The owner of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel, in Mountain Home, said that the dyes used in many artificial flowers, in particular the reds often found in silk poinsettias, have a tendency to run when they become wet.
Ribbons and other ties also may contain similar dyes.
The dyes that drip out of the flowers and ties when they become wet then permanently stain the headstones. It can be very expensive to remove the stains, with no guarantee that it will work, Rost said.
"I understand the desire to place some kind of remembrance on the graves of loved ones at this time of year, but I urge people to be careful, to consider what will happen if those memorials become wet and stain the stones they had so carefully picked out," he said.