What’s Special About Sunflowers – Meaning, Arrangement Ideas and Care Tips

When I see sunflowers, I think of Vincent Van Gogh, the artist. And he would have been very pleased because when he was alive, he wanted to be known as the painter of sunflowers. And he painted many still-life paintings of his favourite flower. 

To Van Gogh, sunflowers were meant to symbolise gratitude. Nonetheless sunflowers generally have a wonderful meaning. In fact they represent love, loyalty and longevity.

That’s also why it’s a popular flower choice with brides and bridal bouquets. Because of its meaning and stunning colour.

What Flowers Go Well Together with Sunflowers?

Flowers that go well with sunflowers include roses, snapdragons, chrysanthemums and irises. Bright colors such as reds and oranges tend to pair well with the yellow. On the other hand if you wish to go for a contrasting colour, blue or purple irises make a beautiful pairing.

As for greenery, it’s best to stick with leaves that have a warm tone such as camellia leaves, gymea leaves or monstera leaves. Instead of gum or eucalyptus leaves, or dusty miller, which are cooler in tone.

Sunflower Arrangement Ideas

The yellow of the sunflower is so vibrant that it instantly brightens up any space.

You can arrange sunflowers on their own in a vase and they will look stunning because of their large full blooms. 

Sunflowers with roses in a bouquet

My first arrangement here is a bouquet for Mother’s Day. A combination of sunflowers, red roses and yellow solidago or solidaster. As you can see it’s a very bright, cheery bunch of flowers. Great choice for a Mother’s Day gift.

Sunflower Arrangement Ideas
Sunflowers in an ikebana inspired Arrangement

In my second flower arrangement which is ikebana-inspired, I used only sunflowers in a Japanese-style basket. If you don’t have a basket, you can swap it out for a short pot-like container.

The flower stems were long. So I cut them down to better suit the proportions of the container.

However as I didn’t want to waste the stems, I looked for ways to use them in the arrangement. I ended up placing them at various diagonal angles to bring visual balance to the floral arrangement.

And there was no discolouration or softening of the stems even after a few days being out of water. Amazing!

Sunflowers in a Glass Vase

The third arrangement is a sunflower arrangement in a glass fishbowl vase. Here I’ve used about a couple of philodendron leaves in the fishbowl to hide the stems of the flowers as well as create interest.

You can use multiple similar arrangements as table centrepieces along the centre of your dining table at home. Or use this arrangement idea for wedding guest table centrepieces.


If you are buying sunflowers from the store, try to get blooms which are more tightly closed if you want them to last longer. But if you need to display the flowers on the same day of purchase, then get some with more open blooms.


  • Cut the stems at an angle before placing the sunflowers into the vase.
  • Change the water regularly. Like every other day. It will help to make the flowers last longer.
  • Keep the sunflowers out of the cold or draughts (for example under cold air-conditioning).
  • And if you find any holes in your sunflower petals, check to see if there is a caterpillar somewhere among the flowers and get rid of it promptly!

For more fun facts about Van Gogh, check out the Van Gogh Museum website.

Do you have any sunflower tips of your own or fun facts you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

If you are looking for an ikebana floral designer in Sydney, please contact us.

For other flower arrangement inspiration, you may like to check out our post on arranging hydrangeas.

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