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How to Pick the Best Flowers for Funerals

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Losing someone you love is never easy, but being responsible for funeral planning can add a new level of stress to your grief. In all the hustle of getting the details right to honor the departed, one that is sometimes overlooked until the last moment is the flowers.

Flowers for funerals add beauty and meaning in ways that few other things can. While not all cultures include them in their funerals, most do. Funeral flowers give you and other mourners the chance to put emotions into a visual medium.

However, funerals are expensive, and flowers only add to the cost. If the departed had a life insurance policy, the death benefit could be used to pay for flowers and any other funeral expenses. If there is no life insurance, you can find inexpensive floral options as meaningful as their pricier counterparts.

If you don’t know where to start, you can learn about the best flowers for funerals below. You can also learn how life insurance can help your loved ones celebrate your life.

What are the best funeral flowers?

A general rule of thumb for funeral flowers is to pick ones that the deceased liked. If you know that a person’s favorite flower was a daisy, a nice way to honor them would be to include those flowers in your funeral flower arrangements.

If you don’t know their favorite flower or they didn’t have one, you can always choose a traditional floral option. Many funeral flowers carry meaning which enables you to more thoroughly express your grief and what the person meant to you.

While there are many flowers to choose from, consider some of the best flowers for funerals below.


This elegant white flower is a staple of American funerals. Lilies are traditionally used to represent the restored purity of the departed’s soul.


Many people think of funeral roses when they think of burials and for a good reason. Roses have different meanings based on the color of the petals. For funerals, roses carry the following purposes:

  • White roses represent reverence, youthfulness, and innocence. These are a good choice for a young person that has lost their life.
  • Yellow roses stand for friendship.
  • Red roses are excellent choices for spouses or partners since they represent love, respect, and courage.
  • Pink roses are for grace, love, and gentility.
  • Dark pink roses send a message of gratefulness and are an excellent choice for teachers, mentors, or anyone who has helped you.

There are many other meanings behind the color of roses. You can pick a color representing your relationship with them or even who they were as a person.

Peace Lily Plant

Peace lilies represent a return to innocence and rebirth. This plant is usually sent potted rather than as part of an arrangement. Peace lilies make an excellent gift for the bereaved since they can thrive as houseplants if they are adequately cared for.


There are dozens of types of orchids you can buy, each with its own beauty and some with a special meaning. There are two orchids most appropriate for a funeral: Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium in pink and white.

Both of these orchid varieties represent eternal love. They are good choices for partners or spouses and anyone you felt a deep bond with.


Carnations are similar to roses in that their colors can convey a variety of emotions and relationships. For funerals, carnations can represent the following:

  • Red can be used for admiration and love
  • Pink represents the importance the deceased has in your memory
  • White stands for innocence and pure love

Another reason carnations are a popular choice is because they are long-lasting and have a pleasant fragrance.


Depending on the situation, hyacinths can represent many things. For funeral gifts, hyacinths tell the grieving family that you will hold them and their loved one in your prayers.


Although this flower is more popular in Europe, it’s catching on in America. This flower is meant to celebrate the life of the deceased. The most popular colors are red and white, representing love and innocence.


This flower stands for sincerity and strength. When you present gladioli to a grieving family, it encourages them to honor their departed loved one and stand strong in their grief.


Finally, the hydrangea can be presented as both a floral arrangement or a potted plant. Hydrangeas are uniquely suited to combine with other flowers to create a more powerful message. When presented with other flowers, the hydrangea emphasizes the sincerity of your emotions.

What funeral flower arrangements should you use?

Choosing the flowers isn’t your only job — you also have to determine how to display them. Whatever choice you make, funeral homes and flower shops will be able to help you with any of the following options.

Funeral Baskets

As beautiful as they are versatile, baskets allow families to quickly move flowers between funeral homes, wakes, and memorials. They are also an easy gift to send to the family’s home to express grief.

Funeral Wreaths

Funeral wreaths are one of the most traditional ways people express condolences and grief. They’re so common that this is usually the first thing people think of when they need to buy flowers for a funeral.

Not only are they beautiful, but wreaths also come with additional meaning. The circle stands for life and rebirth in many religions and cultures.

Standing Sprays

This arrangement is typically seen during the actual funeral. Standing sprays are usually set up around the casket, typically on tripods.

Standing sprays are usually beautiful, overflowing with flowers that represent all of the emotions that come with mourning the loss of a loved one. 

Shaped Funeral Wreaths

While some cultures use the circle at funerals, there are many other shapes that might be more appropriate.

For example, Christian funerals often use a wreath shaped like a cross to emphasize the passage of the deceased into heaven. Heart-shaped wreaths express different forms of love, from simple friendship to deep romantic love.

Potted Plants

As you read in the description of funeral and memorial flowers above, some plants can be given live rather than in an arrangement. Potted plants are becoming increasingly popular because they are beautiful and act as a memorial for the deceased as long as they are taken care of.

Are there cultural considerations for flowers for funerals?

It might not cross your mind, but there are many cultural and religious practices concerning flowers at funerals. Generally speaking, no one will be angry with you if you bring an inappropriate flower to a funeral out of well-intentioned ignorance.

However, a little research can save you from upsetting people who are already mourning. Here are a few examples of funeral etiquette that you might run into:

  • Buddhist funerals usually use white flowers, but red flowers are considered inappropriate.
  • Muslim and Jewish funerals don’t include flowers. However, they are not unwelcome as gifts.
  • Hawaiians typically place a lei on the deceased, and mourners also wear them.
  • Mormon funerals appreciate flowers, but you should avoid sending them in the shape of a cross.

If you are unsure what is appropriate for an upcoming funeral, speak with either the person planning the memorial or call the funeral home.

Can you pay for funeral flowers with a life insurance payout?

One of the most common questions regarding certain types of life insurance is what the payout can be used to pay for.

Plans with large death benefits, such as term or whole life insurance plans, can be used to pay for whatever the beneficiary wants. Typically, these death benefits pay for funerals, end-of-life expenses, lost income, and leftover debts. They are also used to pay for college or other needs for children.

However, term or whole life isn’t always an option for people — for example, if they have a medical issue that disqualifies them or they tried to sign up late in life. Instead, guaranteed issue plans give coverage to people who would otherwise have nothing.

Guaranteed issues or funeral insurance plans have much smaller death benefits. Their purpose is to help cover the cost of funerals, and flowers are included in that consideration. However, the average American funeral costs about $8,000, and many funeral insurance death benefits are smaller than that.

Learn How Life Insurance Can Help Pay for Funeral Flowers

Having a quality life insurance policy in place before you die can help prevent problems with trying to plan your funeral. Unfortunately, many people put off getting a life insurance policy until it’s too late.

You can help your family afford the best flowers for funerals when it’s time to celebrate your life by securing quality life insurance. Compare quotes to find the right policy to protect your family’s future.



Jami Sliger

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