Home Articles How to Choose Flowers and Plants for a Funeral

How to Choose Flowers and Plants for a Funeral

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If someone you know has lost someone dear to them, you immediately go into ‘compassion’ mode. You start thinking of all their pain and sorrow and ways you can help them in their time of need.

What often comes to mind as well is: what possible bereavement gifts could ever start to appease the pain and suffering they are feeling? None will, but there are plants and flowers out there that have so much meaning that the recipient knows they are truly heartfelt.

Below, you can learn about the flowers and plants that are suitable for funerals and bereavement gifts, how to present them, and when the right time to give them would be. Not everyone has been in the position of having to provide a bereavement gift before, so the more help you can get, the more straightforward the experience will be.

What Plants and Flowers are Best as Bereavement Gifts?

There are many bereavement gift options, not even including those that aren’t plants or flowers. However, many people choose plants and flowers because of the symbolism behind them. For example, a tree is something that can keep on living, letting the recipient know that it’s something they need to do as well.

Faith Based Events

If you think a living plant or flowers could be suitable for someone you know suffering a loss, then here are some excellent options.

Bay Tree

A bay tree has origins back to ancient Greece, making it one of the original bereavement gift offerings in this list. A bay tree has dark leaves, an aromatic scent, and is an easy-care plant too. Once you give it to the recipient, they can put it in their kitchen and take cuttings of it to add to winter casseroles and other dishes.

The most important thing to know about a bay tree, however, is its symbolism. During a time of loss and grief, this tree represents courage and strength. The Roman Gods treasured the bay tree, so the recipient is bound to as well.

Peace Lilies

If you want to give a loved one a gift that has a distinct meaning or set up a funeral to look beautiful, then select Peace Lilies. A Peace Lily is a lovely flower that symbolizes peace, prosperity, purification, and, most importantly, rebirth. Death is not uncommon, with over 55 million people dying annually. However, if you want a friend or family member to feel like their pain is unique, then gift them a peaceful and serene flower like Peace Lilies to show how much you care.

Olive Tree

The olive tree has long been a symbol of peace, representing an intimate relationship between war and peace. For these reasons, and for the beauty of the plant, you may like to consider olive trees as bereavement gifts. Not only is the gesture going to be well-received by the grieving family member or friend, but it’s not a gift that has no use.

The person who receives it as a gift can grow it to use it as an ornamental tree, a windbreaker, or for growing olives for use in oil.

How to Present Flowers and Plants as Bereavement Gifts

Once you know the flowers or plants you will be buying as bereavement gifts; the next step is to understand how to present it. If you are buying them from an online supplier, the hard work is done. Online sellers of living plants are experts in creating tasteful arrangements to suit all occasions such as bereavements, birthdays, and housewarmings.

If you plan on decorating a plant or flowers as a bereavement gift, then be careful. Don’t go overboard with colors, keep the formation simple, and include a handwritten note or card. Try not to be too flashy with your arrangement which people may view as distasteful.

When’s the Right Time to Give a Bereavement Gift?

The timeframe for delivering bereavement gifts can depend on how close you are to the person experiencing a loss. If you are a direct family member, then a day after the bad news, or the day of the funeral, are both acceptable times.

If you are a close friend, then make contact first to find out how the person is doing. Ask them if there’s anything you can do for them, or if it’s okay to visit them. Not everyone will want visitors at such a sorrowful time. If you can’t see them before the funeral, offer them the flowers or plants on the day of the funeral, or even a few days after once everything has settled down.

As a rule of thumb, you should make contact within a few days to let the person know you are thinking of them.


Believe it or not, buying plants and flowers as bereavement gifts requires a lot of thought. You have to choose a suitable plant, think about its meaning, then consider how you’re going to present it. Then, you have to pick your time carefully and make sure you’re allowing enough time before you visit. When you get these steps right, the recipient will be over the moon with how much thought you put into the gift buying process.

Alison Hefer

My name is Alison Hefer, I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa but I have spent the last few years in beautiful New Zealand. I write articles for various websites including Giveplants.co.nz and regularly contribute articles about the always changing world of SEO to Clickthrough.co.nz. I am a busy blogger/mom by day and avid writer by night.   My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own. Connect with me via email at ali@clickthrough.co.nz.