Buying Graveside Flowers: Everything You Need to Know

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Alecia Milano
Posted by Alecia Milano on November 17, 2020

For thousands of years, humans have left flowers at the graves of their loved ones. The ancient Greeks honored fallen warriors with flowers, believing that if they rooted into the ground and grew from the gravesite, it was a sign that the fallen had found peace.

This tradition continues today and is one of the most common ways we honor our lost loved ones at the cemetery.

There are several considerations to make before buying or placing flowers at the gravesite of a loved one, including:

  • Should I choose real or artificial flowers?
  • What type of flower is right for this time of year?
  • Does the cemetery have rules about placing flowers?
  • Where do I place the flowers?

Read on for answers to the most commonly asked questions surrounding cemetery and memorial flowers.


Factors for Choosing the Right Flowers for You

Whether you order from a florist, buy flowers online or have flowers delivered to the gravesite by a memorial provider, there are several considerations to make.


What Are the Cemetery’s Rules and Regulations for Flowers?

When picking out flowers to place at a cemetery, you’ll want to first understand the cemetery’s rules and regulations regarding flowers.

The most common rules involve artificial flowers.

  • Many cemeteries do not allow you to place artificial flowers at the foot of memorials or in memorial vases. This is typically because of their general upkeep and lawn mowing routine.
  • At cemeteries that do allow artificial flowers year-round, they likely have designated clean-up dates. Often following holidays, this is when you’ll need to go get the flowers if you want to re-use them, otherwise the cemetery will remove them.
  • However, some cemeteries that don’t allow artificial flowers year-round will permit them on holidays.


Make sure to check with the cemetery’s website or call them directly to find out what type of flowers are allowed, and when. Or, you can talk to a flower delivery service provider, like Milano Monuments, for more information.

We created the Northeast Ohio Cemetery Memorial Guide, where you can see the memorial regulations and fees at 40+ Cleveland-area cemeteries. Click here to access the guide.


At What Time of Year Are the Flowers Being Placed?

When advising families on flower options, there are several considerations to make regarding weather and the seasons.

With fresh flowers, you want them to look lively and beautiful for as long as possible. In Ohio, for example, flowers do best in moderate spring and fall weather. There are also flowers that are available in the summer.

In the winter, we suggest artificial flowers, perhaps those used to celebrate holidays.


Wreaths for Christmas


With real flowers, you’ll want something in season. And if you prefer artificial flowers throughout the year, we recommend choosing those that match with the real flowers of that season.

In the spring you might look at assortments of roses, tulips, lilacs, daffodils and daisies. During the fall you might find carnations, marigolds, chrysanthemums and roses.


How Long Do You Want the Flowers to Last?

As you probably expect, this is one of the biggest differences between real and artificial flowers.

Real flowers, depending on the weather, freshness and other factors, generally last a couple days to a week. You get a beautiful, fresh look, but know that it will not last like artificial flowers do.

Artificial flowers, on the other hand, often last up to two years with little fading. Some flowers even fade well, such as a bouquet of red roses that fade to become pink roses over the years.

If you plan to place the flowers on top of the memorial, we recommend using artificial flowers. These maintain their shape and color for much longer than real flowers do.


A Warning About Artificial Flowers

Not all artificial flowers are created equal. For use in cemeteries and memorials, you need to look for flowers designed for outdoor use. Without that distinction, the colors will bleed in the elements, potentially dying the memorial or the grass around it.

If you choose outdoor flowers, they will last for two years or more and the dye will never bleed. They will fade over time, but without any effect on your memorial.


What Is Your Budget?

When comparing prices, you’ll find that real and artificial flowers of similar styles cost similar.

As you would expect, the price also depends on the size and complexity of the arrangement. At our flower shop, we work with families to find the best option to fit their budget and needs.


Where to Place the Flowers with a Memorial

You have a few different considerations when it comes to placement of flowers in relationship to the memorial.


Headstone Saddles

As the name implies, a memorial or headstone saddle is like a horse saddle that sits on top of a memorial.

They are designed for upright monuments, which have an elevated, flat surface to place the saddle upon.

With the help of Styrofoam or another material, an entire flower arrangement will stay put in the saddle and not be blown away in the wind. The device also is adhered to the stone to ensure it will not shift or fall from different weather conditions.


monument with flower saddle 1   monument with flower saddle 2

Pictured are two monuments with flower arrangements held on by headstone saddles.


Permanent Flower Vases

Many memorials are designed with vases or can be added at a later time. These can be of various shapes, sizes and materials. With permanent vases, you’ll want to make use of them with a beautiful bouquet to complement the memorial. These bouquets can be made with fresh or artificial flowers at any time.

Make sure to anchor the flower into the vases using Styrofoam or another material. The purpose of that is to keep the flowers from blowing away in the wind.


Fata - Companion Memorial


In-Ground Flowers

For flush markers and other headstones without built-in vases, flowers can be placed directly into the ground. This can be accomplished using an in-ground vase or a cone vase.

As a reminder, many cemeteries will remove these before mowing. Check with the cemetery if you want to ensure the flowers will not be removed before you have a chance to appreciate them.


Michael Placing Flowers in an In-Ground Vase


Order Flowers Today from a Specialist

At Milano Monuments, we only use the freshest fresh flowers and the highest quality artificial flowers. We design beautiful arrangements that will fit with any type of memorial and any season. Order flowers for a cemetery online today, or call (216) 362-1199 to talk to a specialist.

Topics: Memorialization

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