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Funeral Flower Traditions & Tips

When someone we love passes away, we like to think that their soul carries on happily to the afterlife. Part of honoring their memories and giving them a final send-off is ensuring that their funeral ceremony is arranged with beautiful and lively flowers. This tradition dates back to 60,000 BC when loved ones adorned the casket of a deceased person with flowers, treasures, and prized possessions to send with them to the afterlife. When sending condolence flowers, it is important to remember that not all flowers are appropriate for a funeral. There are certain flowers of mourning, those that carry meaning and can send the right message to grieving loved ones. Keep reading to learn more about types of flowers for funerals and how you can create the ultimate arrangement with Helen Olivia Flowers!




Lilies are one of the best flowers for funerals and are usually the “go-to” if you’re feeling stuck. They not only carry a beautiful aroma but they hold a powerful message.

These flowers symbolize the peace of the soul of the deceased and suggest that they’ve returned to a state of purity and innocence. This is a strong and comforting message to grieving family members.

Christians believe that the tomb of the Virgin Mary was covered in lilies as it also represents virginity and virtue.


There are several types of orchids that make great choices for funeral flowers.

They represent beauty, charm, and eternal love. Phalaenopsis and dendrobium are the most common orchids for funeral flowers because of their pink and white hues. These colors represent sympathy and are the most appropriate choice orchids for funerals.

One of the best things about orchids is that they last longer than other flowers and also need less watering.

Send your loved ones a stunning single stem orchid, beautifully potted, to keep at home as a symbol of your love and sympathy.


Carnations are traditionally used in funeral flower arrangements. The flower colors are important for carnations because they hold different meanings.

White carnations are often used because they represent purity and innocence. Pink carnations are also often used because they signify remembrance. In the Catholic religion, pink carnations are believed to come from the tears of the Virgin Mary and so are often seen at Catholic funerals.

Red carnations are also a good choice because they stand for love and affection. You can use carnations in these three colors separately or in an arrangement in the shape of a heart or across.


These flowers are also referred to as “mums” and are traditional in European cultures because they symbolize death.

In the United States, they represent honesty and they are commonly used to honor someone who lived a happy life. Chrysanthemums in Asia also represent rebirth and are used at funerals and baby showers.

Although these flowers carry different meanings in different cultures, they are still a great choice as a funeral flower. In white, they represent innocence, while in red they symbolize love.


Different Types of Flowers Arrangements for Funerals

Now that you know what types of flowers are traditional for funerals, here are different types of flower arrangements that you can send as condolences. These are specific to the funeral function and some are only arranged by immediate family.


Wreaths are floral arrangements in the shape of a circle. They represent eternal life and are commonly placed on a stand near the casket.

These are also arranged into the shape of a heart and you can place them on an easel in the funeral ceremony. You can have a wreath delivered to the funeral home or to the site of the burial.

If you’re looking for a unique wreath arrangement to send your condolences to loved ones, this pastel funeral wreath is the perfect choice to show your sympathy.



Funeral bouquets and flower arrangements are made up of an assortment of different flowers.

Bouquets are often placed around the casket during the funeral service. You can also place them on stands or tables surrounding the casket. However, you can also have a bouquet sent to someone’s home, as a symbol of condolences.

Many florists can put together a beautiful bouquet of traditional funeral flowers or you can customize it for a personal touch.

Casket Sprays

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Casket sprays go on top of the casket and are usually chosen by the immediate family of the deceased.

They are large and flat, and they come in a variety of designs. You can choose one type of flower for the entire spray, or you can have an assortment of flowers.

Small spray arrangements can also go inside the casket.

Knowing When to Send Flowers

While sending flowers comes with the best of intentions, there are some circumstances in which flowers are not appropriate. Certain religions and family customs call for different forms of condolences.

In the Jewish and Islamic religions, they do not use flowers as a form of sympathy. For a Buddhist funeral, only white and yellow flowers are appropriate for funerals, while red flowers are not acceptable. Other families might also opt for a monetary donation instead of flowers.

Flowers are a wonderful gesture but in such a delicate situation, be sure that they are appropriate for the grieving family. And remember that we offer same-day flower delivery in DC and surrounding areas in case you want to show how much you care today!

Choosing the Right Flowers of Mourning from Helen Olivia Flowers

Expressing sympathy and condolences after a death can be difficult. Flowers of mourning are a great way to show your love and sympathy, without having to speak. Lilies, chrysanthemums, carnations, and orchids are all beautiful funeral flowers that carry soulful meaning in a bouquet, wreath, or casket spray.

Be sure to visit our website for a full selection of funeral flower arrangements from Helen Olivia Flowers to show your condolences.

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