Tips for Choosing Get-Well Flowers

Roses make good get-well flowers because their pollen doesn't spread as easily as other flowers.

Roses make good get-well flowers because their pollen doesn't spread as easily as other flowers.

Get-well flowers provide an ideal way to cheer up someone who is sick, has undergone surgery or is dealing with a chronic illness. Depending on the setting in which the recipient is staying, you should choose flowers that invigorate, inspire hope and peace, and convey your appropriate condolences. At the same time, knowing the condition of the patient will help guide your choice of flowers.


Before spending money on a bouquet of fresh daisies or a potted azalea plant, check with the hospital. Many intensive care units restrict flower deliveries because of the germs and pollen that often spread from the blooms or soil. Some hospitals don’t allow flowers in any of the rooms, so you may have to stick with a balloon bouquet, cookies or just a card until your friend or family member returns home. Even if the hospital allows floral deliveries, talk to the patient or a close family member to find out what restrictions have been placed on the room and its contents.

Health Conscious

Whether the recipient is at home or in the hospital, you don’t want to add to the illness or create additional complications. Look for a florist that sells organic flowers, which are grown without pesticides. The chemicals used to grow conventional flowers can cause eye irritation or exacerbate existing allergies. Pesticides can linger in a sick room and cause rashes or asthma attacks.


Once you’ve cleared all the health hurdles, make your get-well flowers easy to handle for someone who is sick. Send flowers with a vase so they are ready to show. Online florists such as ProFlowers offer you a number of choices for containers when you go through the check-out process. Look for a vase that won’t break easily if dropped off a windowsill or table. Avoid flowering plants when you send get-well wishes because they require additional care that the patient may not be up to.


The types of flowers you send should also take into consideration the optimal health of the patient. Flowers such as lilies, tulips and hypericum have exposed stamens that produce pollen which could lead to sneezing. Even if the patient is not allergic, flowers that exude high concentrations of pollen increase the risk of visitors and nurses sneezing when they enter the room, causing germs to fly. Instead, opt for closed flowers such as roses, chrysanthemums and carnations. Roses also make a good get-well flower because they have sturdier, woodier stems than many other flowers. Stems on flowers such as alstroemerias are soft and absorb water quickly, leaving the sick person with the responsibility of changing the water more often to keep them from wilting.

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