The Psychology of Flowers

A bouquet of flowers: it’s a simple gift. It can say many things, like “congratulations” or “I love you”. It also acts as a good Mother’s Day gift, since that section of Costco always seems to be empty during that time. According to a study at Rutgers, the gift of a bouquet is good for emotional health and brings up happy memories.

The study looked at people receiving flowers over the duration of 10 months. They found that giving and receiving flowers do make people happy! Universally, everyone displays a true smile receiving flowers. What is a true smile? This can be seen by observing the eyes because little lines form around them and they look smaller. A genuine smile also uses more face muscles. Participants also reported feeling more excited and grateful which then boosted moods about life in general and decreased reports of feeling anxious or low. Receiving flowers also increased contact, suggesting it improved relationships.

The State University of New Jersey found that flowers could improve emotional health daily by being displayed. It is seen as a symbol of sharing and makes a room more inviting. This is also an easier way to experience a piece of nature without having to go on a hike.

Everyone likes flowers. Rutgers University looked into the differences of how men and women receive flowers. I found the men’s results more interesting because I didn’t think many men liked receiving flowers. They reported happier smiles and increase social connections, like using more eye contact and standing closer. The only difference between men and women was that women had a greater emotional response.

We know that color can play a role in mood. A bouquet of flowers can work as therapy to make people feel better. These following color palettes can induce different feelings and bring them to life through flowers:

-Soft yellows and pastels with peach, warm pink, creamy white, and delicate greens create a nurturing aura. It makes the receiver feel protected, comfy and loved like an ideal hug.

-A mix of lavender and pink creates a romantic aura for grandmothers, sisters, friends and brides.

-A sophisticated arrangement of fiery reds, strong purples, sharp pinks, and bright oranges creates an opulent aura to set a passionate, rich mood.

-Misty blues, light greens, and more cool shades create a calm aura because it reminds the receiver of the ocean, to wash away their stress, and the sky .

-Bold contrasting colors create a more playful aura that is meant for celebrations.

I was curious about this because I read a book on the language of flowers. Do you feel better when you see flowers? Next time you receive a bouquet, what is it telling you? Or when you buy one, what are you trying to say?



  1. Augustin, Sally. “The Mental Health Benefits Of Flowers (PHOTOS).” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web.
  2. “Flowers Improve Emotional Health.” Emotional Impact of Flowers Study. N.p., n.d. Web.
  3. Language of Color: Writers Respond to the Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe. Rochester, NY: Writers &, 2006. Print.
  4. “Rutgers: Flowers & Seniors Study.” Rutgers: Flowers & Seniors Study. N.p., n.d. Web.
  5. Seaton, Beverly. The Language of Flowers: A History. Charlottesville: U of Virginia, 1995. Print.

Edited By: Lizzie Watson

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