A Complete Guide: How To Arrange Flowers In A Vase

A Complete Guide: How To Arrange Flowers In A Vase

Whether you’re a novice at floral arranging or a seasoned floral designer there is always something new to learn. After 15 years in the floral industry, we’ve honed in on our best practices when arranging flowers in a vase and have compiled all our findings in this article for you to learn with us.  

A few of the most important things to think about as you prepare to create an arrangement are the type of vase you’ll work in, the mechanics inside the vase and the seasonal blooms you choose for your arrangement. From there you’ll want to consider the style of your arrangement. Will it be round and symmetrical or perhaps it will be a loose, organic asymmetrical shape. Check out our complete guide to arranging flowers here.  

In this article we’ll focus on how to choose a vase for a low, lush arrangement, build your mechanics inside your vase, choose your flowers, and create an arrangement.  


    Choose Your Vase

    The Floral Society Compote Vase

    There are many types of vases that each have their own purpose from a compote vase to an ikebana vase to a cylinder vase. To learn more about each type of vase and how to use them read more in our complete guide to arranging flowers.  

    We’re going to focus on arranging flowers in a dish or compote vase since this is a common type of vase to use at home. A compote vase is perfect for arranging low, lush arrangements that will live on a dining table, entryway table or kitchen counter. To prepare your vase make sure it is clean by washing it with soap and water. Dry it well before building your mechanics.  


    Build Your Mechanics

    Compote Vase with Mechanics

    Floral arranging becomes easier once you understand the mechanics to each type of vase and floral arrangement. For an ikebana vase it’s important that you place a floral pin frog in the bottom of the vase to hold your stems in place. For our low, lush arrangement in our compote vase we’re going to use a floral pin frog, floral netting and floral tape to create an armature to hold our flowers in place. The pin frog is placed at the bottom of the vase to hold stems in place. The floral netting is held in place in the vase by the floral tape creating a dual system to design a floral arrangement more easily. Don’t forget your water and it never hurts to add flower food to increase your stem’s lifespan. You can also create your own flower food at home with this simple flower food recipe


    Curate Your Blooms

    Depending on where you live, it may be best to think about seasonality when choosing your blooms. If a farmer’s market is accessible to you it’s a great place to pick up the season’s best flowers. However, the floral selection at markets such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods are great resources as well! If you happen to live in a rural area, there tends to be many things you can forage nearby such as, branches, berries and wildflowers in the right season. Learn more about our favorite flowers for each type of vase in our Complete Guide: How to Arrange Flowers.


    When we’re preparing to arrange flowers in a vase, we choose a focal flower which will be your largest sized flower such as peonies, dahlias or garden roses. The next thing we look for is a secondary flower that will be smaller than the focal flower and often a different shape. Some flowers to consider are spray roses, ranunculus and cosmos. Next up, comes the detail flower which is your smallest flower and something that is used sparingly in your floral arrangement. Some of our go-to choices for this flower are hellebores, daisies, or golden rod. Don’t forget to pick a greenery and we always love including a texture such as berries or small fruit. We go into more depth about color pallets in our floral dispatch if you are interested to learn more! 


    Arrange the Blooms in Your Vase


    To begin, add your greenery into your vase to create a foundation for your arrangement. This is where you can begin to create the shape of your floral arrangement. If you prefer a round, symmetrical shape you’ll want to have coverage that is even. If you prefer an organic asymmetrical shape your greenery can vary in lengths.   

    Next, let’s start placing your flowers. Your focal flowers will be placed first. Place a few on one side and rotate your vase to add a few to the other side. Then comes your secondary flowers that can be nestled beside your larger blooms. At any time, you can add more greenery to take space or add more texture to your arrangement. After your secondary blooms are placed, you’ll want to add your detail flowers. If you’re creating an asymmetrical floral arrangement these detail flowers can flutter above the others giving them a moment to shine.  

    Lastly, add in any other textures such as your berries or grasses to the arrangement. Don’t forget to keep rotating your vase as you arrange your flowers to make sure you haven’t missed any spots. 

    Additional Pro Tips: Flower Arranging 

    • After you gather your flowers, give the bottoms a fresh trim and place them in a jar of water to allow them to hydrate before you place them in your floral arrangement.
    • As you’re working on your floral arrangement, trim your flowers longer than you think you’ll need it to be. This way you can continue to trim the stem until the desired length. You can always cut it shorter, but you can’t add length back onto the flower’s stem. 
    • Choose a long-lasting, sharp pair of clippers and maintain them for a lifetime of floral arranging. Our favorite clipper is our Japanese Floral Clipper.
    • Gently pour the water out of your vase and replace it with fresh water every 1-2 days to keep flowers fresher longer.  


    Other Useful Resources:

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