnjoy Your Day BouquetEfflorescence

Other Mother’s Day Flowers

So, you’ve taken care of the corsage issue, but you really want to get your mom a nice arrangement of flowers to show her how much you care. What should you do? The easy answer is: anything you want!

Okay, okay, that’s a little too open ended. You want a little more direction. The best piece of advice would be to find your mother’s favorite flower and go with it. After all, you can’t go wrong with something she already loves. Barring that, you are safe with most any spring flower. Lilies, tulips, lilacs, irises, orchids, carnations or many others will help make your mom’s special day a little brighter and her smile a little wider.

For even more on what to get your mom, check out this Mother’s Day Style Guide!

And where is always the best place to go for your Mother’s Day questions and your Mother’s Day purchases? Your local florist, of course. She will be sure to lead you down the right path in your buying decision, and the finished product will be something you can give to your mother proudly. So head over to our florist finder and call your local florist today!


  1. Sandra Myers says:

    My mother has 10 kids living and her mother and sister,so we would like to honor our mother by showing tribute to her mother and sister, with giving her mother a white rose from each of us and a red rose to her sister. With the ones we have left (white rose),we each share and give to each otger

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