A cherished pet is also a well-loved member of the family. For most paw parents, the loss of a pet is just as painful as a death of a human. Hence, creating a memorial garden serves as a special spot and comforting place for you to remember your favorite buddy. Some create a memorial tree, memorial plantings, or flower bed in the garden. Plus when you plant flowers you feel better as you have taken action and have a pet shrine to remember and visit.
You can also use this guide if you on giving a memorial gift to someone who has lost a pet. Remember that choosing the right plant is essential in order for it to thrive in different seasons.
Below are the 10 best memorial plants and memorial trees that you can choose from for your garden.
4. Gardenia topiary
5. Potted violets
8. Japanese Tree Lilac
9. Japanese Maple Tree
10. Rosemary plant
Top Things to Consider When Choosing a Good Memorial Plant
To make your memorial garden beautiful and will last longer, make sure to follow these tips below.
1. Consider the weather
The winter season usually dries off the plants in no time. If you are living in a cold area, consider watering the plant in dry spells or improve the drainage for the excess moisture to be released. Selecting a proper memorial plant for a cold temperature area should be considered.
Hard to half-hard plants will mostly survive in frosts and severe weather conditions. Choose a cool climate spot with covered microclimates. Do not forget to add mulch to the soil for proper structure and drainage. To provide warmth in the roots, place a horticultural fleece and straw.
2. Choose a place with sun and shade
Most of the plants that we suggested need a sunny place and some shade. To prevent them from scorching and dying, make sure to plant them in a direct sunlight position from season to season. As a general rule for gardeners, north and east-facing gardens receives more sunshine than south and west.
You can also something that will work as a shade in your selected garden before planting. Some will withstand a lack of shade will most do not.
3. Get a good type of soil
A good type of soil for plants is loamy soil. This is a combination of silty soil, sand, and clay. These soils will firmly hold the roots without being too sticky. It is also loose enough for the roots to spread and grow. To get loamy soil, you just have to add organic matter such as sawdust, aged manure, peat moss, or grass or wheat straw, and compost.
4. Choose a plant according to your gardening skills
If you have a green thumb, then go for whatever memorial plant or tree that you want. However, if you are less likely to grow your own plant, choose something that needs little care from you. Plants or trees that are low maintenance are smoke tree, hawthorns, Elijah Blue, Juniper, Dianthus, Endless Summer, Rozanne, and Liriope.
What is a Good Memorial Plant for Pets
Below are some beautiful plants and trees that you can place in your pet's memorial garden.
Hydrangeas are low-maintenance and easy-to-grow plants. These are colorful flowering shrubs that are considered to be hardy; hence can easily grow and bloom in cold areas. Hydrangeas prefer to be planted with full morning sun and an afternoon shade with any type of soil used. There are three types of Hydrangeas that are commonly used for memorial gardens such as:
Flat clusters of lace caps
Interestingly, all three blooms from spring to autumn with colorful blossoms that can vary from vibrant pink, clear blue, frosty white, rose blossoms, or lavender. Most of them can grow as high as 4 to 9 feet tall but some can reach up to 98 feet high.
Just a tip, avoid having a thick layer of Hydrangea in your pet's memorial garden since they can also produce weird smells and decompose at high-temperature levels.
Lilac is another sweet-smelling and green leafy bush that you can plant in your garden. It may look like an ordinary, boring bush at first but it will eventually turn into fragrant blossoms, making them a beautiful memorial plant. This is usually used in memorial gardens because its purple shade symbolizes spirituality.
It can grow into six different colors like purple, rose, pink, lavender, yellow, white, and magenta. Moreso, it is a low-maintenance plant that does not need constant care from you. It only needs a huge amount of sunlight for at least half a day and well-drained soil.
Regardless of how huge your garden is, Lilac can perfectly fit into it since it only grows up to 8 feet tall to 30 feet tall, depending on which variety you'd choose.
Just like other plants, Forget-me-nots are not picky and can grow in Zones 3 to 8. This flower, as its name says, is usually symbolized happy memories and not forgetting a loved one through having memorial gardens. It can bloom in its best way during cool weather and flourish during summers.
With organic soil, water, and shade, it can grow on its own in a variety of soils such as loamy, sandy, and clay types. This plant can be grown in containers or pots, too. You just have to use well-draining soil in a container with good drainage. However, containers can dry out the soil quickly so, you have to constantly check on the moisture.
4. Gardenia topiary
Gardenia topiary is great for indoors and outdoors. So, if you have a memorial plaque or urns for your pet that is placed indoors, then this plat would be great. It has a strong aroma that can give fragrance to the surroundings and can give a reminder for your late pet. This plant symbolizes joy and purity as you let go of someone who is dear to you like your pet.
Gardenia topiary grows best in humid and warm weather. If you live in a smaller area that cannot give space for a big memorial garden, then this would do best. Also, it is not difficult to take care of and will bloom shortly with beautiful white flowers.
5. Potted violets
Potted violet blooms beautifully, making it a favorite plant in memorial gardens. It symbolizes many things including faithfulness, loyalty, and everlasting love. They are small in size and bear bunches of white, blue, or purple flowers over woolly leaves.
However, they need a little extra care from you. It needs to have slightly moist soil and room-temperature water. If they are placed in an area of high humidity, their leaves can easily rot, so avoid pouring too much water on them.
If you are planning to place on in an indoor area, make sure to dust off the leaves with a small, soft brush. These plants also need just enough light for them to be shined upon. Lesser light can cause the leaves to be thin and dark; too much light for them produces bleached leaves.
Viburnum is a fragrant flower that produces berries. It is a hardy plant, easy-to-grow, and needs only low maintenance from you. This plant can be deciduous or evergreen depending on which climate it grows. Deciduous viburnum usually grows in cooler areas whereas evergreen viburnum grows in warmer climates. Both can bloom beautifully during spring and autumn.
This sweet-scented shrub thrives in hard zones2 to 9 and produces white, cream, or pink colors. Its ornamental berries can vary in color, from purple to blue, or black. But all are prone to bluebirds, catbirds, and other birds; better place protection from them.
Viburnum can tolerate coastal conditions, drought, hot, excess sunlight, and gloomy conditions, making it perfect for a garden regardless of wherever you are.
Magnolia can vary in size. Whatever your memorial garden's size is, you can choose either the smallest Magnolia that can grow up to 12 feet only and the tallest can grow up to 80 feet tall. It can grow and bloom in hard zones like 7 to 9.
Some Magnolia produce flowers in late winter, summer, or early spring depending on which type you have. It can be shrubs, deciduous, or evergreen; it can even be seen anywhere in the United States so you probably have an idea of this. Its flowers can vary from light pink, magenta, dark purple, and the most common one, white.
To make this grow and thrive, you have to make sure that your garden has a wide area for the plant to grow. It only needs a little care from you, so a regular watering of up to two years until it is fully grown would be enough. Plant it in an area where it has direct sunlight of at least 6 hours. Also, it does not need any fertilizer if it is continuously blooming with flowers. Remember that its roots are sensitive, hence make sure you have planted it deeply and do not uproot and transfer it anywhere else.
8. Japanese Tree Lilac
Naturally, the Japanese Lilac Tree blooms best in early summer. These are large shrubs that can grow up to 30 feet, making them great in giving shade for other plants and flowers. It symbolizes renewal and mourning for other cultures.
This tree blooms in clusters bearing creamy-white or white flowers with good fragrance. It belongs to those species that grows and blooms in hardiness zones 4 through 7 and can spread about 11 to 15 foot.
The maintenance of Japanese Tree Lilac is very low that it only needs occasional snip to remove damaged twigs and stems. It only needs pruning once every two years or so. It can also grow in urban areas and thrive in any well-drained soil.
9. Japanese Maple Tree
Coming from the Japanese culture itself, it symbolizes peace, rest, and calm. Japanese Maple Tree is common for memorial gardens. This helps make a beautiful landscape with a dome-like canopy that gives everyone shade during sunny days. It can grow up to 30 feet high and as short as 8 feet. However, if you want to let it grow smaller than its usual size, you have to get the dwarf-type tree and plant it in containers to decrease the growth of the roots.
People love to put this on memorial gardens for a pet because of how colorful it can be. Who wouldn't love remembering your pet with beautiful reddish-purple leaves and foliage that stays throughout the summer season?
While it may have various colors for the leaves, it usually blooms with yellow and orange during autumn, which eventually turns into purple as the season changes.
Japanese Maple trees cannot thrive in a hot climate, it needs shade most of the time. Professionals suggest it should be grown in hardiness zones 5 through 8. It only needs minimal care from you such as moist soil with a little mix of acidic soil and an organic matter like compost, peat moss, rotted manure, etc.
10. Rosemary plant
Rosemary is not just for culinary purposes, it is also commonly planted in a memorial garden for pets. Growing rosemary symbolizes love and remembrance for your dear pet. It has a distinct fragrance that can give calmness.
It is a woody shrub with stiff evergreen leaves that can easily grow anywhere. In fact, rosemary grows naturally in the Mediterranean sea cliffs where it is sun-drenched. It blooms with either small blue, white, or pink flowers.
if you are living in a sunny area, it wouldn't be a problem to grow rosemary in your memorial garden. It only needs daily misting in well-drained, sandy soil. Exposure to sunlight should be at least 6 hours and know that it cannot survive with heavy frost or extremely cold temperatures.
Setting up a memorial garden for your pet might take too much of your time. But it is definitely worth every effort you put into. You can personalize it as much as you can. Put more plants and even your pet's personal belongings.
Moreover, as you place your memorial plant in the garden, no amount of comfort and remembrance would suffice if you are able to see it grow, bloom, and provide shelter.
Ann is a long time lover of all animals - she has helped save over 350 pets and find them new loving homes. Ann loves to write about all animals share her knowledge gained over a lifetime of pet love and care.