Done or Dont: Prejudice around flowers and bouquets

Есть проблема: беспорядок на кухонной столешнице

A bouquet of flowers is a universal tool that helps to express any feelings: to become a sign of passionate love or gratitude, a gesture of courtesy or an attempt to make amends. We give flowers so often and regularly with or without reason that we don’t even pay attention to how rigidly this area is taboo.

Gabriel Holland Interior Design

How many flowers are in a bouquet
Every civilized Russian knows: there can be as many flowers as you want in a bouquet – the main thing is to have an odd number. But an even number of flowers are not bought out of great joy. True, no one can explain where this sign came from: Japan is often called the primary source, but in fact, our eastern neighbors do not have such a rule – to give a strictly odd number of flowers. You will not find such a prejudice in Europe, where you will easily be handed ten tulips or thirty roses.

Fact: In fact, an odd number of flowers helps to make the bouquet more aesthetically pleasing: there is a slight asymmetry in such a composition, due to which the bouquet looks more natural.

Design by Ekaterina Kolegova Ecole

What color should the bouquet be
The whole world has its own myths about flowers, and the traditions of different countries often completely contradict each other. Take, for example, white: in Russia, a white bouquet is given to a young girl, relative or colleague – the color of purity expresses sympathy within the bounds of decency, so that the donor and recipient will not have to fear hidden meanings.

Fact: In Asia, white flowers are considered the same mourning as in Russia – scarlet carnations.

Jacob Snavely Photography

Yellow tulips are not allowed – can you mimosa?
Everyone remembers the famous song by Natasha Koroleva about the fact that “yellow tulips are the messengers of separation.” Although common sense dictates: there is absolutely no point in giving flowers to someone you don’t want to see anymore.

We propose to get rid of the obsessive stereotype from the head at the same time as the verse that is ingrained in the memory. And to interpret yellow as the color of the sun – it is not for nothing that at the beginning of spring all the stalls and underground passages fill the tubs with mimosas, which are traditionally considered the messengers of spring – not at all separation!

Plum Interiors

The main passions are simmering around red flowers. In Russia and Europe, a bouquet of rich-colored roses is perceived as a declaration of passionate love, therefore, when choosing a gift for friends and colleagues, we would rather focus on halftones or put together a composite bouquet.

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Fact: In Latin American countries, red is the color of blood and death, so it makes more sense to explain yourself in the best feelings with the help of a white bouquet.

Planet fur

Special role
The most unenviable role in European culture went to chrysanthemums, carnations and poppies – they are considered flowers of mourning. In our culture, you can also find a similar stereotype – however, over time it has become less intrusive: on September 1, half of the students go to school with bouquets of chrysanthemums, and hardly at least one teacher perceives such a gift as a violation of etiquette.

Holly marder

It is generally accepted that each holiday has its own bouquet: is it worth saying that today this performance is almost outdated? Once flowers were tied to the holiday for reasons of seasonality, so on March 8 women got mimosas, and the May holidays were strongly associated with carnations. The powerful export of exotic and familiar to our culture and exotic flowers erases this symbolism: in a flower shop even in the coldest winter you can find frankly out-of-season bouquets.

Drew McGukin Interiors @drewmcgukin


Myths and superstitions
Gathering on a visit, we sometimes choose a plant in a pot as a gift – and again we find ourselves in captivity of prejudices. It would seem that this decision has solid advantages: the unfortunate plant will not wither in four days, and the owners will not have to painfully search for another vase – if we are talking about a large-scale party on the occasion of the holiday. And yet, not every apartment will be happy with such a souvenir: some consider it unacceptable to bring “damp earth” into the house.

Fact: Plants are planted in transport soil, so dry and airy that it can, with a great deal of convention, be considered “damp earth”.


Are you going to visit a sick colleague or friend and give a plant with roots? This means that you wish the patient “to grow into the ground,” the myth interprets your actions. However, there is also a workaround here: bring a fashionable small florarium as a gift – the soil layer in it is so small that even a superstitious person will find it difficult to take the belief seriously.

DIY: How to arrange a florarium in your home

Bouquet for a man: yes or no-for-what
The most severe taboo is imposed on a man’s bouquet. On the one hand, any concert of a pop artist or theatrical performance ends with a generous expression of emotions from the fans – and the artists accept these bouquets without any embarrassment. But an engineer, manager or programmer will be very surprised to receive a bouquet as a gift for February 23rd or for his birthday. No questions will arise only if you are giving a bouquet to a man much older than you or to a hero of the day.

Litvinova Olga

If you are not afraid of prejudice and are determined to give a bouquet to a man, we advise you to follow the unspoken rules for choosing flowers:

  • the male bouquet is organized vertically (the female has a “rounded” shape);
  • as a bouquet for February 23 or a birthday, it is better for a man to give heliconias, strelitzia, roses, proteas – something quite tough and courageous.
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Luci.D Interiors

Two bouquets in one vase? Better not to risk it
When many guests come to the house, each of whom wants to congratulate the owners with a bouquet, the temptation inevitably arises to put several bunches of flowers in one vase so as not to embarrass themselves with three-liter jars. However, in this way you risk destroying several bouquets without even having time to enjoy them. Some leader plants speed up the wilting of other flowers, such as roses, poppies, orchids, and yellow primroses. Lilies and irises prefer to live in mono bouquets.

The Cross Interior Design


A beautiful bouquet – “rich” packaging?
For a long time, it was customary to wrap flowers in tall cases made of transparent cellophane. In the 90s, corrugated paper of acrid shades appeared in flower shops, which immediately became a sign of unthinkable luxury. Later, bright nets were added to them – they are usually used to add volume to the bouquet. Although, in fact, the cellophane packaging familiar to everyone was originally used to transport the bouquet so that the flowers did not get dirty or wrinkled on the way. Then, enterprising sellers began to curly trim the edges and make prints in the form of hearts on the cases – this is how the utilitarian material became ubiquitous for a while.

Celia bedilia

Meanwhile, florists know many interesting ways to “pack” a decent bouquet – for example, to wrap it with large leaves. Delicate, medium-sized buds will look good in soft felt, and a rough natural canvas is suitable for exotic flowers. In the end, kraft paper, unrecognized in our country and so beloved in Europe, is not so bad: it does not distract attention from the flowers, and if the addressee does not like such packaging, it is easier than ever to remove it and throw it away when placing a bouquet in a vase.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

Fact: Usually flowers in a large bouquet are tied with braid, and experts do not advise to untie it at home. As long as the buds and stems are in a close bond, a certain microclimate is formed in it, which will be disturbed if you freely distribute the flowers in a wide vase.

Niki Papadopoulos

Why do gerberas need wire?
Gerberas, reminiscent of large colored daisies, are presented both individually and in bouquets. Surely you have noticed more than once that the stems are supported by some strange wire, and even suspected that they brought you a stale bouquet that would fall unaided. In fact, the gerbera has a very capricious disposition: the flower constantly needs fresh cold water. Gerbera quickly “wilts”, but if the water is changed, she raises her head again. The wire helps to keep the bouquet in a static state: you would hardly like to change the water in the vase several times a day.

Moore About … Design

Wedding bouquet as a reason for a fight
The climax of the wedding celebration: the bride throws the bouquet, and a couple of dozen fragile and sophisticated girls turn into real predators – and it’s good if the bouquet falls into one hand, because usually five grab onto it. This ritual is adored by all guests: the hunt for a bouquet revives the banquet, already fed up by that time. But in fact, it is not enough to get rid of a wedding bouquet – first you need to choose the right one, moreover … for the groom.

Michele Peterson Interiors

Today, girls usually choose the bouquet themselves, sometimes with the help of an experienced florist. This approach is completely contrary to tradition: the bridegroom should give the bouquet with his own hand to the bride after the ransom and before going to the registry office. Taking flowers from the hands of her beloved, the girl, as it were, once again agrees to go down the aisle. It seems that modern grooms are sure that the bride, who has already done her makeup and hair, will not go anywhere, so they do not bother themselves with choosing a bouquet.

A happy guest should keep the bouquet obtained in battle until her own marriage, and tradition advises, moreover, to show it to potential suitors – apparently, as a hint. By the way, this is far from the most eccentric wedding custom: in the Middle Ages in Europe, unmarried girls tore off a friend’s wedding dress for good luck. It remains only to guess in what form the newly-made wife left her own wedding, if several hundred guests gathered for the holiday.

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Let’s remember together the funny conventions and prejudices associated with a flower bouquet. Add your observations to the comments section below the article!


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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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