How to Choose Mother's Day Flowers That Fit Her Personality

From ranunculus and hydrangeas to poppies and peonies, find the perfect flowers for your favorite lady with this helpful guide.

flower bouquet in green glass jar
Photo: Jena Ardell / Getty Images

When you're choosing flowers for Mother's Day, there's no one-size-fits-all bloom based on the occasion: Putting together the right arrangement means considering the taste and personality of the recipient. But if you can't decide on the perfect bouquet, opt for a color palette that fits Mom's character. "If you're giving a bouquet to a mother that's a little more serious and focused, then going with a darker flower is really beautiful—stick to that palette of aubergine, plum, dark blue, or burgundy," advises florist Michael Putnam of Putnam and Putnam. "But then for the opposite—for somebody that's really bubbly and energetic and social—play it up with color. The brighter, the better, always."

Still not sure which is the best bloom for your beloved mom? Consider a classic. "I strongly recommend sweet peas, which are often used to say thank you," notes florist Caroline Bailly of Buunch, "and show your appreciation for all she does gracefully without ever expecting anything in return." If you want to get a little more personal this Mother's Day, consider the following bloom ideas, selected based on a myriad of personality types.

The Traditionalist

For a traditional mom—think coastal style and summers spent in New England—Putnam suggests a neutral-toned, monochrome bouquet of neat, tidy blooms. "Something that's more structured works for somebody with that character," he says; hydrangeas or a bouquet of peonies in neutral colorways (think soft pink, lavender, white, or beige, notes Putnam) are best.

The Sophisticate

If your mother has a sharp eye for design and a passion for style, Putnam suggests choosing florals that honor her aesthetic sensibilities. "A woman like that would want her flowers to be a beautiful centerpiece on her table or fireplace mantel—something that works with her interior," he says. "I would say it's more about color, so really go off of her style. If she has a lot of red accents in her home, [go with a] beautiful red flower. If she has a lot of purple, try lavender or white."

The Minimalist

Is she drawn to sleek lines, bold colors, and a streamlined aesthetic? If so, make a big impact with an unexpected bouquet of black calla lilies. "To match that personality, you need a flower that's clean and has a really strong line to it," says Putnam. "Calla lilies would be so pretty for a mother that's very modern, very professional. It shows that you're thinking about her in a way that's design conscious."

The Do-It-All Mom

If she's been juggling virtual learning while working from home, caring for the grandparents, and keeping everyone's stomachs filled—all without missing a beat—choose a polished, classic bloom. "Something soothing and relaxing is a must for the wonder woman who barely takes a break, but masters everything gracefully," says Bailly. "I would recommend white ranunculus, which symbolize elegance and grace."

The Low-Maintenance Mom

Even moms who don't make a fuss about Mother's Day usually won't say no to flowers, so opt for a relaxed, understated bouquet of sunny tulips. "I love tulips in a buttery yellow—a warmer, citrusy palette," says Putnam. "They bend and move in their own way, and having tulips in an arrangement—or even a vase full of tulips, alone—is easy and effortless."

The Nature Lover

Play up her love for the outdoors with a bouquet of fragrant blooms and herbs. "[It's] more about vibes and fragrances, overall," says Bailly. "Lavender and garden roses with a touch of sage are a must, not just because they are a beautiful combination, but mostly because of their healing power. Lavender is very soothing and relaxing, sage removes any negativity around you, and garden roses are synonymous with passion."

The First-Timer

Mark a new mom's first Mother's Day with bright, meaning-laden daffodils or early-season flowering branches, like cherry or plum. "Flowering branches are so fleeting, but are the first blooms that open up [in spring]. They represent a new beginning," says Putnam. "And daffodils are some of the first flowers [to bloom]—they symbolize new beginnings, [as well]."

The Artist

If your mom spends her weekends making pottery in her studio, perfecting her oil painting skills, or appreciating local artists at your town's museums, choose a bold, vibrant classic. "For someone eccentric and creative, 100 percent poppies," says Putnum. "Poppies, poppies, poppies, all the way. They have so much movement and fit that personality with those gestural stems. For color, maybe it's a beautiful watermelon or a coral."

The Gardener

Honor your mom's love of flowers with a nuanced bouquet of lilac, peonies, and geranium, recommends Bailly: "Lavender lilacs symbolize love and passion, combined with romantic peonies and energizing geranium." Or if she prefers a gift that lasts longer than a bouquet, choose a potted plant—preferably something she can put right into one of her garden beds. "Plants represent clean air and being in nature," says Putnam. "I think if there's a mother that's really into the outdoors, giving them a plant is the perfect thing."

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