Placing artificial cemetery flowers on a loved one's grave is as honorable as using live plants. While natural flowers may tend to look prettier and smell better, synthetic ones are not only less expensive, but they last longer, especially in climates where the weather takes it toll on greenery.
Types of Artificial Flowers
Not every kind of synthetic flower or plant will hold up well in an outdoor setting. If you are unsure, check with your local florist or craft store. However, there are several types of artificial flowers that work well on a headstone:
- Silk: These polyester flowers hold their shape well and come in a variety of styles, colors, and qualities. You can purchase singular inexpensive stems all the way up to high quality blooms that have realistic veining and shading. Silk flowers also come in a dried variety with curled edges that make them look like authentic dried flowers.
- Latex: Silk or parchment flowers dipped in latex makes them stronger and more durable but with a rubbery texture. For use at a cemetery, silk latex flowers will hold up better than parchment or paper flowers covered with this material.
- Plastic: The most durable of synthetic flowers, those are made with plastic are also the least expensive. Higher quality plastic flowers do look nice mixed into a bouquet with other types of artificial greenery.
While any of these will work well as single stems or as bunches and bouquets, some artificial flowers will not hold up well at a cemetery:
- True dried
- Preserved dried
- Crocheted or knitted
- Parchment or other paper
Creating Appropriate Cemetery Arrangements
Once you decide on the type of artificial flower you want to use, you can then think about the arrangement you'd like to create. Since these flowers are being placed in a cemetery, you want to make sure they are not oversized or too flashy and are within the confines of the deceased person's religion. If you aren't sure, check with the family or a local florist. Typical cemetery flowers include:
If you cannot find any of these flowers in synthetic form, then you can use any type of flower for your arrangement. Just gather together as many as you want and trim them down to an appropriate length (six to 10 inches). You can also add artificial greenery to brighten up the arrangement. The flowers can be placed in a cemetery vase or on top of the headstone. Traditional cemetery arrangements that can be made with artificial flowers include:
- Headstone sprays
Where to Purchase Artificial Cemetery Flowers
Many retailers such as Walmart or Michael's carries a large variety of artificial cemetery flowers. Your local florist can also help you select an appropriate arrangement. If you want to look online, however, you will find more than enough sites from which to choose, especially if you are looking to buy larger quantities of artificial flowers at wholesale prices:
- 1888FlowerMall: Select from large variety of synthetic greenery such as bouquets, vines, single flowers, garlands, and plants
- Afloral: Besides traditional silk flowers, you can also purchase tropical and "real touch" synthetic pieces
- Flowers by Design: Choose from high-quality silk flowers to ready-made potted plants and wreaths
- USI Floral Inc.: Select from flowering stems and bushes to candle rings, swags and floating flowers
Each cemetery has certain etiquette regarding the types of flowers that are placed on gravesites. For instance, artificial cemetery flowers may only be placed during the coldest of winter months, with live flowers allowed the rest of the year. Your best bet would be to contact the manager of the cemetery where your loved one is buried to find out the specifics.