Isn’t it the thought that counts? Sure it is. Still, giving more than a little thought to choosing Mother’s Day flowers is a good idea.

Flower-buying statistics

Top sales

Mother’s Day accounted for 24 percent of holiday flower and plant purchases in 2012. About 38 percent of adults bought flowers or plants as Mother’s Day gifts. The only holiday that prompted a larger percentage of flower and plant purchases in 2012 was Christmas (including Hanukkah) at 30 percent of transactions. Valentine’s Day was third with 20 percent.

Flower and plant types

Consumers who purchased for Mother’s Day often bought more than one kind of flower or plant. About 72 percent of them said they bought fresh flowers; 37 percent bought outdoor garden and bedding plants; 38 percent flowering house plants; and 23 percent greenhouse plants.

Intended recipients

The majority of those purchases, 87 percent, were intended as gifts. But 10 percent were for personal consumption. Among the gifts, 70 percent of people purchased for a mother; 24 percent for a mother-in-law; 23 percent for a wife; 15 percent for other relatives; 8 percent for friends; 5 percent for girlfriends; and 4 percent for others.

Next Sunday marks 99 years since President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first observance of National Mother’s Day.

Flower trends, tips

The top sellers for flower arrangements for Mother’s day include freesia, gerberas, hydrangeas, irises, lilies, orchids, roses and tulips.

Pink is the traditional favorite color with monochromatic arrangements as well as blush pink, antique ivory and cream mixtures; and hot pink and berry tones with shades of red.

Bolder color arrangements include hot pink and orange; citron and purple; orange shades from tangerine to peach; purple accented with bright green; purple, lime green and magenta; and pink, coral and turquoise.

Popular Mother’s Day designs are monochro- matic arrangements; bas- ket arrangements; botanical or color groupings with smaller flowers and foliage; natural, earthy and garden arrangements in vintage-style glassware; soft and feminine flower mixes; and monobotanical mixes (which use one flower variety) in glass vessels.

Popular plants include azaleas, chrysanthemums, dish gardens, gerberas, hydrangea, Kalanchoes and orchids.

In the days leading up to Mother’s Day, many will show their love and respect for their moms by choosing flowers or plants to give them. Lilies, carnations, roses, hydrangeas and irises are among the flowers most likely to be featured in Lowcountry gift arrangements.

While mothers might appreciate any flowers you give them, carefully chosen ones are more likely to be treasured.

In 2012, more than one-third of adults bought flowers or plants as Mother’s Day gifts, the Society of American Florists says. Their gifts helped put Mother’s Day purchases ahead of Valentine’s Day and behind Christmas and Hanukkah when counting holiday-driven purchases.

Locally, those at Creech’s Florist, the Flower Cottage and Seithel’s Florist say Valentine’s Day sales exceed Mother’s Day ones.

Do you know what kinds of flowers Mom prefers?

Most sons and daughters send their mothers a flower arrangement, says Nella Creech Peele of Creech’s Florist. But they don’t usually know what kinds of flowers their mother prefers.

It’s fine to purchase flowers, including flowering plants, based on mom’s favorite color or her personality, Peele says. But it’s also OK to ask her what kind of flower she likes best.

Peggy Sirisky at the Flower Cottage says those shopping for flowers want to make their moms happy, but don’t know whether she prefers wildflowers or a blooming plant.

Jen Storm at Seithel’s Florist says most customers usually come in for an arrangement, and she first helps them choose the color and then the flower.

What kinds of flowers usually are given?

In this area, most people give an arrangement of mixed spring flowers rather than one featuring a single type, says Raleigh Beasley at Creech’s.

One of the most popular flowers to include in local arrangements are hydrangeas, Beasley says.

Others you might find in them are irises and lilies. Not too many of his customers choose roses for Mother’s Day, but those who do select pink, lavender or purple ones.

However, Sirisky says the Flower Cottage’s most popular Mother’s Day flower is the rose. Usually pink roses are favored, with peach and lavender following.

“People love to send Mom roses,” Sirisky says. “After that, they send mixed floral arrangements.”

Storm of Seithel’s says most send a mixed bouquet of pink and white flowers in season. About 10 percent of her customers select a blooming plant instead.

Is it OK to send the flowers in a box?

“Personally, I prefer not to send a box,” Peele says. “It’s just much nicer to have them in a vase of water.”

Sirisky says if a mother has to arrange the flowers, it could diminish the gift. The presentation is better if you send something already arranged.

What can you expect to spend?

Peele says those on a tight budget can buy Mom an arrangement starting at $35. For about the same price, they can get a plant. Something special to extra-special would cost $50-$75.

At the Flower Cottage, those with a small budget would be encouraged to get a house plant, Sirisky says. “Moms really do appreciate just being recognized,” she says.

Most Mother’s Day flower arrangements at her shop cost around $75.

At Seithel’s, says Storm, Mother’s Day arrangements usually cost between $40 and $90.

Which flowers last longer?

Peele says carnations, daisies, lilies and roses tend to last the longest.

Sirisky said lilies, carnationas as well as orchids are big sellers at her shop for Mother’s Day gifts.

Storm encourages mothers to focus on keeping flowers they receive as cool as they can for as long as they can. That includes avoiding sunny windows. “Of course, it’s also important to change the water,” she says.

Are corsages selected?

Relatively few follow the tradition of purchasing a corsage for their mothers to wear at church or a Mother’s Day brunch, the florists say.

Fewer still follow the practice of wearing a corsage to honor their mothers, red for living mothers, and white for deceased ones, on Mother’s Day.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.