Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

What Flowers to Plant in Memory of Someone

a blue flowers of forget-me-not image by Maria Brzostowska from

A memorial garden is a lasting way to commemorate the memory of a loved one. The flowers in the garden may be connected in some way to the person being memorialized--for instance, they may be favorites of the deceased, or they may recall the loved one's favorite color or favorite season. If the person you are memorializing did not have a stated favorite flower, you can plant blooms whose symbolism relates to memory and mourning.


Several flowers are known by the common name of forget-me-not, including Myosotis sylvatica, which grows as a wildflower in some parts of the country. The bright blue blossoms of the forget-me-not are easy to care for and will grown in partial shade. Forget-me-nots are low-growing flowers and can be used as borders.


Though primarily thought of as an herb, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalus ) forms an attractive shrub which can be a perennial in more temperate parts of the United States. The gray-green, upright fronds of rosemary form an attractive background for other plants, and produce blue blossoms in the spring. Rosemary is often associated with remembrance.


Though poppies (Papaver sp) come in many colors, red poppies are most associated with remembrance. Red poppies were planted in France to commemorate soldiers who died in World War II. These cheerful red blossoms still symbolize honoring the dead to many, particularly veterans. Once established, poppies are easy to care for and will often reseed themselves and multiply naturally. These tall flowers are good background flowers or can be striking planted in masses, in beds.


Roses (Rosa sp) are a favorite for memorial gardens both for their symbolism, beauty and long life. In the right location, a rose bush can live for many years. Red roses have long been a symbol of love, while yellow blooms remind people of friendship. You could plant sweetheart roses for a spouse or baby roses to commemorate a child. Choose a single rose bush, a hedge of roses, or a climbing rose trained on an archway or arbor.

Baby's Breath

The delicate white blossoms of baby's breath (Gypsophila paniculata ) are appropriate for a memorial garden in memory of a child. Paired with daisies and miniature roses, such a garden would be a reminder of youth and innocence.

Garden Guides