These days, most cemeteries have strict regulations regarding what types of flowers you can put on a grave and how long they can remain before being removed. This is done not to inconvenience families, but to ensure that the grounds remain beautiful for all the visitors stopping by.
Although it is much more common to find artificial flowers and wreaths at a gravesite than it is too see an actual flowering plant in the ground, some cemeteries do hold on to the older traditions that allow you to plant. If you’re fortunate enough to have a loved one buried in this type of cemetery, here are a few tips for planting the right kinds of flowers to ensure year-round beauty.
- Flowering bulbs (tulips, crocuses, daffodils, lilies, and freesia) tend to make ideal grave flowers because they return year after year. Offering blooms from spring through fall, depending on variety, you can include a range of bulbs so that there is always something colorful to look forward to during your visit. Although these types of flowers do reproduce slower than other types of flowers, they will eventually spread, so you need to check with the cemetery before you do any planting.
- Wildflowers make the second most popular type of cemetery decoration because they are easy to plant and require minimal upkeep. In most cases, all you have to do is scatter a handful of seeds and let nature take care of the rest. Fragrant wildflowers like chamomile and lavender are great if you want to incorporate an olfactory component—especially since these types of flowers often smell best if they are walked on and well-used.
- Geraniums and chrysanthemums are two flowering plants most commonly associated with funerals and gravesites. Adding a touch of color and hardy to boot, these make an ideal flowering plant for those who want minimum upkeep. It’s important to remember, however, that these flowers don’t last too long and, if left untended, can quickly overshadow the headstone in terms of size and growth. Rhododendrons also fall under this category.
- One of the best ways to keep a grave looking nice but not overgrown is to plant annuals. These flowers, which require you to come back every year and replant, are difficult in terms of regular upkeep, but their bright colors can be a great mood enhancer. The plants also fade away at the end of each season, so if you don’t get back to do regular upkeep, you don’t have to worry about the gravesite losing its appeal as the summer wears on.
As is always the case when you’re bringing funeral flowers to a gravesite, make sure you check in with the cemetery offices to ensure that you’re following the guidelines.