There are birthdays, star signs, and birthstones, but did you know there are birth flowers, too? Each birthday month has its own unique flower and meaning, and a bouquet of birthday flowers would be a great and thoughtful gift for your loved ones.
To get started on that birthday bouquet, why not grow them yourself? Many birthday flowers are perennials—meaning they return each year—and bring with them hardy, long-lasting blooms. Read along to learn more about the 12 different birth month flowers and how to take care of them.
A favorite and easily recognizable flower for many, the carnation is January's birth flower. Its different colors symbolize different things: pink symbolizes gratitude, white is luck, dark red is deep love and light red is admiration.
When grown, carnations can reach heights of up to 24 inches. They need 4-6 hours of sunlight a day and a fertilized soil that has a pH of 6.7-6.9. Carnations need to be watered a few times a week and bloom in late spring.
February's birth flower appears in more than just shades of purple, despite what its name may lead you to think. The violet also blooms in cream, blue and yellow, and it has historically symbolized modesty, faithfulness and wisdom.
When grown in gardens, violets prefer lightly shaded environments and moist, well-drained soil. They're excellent cover plants and bloom in late winter and early spring.
Early spring brings with it daffodils, March's birth flower. The popular bloom has roots in the Mediterranean, where ancient Greeks and Romans grew it. It's been known to symbolize new beginnings, prosperity, and good luck.
When grown from bulbs, daffodils can reach heights of up to 16 inches. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day and a fertilized soil that has a pH of 6.0-7.0. Daffodils need to be watered once a week and bloom in early spring.
April's birth flower is the daisy, which is thought to symbolize innocence, fertility and purity. Daisies range in color from bright whites to bold yellows to soft pinks. They get their name from the phrase 'day's eye,' which references how its petals close around its eye-like center during the night and open up again during the day.
Daisies prefer sunny environments and slightly acidic soil. They're perennial flowers and bloom yearly from late spring to early fall.
May: Lily of The Valley
The lily of the valley is May's birth flower. The unique, drought-tolerant flower features small, teardrop-shaped blooms clustered on its stalk, and it often symbolizes motherhood and sweetness.
When grown from bulbs, lilies of the valley can reach heights of up to 12 inches. They prefer partial shade (though they can tolerate partial or full sun) and a slightly acidic fertilized soil. Lilies of the valley need to be watered once a week and bloom in late spring.
The showstopper rose is June's birth flower. At the height of the Roman Empire, roses were grown throughout the Middle East, and their blooms were used in perfumes and medicinals. The rose symbolizes love, beauty, and honor.
When grown, roses prefer sunny environments and rich, loamy soil. They're perennial flowers and bloom repeatedly from late spring to early fall.
July's birth flower is the larkspur, which has grown in the wild of Asia and Europe for centuries. Its bright color has been used for dye, and it's also been used as protection against stings and bites. Larkspur has historically symbolized positivity and an open heart.
When grown from bulbs, larkspurs can reach heights of up to 3 to 4 feet. They prefer full sun and well-draining soil with a pH of 5.7-7.0. Larkspurs need to be watered once a week and bloom in spring and summer.
August's birthday flower is the gladiolus, AKA the 'sword lily.' It gets its nickname from its sharp and pointy leaves that resemble swords. The gladiolus symbolizes strength of character and integrity.
When grown from bulbs, the gladiolus prefers sunny environments and well-drained, sandy and loamy soil. They're perennial flowers and can bloom from mid-summer until first frost.
This fall bloom is a member of the daisy family and is September's birth flower. There are over 600 different species of aster, and it ranges in color. The aster symbolizes wisdom, valor and royalty.
When grown from bulbs, asters can reach heights of up to 4-6 feet. They prefer full sun and a moist, well-draining soil. Asters need to be watered once a week until established and bloom in late summer and early fall.
The calendula (AKA the marigold) is the birthday flower for October. This vibrant autumn bloom is native to the Mediterranean, but was first cultivated by the Aztecs, who believed its bright color held otherworldly powers. The calendula symbolizes passion and creativity.
When grown from seed, the calendula prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. The calendula can be grown as a perennial, but is often grown as an annual in pots and garden beds, and can bloom from spring to fall.
November's birth flower is the chrysanthemum, which has been cultivated in China for millennia. Its popularity spread to Japan in the ancient world, and it finally came to Europe in the 17th century. The chrysanthemum is thought to symbolize loyalty and honesty.
When grown in the garden, chrysanthemums can reach heights of up to 1-3 feet. They prefer full sun and moist, well-draining soil. Chrysanthemums need to be watered once a week until they bloom when they should be watered 2-3x a week. They bloom in late summer to early winter.
The birthday flower for December is the narcissus, as there are a few varieties of the flower that bloom in winter, like the paperwhite narcissus. The narcissus symbolizes hope and good fortune.
When grown from bulbs, the narcissus prefers partial shade and loamy and slightly acidic soil. The narcissus is a perennial and blooms yearly from late winter to late spring, depending on the variety.