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Hospital Flower Etiquette

Published: Wednesday 11 June 2014

Hospital Flower Etiquette

Whether you are sending flowers to hospital to cheer up an ill patient or celebrate the arrival of a newborn baby, there are certain considerations to take into account. If in doubt, we also recommend phoning the hospital and asking to speak with the ward. Medically, there may be specific advice you need to follow with regards to flower restrictions.

Meanwhile, take a look at our etiquette guide to delivering hospital flowers below…


Vase. No question about it – when selecting flowers online or in-store, make sure to order a flower arrangement designed in a pot, vase or gift box over a stand-alone bouquet. Hospitals aren’t florists, and nursing staff are not able to service patient’s flower deliveries by looking for vessels to put them in. In addition, flower couriers are expected to leave floral arrangements at a nurses station where it can often take a while for them to make it up to a patient’s room. We can’t have your pretty blooms going without water for too long now!

Pink Roses in Paris Pot

Plants with colourful flowers are also a great alternative and breathe life into a hospital room.

Phalaenopsis Orchid


If you are unsure whether the patient has an allergy to certain flowers, then it is generally best to opt for non or low allergenic flowers. This is particularly important if the patient is sharing a room. Also, you never know whether the nurse on shift happens to be allergic to oriental lilies!

We recommend flower arrangements that contain the likes of roses, snapdragons, iris, gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, tulips, orchids, anthurium lilies and other tropical flowers. If you are unsure, it is best to speak with your florist at the time of ordering and they will guide you as to what’s in season.

Tulips in Vase Close Up


Sadly, what might be a patient’s favourite flower at home, might be a little overpowering in a small hospital room that typically has limited air ventilation. When one is unwell, a strong scent coming from one or more flower arrangements can make a patient feel worse. And again, if a patient is sharing a room, then it is essential their needs are taken into account as well. Otherwise you may find your thoughtful gift ends up out at the nurses station or back-of-house!

To play it safe, avoid perfumed oriental and November lilies, heavily perfumed roses, stock, hyacinth, belladonna lilies and sweet peas. Instead, opt for perfume free blooms such as orchids and other tropicals, Asiatic lilies, delphinium, gladioli, rhododendron, hydrangea, anthurium lilies, alstroemeria lily, gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums, tulips, peonies, perfume-free roses, lisianthus and snapdragons.

Peony Arrangement


For women who experience an uncomplicated natural birth, they will generally be sent home within 48 hours. Those who undergo a caesarian generally stay in hospital for five days. As a result it might be a good idea to check with the patient’s partner or family when they expect to leave hospital before arranging flower delivery.

Pink Lisianthus and Roses close up


There has been plenty of research into the health implications colours have on us. They influence our mood and emotions. They have their impact on our sense of well-being or un-easiness. They influence the flow and amount of energy in our bodies, and can help jump-start the tired or diseased body. (1)

Color healing, known as Chromotherapy, can be implemented in a number of ways. The ancients actually built great halls of color healing, where individuals entered and were bathed in light that was filtered through various colored glass panels or windows. (1)

For a detailed outline of different colours’ health benefits, take a look at this site. Yes, it is a little ‘hippy’ but their outline of how colours can affect us is an interesting read.

Gerberas on Boat Jetty

Like the look of the flowers pictured in this article? These beauties are available for flower delivery Australia wide. Check out our online florist shop here: 


Colour Therapy:



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