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Here Are The Best Flowers For Mother’s Day & The Meaning Behind Them

Mother’s Day is right around the corner — and with finals, the end of the semester, and potential preparations for graduation, you might be looking for a last-minute gift for your mom or a motherly figure in your life. Flowers are always a good start because they are pretty, perfect for the changing of seasons, and a great way to show your love and appreciation. It’s a Mother’s Day staple for a reason!

If you do want to get flowers, it’s important to know your options when it comes to what flowers to get and why. It’s not just about giving the gift, but presenting the reasons why you are getting the person that specific gift. Everyone loves flowers, but your mother (or motherly figure) will love them even more if you show the thought behind getting them.

By knowing each flower’s meaning, you can share that and describe why that flower reminds you of them, or why you’d think they might like it. Sharing the meaning shows you put thought into it and didn’t just pick up whatever flowers they had at the store. That extra step will make the gift that much more special, trust me. 

So, here are five flowers that are great for Mother’s Day, and what they mean.

Flowers Florist
Alex Frank / Spoon

A classic flower as a classic gift. Roses are a great flower to give because they come in a variety of colors. Roses are the national flower of the United States. These flowers symbolize love and passion, which is perfect for telling your mom or motherly figure you love them. The meaning can differ between cultures but it is said that the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with the Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love. 

It is important to note that each specific color of roses has its own meaning and the number of roses you give has a specific meaning. For example, giving three roses says “I love You.” Pink roses symbolize admiration and gratitude while yellow roses represent warmth and happiness and are recognized as the friendship flower


While Roses are the national flower of the United States, Carnations are the national flower of Spain and the official Mother’s Day flower. So, of course, they are a great option to give on Mother’s Day! The flowers became the official Mother’s Day flower in 1907 by Ann Jarvis, the founder of the Mother’s Day holiday. 

The meaning of the flower also depends on the color, but generally, it represents fascination, distinction, and love (more specifically a mother’s devoted love). According to HGTV, in Korea, it is customary for children to give their parents carnations on Parent’s Day, which is a combination of Mother’s and Father’s Day.


Tulips represent a perfect and deep love, making it great for anyone you have unconditional love for. According to bloomandwild.com, tulips also represent rebirth and charity. This flower also comes in different colors and each color has a different meaning (such as purple meaning royalty and elegance and orange meaning enthusiasm and energy). 

There are also different types of tulips you can get. The five most popular types include early tulips, triumph tulips, Darwin hybrid tulips, parrot tulips, fringed, and tulips. Also, interesting fact, unlike most flowers tulips can keep growing in the vase up to 6 inches. So if your mom asks, no, you’re not seeing things, they are in fact longer. Make sure to choose a vase carefully and cut ½ inch off your tulip’s stem on an angle so they can last longer.


Sunflowers are a great flower to give for Mother’s Day. They are bright, bold, and immediately make you think of sunshine and warmer weather (I mean sun is in the name). Fun fact: They are heliotropes, which means they naturally face toward the sun

They represent adoration, wisdom, and loyalty. All qualities that our moms / motherly figures can embody. Sunflowers also give off a vibe of happiness and positivity because of their beautiful vibrant yellow color, which are two things we can all strive to have more of in our lives.


Peony flowers are another great option for Mother’s Day. These flowers are originally from China and can open up to three times their size, meaning you don’t need more flowers to make the bouquet appear fuller. The flower also has different meanings depending on its color, but generally speaking, it represents bashfulness, good luck, prosperity, wealth, and honor. 

In China and Japan, peonies mean king of flowers and are used during important celebrations like Chinese New Year. They are easy to source this time of year and make a large lasting impression due to their size when they are in full bloom.

All of these flowers are beautiful in their own unique way. You could of course choose a type of flower that you know is your mom’s favorite. But, if she’s indifferent to a specific type or if you can’t decide on one type of flower, you can always get multiple or mix up your bouquet. Either way, keep in mind it’s the thought that counts, and remember to say thank you to your mom or the motherly figures in your life who deserve more than just one day of recognition and appreciation a year. 

Courtney Lemkin is a National Contributing Writer for Her Campus. She writes life and career content on the site including advice on academics and more. She is a recent graduate of St. John's University where she majored in communication arts and minored in English. During her time at St. John's, she was the vice president of the campus' multimedia organization and also has previous experience writing for College Magazine. She later became an editor, social media coordinator / newsletter editor, and eventually worked her way up to holding the position of editor in chief. In her free time, Courtney enjoys anything related to the arts and loves going to see Broadway plays.