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Flowers and Happiness: It’s Evolution

Why do flowers make us feel better? Whether it’s a rainy day or you’re feeling blue, seeing flowers evokes feelings of irresistible beauty that translate to positive emotions. In fact, one study shows that positive emotion lasts for 3 days after you receive an arrangement of flowers.


Here’s a look at why we see positivity in flowers:


  • Flowers evolved to capture the eye. We evolved to recognize flowers as a sign of a fruit-bearing plant or as a sign of a stable, human-sustaining environment. Over time, we grew to see flowers for their medicinal qualities too. Each of these evolutionary functions reinforce our positive emotion toward flowers.
  • Our relationship with flowers is multi-sensory. Touch, sight and smell. Closely tied to our senses is memory. Our individual memory banks are full of past experiences with flowers, from childhood up to the present. Positive interactions with flowers in the past heavily inform present day emotions.
  • This multisensory experience, coupled with autobiographical memories, sends a wave of positive reinforcement.
  • Flowers are deeply embedded in our culture. We collectively see comfort and joy in flowers. And our collective upbringing reinforces our evolutionary-based appreciation.
  • They require tender care, gentle handling and attention. Not unlike what we, humans, need. In bloom, we see their beauty as the result of our tender care. In other words, we care for flowers like we care for our loved ones.


Whether you grow them or buy an arrangement from a store, flowers are sure to provide a boost of positivity you need. And as this research shows, our relationship with flowers goes beyond appreciation—it’s deeply embedded in our being.


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Published on: March 10, 2022