What Flowers are Appropriate for a Funeral?

Choosing a flower arrangement for a funeral can be a tough task that comes with a lot of questions. What flowers are appropriate for a funeral? Should I even send flowers? What should I say in the message?

Finding an arrangement that brings peace and comfort, while also choosing something that uniquely represents the person you lost can be overwhelming. This true whether or not you are planning a funeral, or attending a funeral.

This guide can help you decide how to choose the best funeral flower arrangement.

What are Common Funeral Flowers and Their Meanings?

If you look up funeral flower arrangements you will come across a wide variety of flowers. Flowers can have many different meanings and flower arrangements can evoke different feelings.

Are All Lilies Funeral Lilies?

Lilies, and lily like flowers and plants, are one of the most common funeral flowers. They are gorgeous and typically bring about a peaceful feeling. However, not all lilies are the same.

Asiatic Lily

asiatic lily best funeral flowers

The Asiatic lily comes in a variety of colors. For Funerals, many choose a white Asiatic Lily. The meaning behind the Asiatic lily, more specifically white Asiatic lilies, is thought to be innocence and purity. This flower is popular for funeral arrangements because it symbolizes the purity and innocence that is gained after life.

Peace Lily

peace lily funeral flower options and arrangements

The Peace Lily is not a lily at all. It is a plant that blooms a white leaf with a yellow flower. The Peace Lily is a popular funeral plant because of what it signifies. A Peace Lily plant is believed to bring peace and positive energy, and also signifies purity, innocence, and sympathy. For these reasons, many people choose to give Peace Lily plants at funerals.

Easter Lily

What Flowers are Appropriate for a Funeral?

The Easter Lily is a white lily that is commonly used in funerals. The Easter Lily symbolizes purity and rebirth. It grew popular amongst Christian churches for Easter and weddings.

What Color of Roses are for Funerals?

One of the most popular flowers around the world is the Rose. It is commonly associated with love and the colors all have special meanings.

Flower Color Meaning Funeral flowers roses

White Roses

To start, white roses are used in many flower arrangements to include funeral flower arrangements. These roses have been traditionally used in weddings because of their symbolization of purity and new beginnings. However, because of their elegance they have also become a symbol of remembrance.

Dark Crimson Red Roses

Crimson Red Roses are a deep and dark red. This color is often associated with mourning, which makes it a common flower for funerals. The deepness of the color perfectly symbolizes the feelings and sadness of mourning, but the beauty and peaceful fragrance of the rose offers a symbol of hope.

Yellow Roses

Yellow roses for funerals are commonly given by close friends. The color is supposed to represent strong ties and a strong friendship. You may also see Yellow Rose arrangements for military funerals because of its likeness to the common Yellow Ribbon that symbolizes support for our troops. 

Pink Roses

The delicate color of pink infused with the elegance of the rose can provide a very comforting, yet happy, arrangement. Pink roses signify love and appreciation.

What Other Flowers are Good for Funerals?

White Hyacinth

White Hyacinth is one of the best funeral flowers

This beautiful flower is a great addition to any arrangement. They purity of white for funeral flower arrangements is very peaceful. White Hyacinth’s symbolize praying for someone. The heartfelt meaning of these flowers make them popular funeral flowers.


irises funeral flowers best flowers for funerals

Irises are a popular choice for funeral flower arrangements because of their beauty and meaning. Irises date back to Greek mythology when it was believed if the Iris flower was planted on the grave the Goddess Iris would guide the soul to the afterlife. Today Irises symbolize faith and hope, as well as grief, which makes them common flower to give.


carnations appropriate funeral flowers

Next, carnations are a beautiful flower that come in many colors. Carnations are a common funeral flower because of their fullness and fragrance. In addition, they make a great funeral arrangement flower because they fill up the arrangement. Moreover, they are a very affordable flower.

Much like other white flowers, white carnations symbolize innocence. Pink carnations symbolize remembrance, while red symbolizes admiration.


Orchids are a popular flower to give at funerals because they signify everlasting love and sympathy. Pink and white are the most common funeral flower colors for orchids. Orchids are elegant and a good choice when choosing a flower to send to a funeral.

orchids best funeral flowers

What Color Flowers Should You Get for a Funeral?

Next, What colors of flowers are appropriate for a funeral? There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a flower arrangement for a funeral.

White is the most popular color of flower for funerals because of their symbolization of purity and innocence. As well, white flowers are a neutral color that evoke peace. Other colors also make for fine choices. You may choose a flower based on the deceased’s favorite color or flower.

Choosing a flower that reminds you of the deceased is always a good choice. If your flower choice is a less common color or flower for funerals, you might want to explain in the card why the flower reminds you of the deceased or why you chose it. This will allow you to avoid a generic note of sympathy and might bring joy to the recipient of the flowers.

What are Good Funeral Plants?

Choosing a plant for a funeral instead of a flower arrangement is becoming more popular. Plants that can be cared for and that will continue to grow after the funeral can bring peace to the family of the deceased. When choosing a funeral plant, consider how much work it will take to maintain, as well as the climate for the location. You wouldn’t want to get a tropical plant for an area that is typically cold unless the plant could thrive inside.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily plants are very common to give at funerals. Giving the live plant instead of just incorporating it into a flower arrangement is becoming very popular. The live plant is believed to evoke positivity and peace and is used in cultures that practice feng shui. The care for a Peace Lily is relatively easy and it can remain and indoor plant.

Orchid Plant

Live Orchids are also a popular plant for funerals. Their simple elegance bring remembrance and peace. Orchids can require a little more attention, so this would be a great flower for a family member who enjoys gardening and potted plants.


Ferns are a great plant for funerals because they are easy to care for. These plants do best in humid environments. But don’t worry if the family doesn’t live in a humid environment, ferns are great plants for kitchens or bathrooms. Ferns symbolize new beginnings and hope.

Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plant has ties back to Ancient Egyptian funerals. People attending the funeral of a pharaoh was required to bring an Aloe plant because of its worth. Aloe Plants also symbolize affection and grief. Another great quality of Aloe Vera plants is that the plant has healing properties and the gel inside the plant can be useful for many household purposes. If you’re looking for a practical plant for a funeral, the Aloe Vera is a great type of plant to send.

flowers plants and trees for memorials, funerals and burials

Memorial Trees

Additionally, memorial trees are gifts that show respect and tribute for loved ones that have passed. If you are giving a tree that needs to be planted, make sure that you find a tree that will thrive in your climate and geography. Some of the more popular trees people give as memorial tree gifts are:

  • Oak Trees
  • Olive Trees
  • Magnolia Trees
  • Blue Spruce Tree

Conversely, if you don’t want to put the burden of keeping a tree alive on the family, you can have a tree planted for them in honor of your loved one that passed.

Unique Memorial Tree + Urn Option

As a unique option, there are a few companies (like this one) that offer a biodegradable urn and tree planting system. It seems like a unique way to honor a loved one and have their legacy live on as fertilizer for a memorial tree.

What Do You Do with Funeral Flowers After the Funeral?

So, when the funeral is over, what do you do with the funeral flowers? To start, many flowers will be kept on the grave until they die and are removed. Then, others will be taken home with close family and friends.

Plants that can be maintained and kept alive will usually go with the closest family members, while arrangements that will die over time might be given to attendees. It really depends what the family wants to do with the funeral flowers.

Alternatively, it is becoming more common for families to ask for donations to specific organizations in lieu of flowers. This is because once the funeral is over, family members are often overwhelmed with the number of flower arrangements and plants they have.

What to Send to Funerals Instead of Flowers?

If you’re worried the family might be overwhelmed with plants and flowers, there are alternatives to send your condolences. Fruit or food baskets are a great way to send your condolences. Typically close family members can become overwhelmed with the funeral planning process and ready to eat food can help them skip preparing themselves meals or snacks.

You can also send a card expressing your condolences and make a donation to a organization in the deceased’s name. This a wonderful tribute to the deceased. You can also send a picture or a book of pictures that you have of their loved one.

Suitable Words for Funeral Flowers

Finding the right words or message to add to your funeral flowers can be difficult. Words can’t reverse loss. Words can however bring peace and comfort. You can stick to something more traditional just to let the family know you’re thinking of them, or you can make it a little more personal. Including a short story of the deceased or something you will miss about the deceased is a great way to personalize your message. You can also include a short bible verse or quote as a message to bring peaceful thoughts.

Message with Funeral Flowers

Some common funeral flower arrangement messages might include the following:

  • “My deepest condolences for your loss”
  • “We are praying for peace and comfort for you and your family”
  • “*name* will be greatly missed, we are so sorry for your loss”
  • “Memories of *name* will be treasured forever. With deepest sympathy, *your name*”

Frequently Asked Funeral Flower Questions

What flower symbolizes death?

Several flowers have garnered reputations symbolizing death including:

  • Dark Red Roses: People associate crimson, or dark red, roses with death and mourning.
  • Chrysanthemums: According to funeralbasics.org, chrysanthemums represent death in some European cultures.
  • Aconitum: In addition, people sometimes consider Aconitum flowers as symbols of death. This is most likely due to them being poisonous!

How do you send flowers to a funeral?

If you want to send flowers directly to a funeral, start by calling a local florist or an online flower website. You will just need to know where to send the flowers (i.e. the address of the funeral home) and what time they need to be there by. If you are getting delivery service, your florist can take care of the rest.

What color rose is for death?

As mentioned, dark red roses or crimson roses are considered the color of rose associated with death. However, you can use other colored roses in your funeral bouquets as they are all considered flowers appropriate for a funeral.

How much should I pay for funeral flowers?

Typically, you will pay about $50 for funeral flowers. Although the range is anywhere from $30 to $80 for a standard funeral bouquet. Wreaths can cost more – typically, around the $100 range. In addition, you will pay more for funeral flowers that sit on top of a casket. These are called the funeral spray arrangements. These arrangements can cost hundreds of dollars.

Cheap Funeral Flowers

If you are looking for a less expensive option for funeral flowers, you can make and deliver a funeral bouquet yourself. Purchasing separate flowers and a vase, and then arranging them yourself can save you money.

Do family members wear flowers at a funeral?

Often, the family will wear corsages or boutonnieres at funerals. If there are pallbearers, they will often wear a boutonniere. In addition, it is a funeral or burial tradition that the pallbearers will place their boutonnieres on the casket before burial. People see this as a sign of reverence and respect.

What is a Standing Spray?

what is a standing spray

Standing spray flowers are traditional funeral flower arrangements. Flowers are placed on an easel to display them in a beautiful, often cascading arrangement. They are often more expensive than funeral bouquets and baskets. This is because you are paying not just for the flowers, but also for the flower funeral stand.

What is a Funeral Wreath?

A funeral wreath is also an arrangement that is presented on an easel. Just like a standing spray, they can be more expensive since you may also be paying for a stand or easel.

According to Wikipedia, the Ancient Greeks made funeral wreaths popular. They used them to symbolize the circle of eternal life.

Related Reading: Funeral and Burial Traditions from Ancient and Modern Times

When is are Wreaths or Standing Spray Flowers Appropriate?

Standing spray flowers are appropriate for a funeral, a wake or a viewing. They are not usually sent to homes, work or other personal places.

Conclusions on What Flowers are Appropriate for a Funeral?

In summary, you have many options when it comes to what flowers are appropriate for a funeral. You will need to make decisions based on what you or your loved one would have appreciated. There really are no wrong options. You just need to honor your loved one in the best way you can.

Further Related Reading

funeral plans - a helpful complete funeral planning guide

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