How to Use a Flower Frog

How to Use a Flower Frog

Every artist knows that tools and materials are the backbone of any creation. For floral designers who want to create serene, minimalist arrangements, a flower frog is a simple tool that can elevate their displays. This easy-to-use accessory stabilizes stems and provides a base for thoughtful presentations. There are several styles of flower frogs available, all made from different reusable materials, which makes them an eco-friendly option. You don't need to be a floral aficionado to use a flower frog. In this article, we will take you through how to use a flower frog and how to select the best type for your vase and arrangement. 

What is a Flower Frog?

A flower frog is a floral accessory designed to secure flowers in place in a vase. How the stems are supported by the flower frog is achieved in a couple of different ways depending on the style. The traditional Japanese pin flower frog consists of a base with pins or spikes attached to hold the plants in place. Other styles have small holes to prop up the stems. Flower frogs can be made from numerous different materials such as glass, ceramic, stainless steel, and plastic. These elegant flower arranging solutions have even been integrated into vase designs called flower frog vases. 

History of Flower Frogs

The history of flower frogs is intertwined with the Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. In Ikebana, flower frogs are referred to as ‘kenzan,’ and originated around the late 1800s. The term kenzan translates to “sword mountain” in Japanese, which is fitting for the spikes of the traditional design. While nobody knows where the term flower frog came from, some people say it refers to the fact that they sit in water like a frog. In the early 20th century flower frogs gained popularity across the Western world as a simpler solution to holding flowers in place. Eventually, these handy accessories were produced in different materials with different aesthetics and designs to fit a variety of tastes. Over time more innovations to the flower frog have been made to make them more user-friendly and adaptable. These adaptations include creating vases with built-in flower frogs, or stand-alone flower frogs, blending function and artistic design. 

Types of Flower Frogs 

Flower frogs can be found in a range of materials and styles. While the most well-known style is the pin frog, the best accessory for your arrangement depends on your personal aesthetic, flower selection, and vase style and size. Keep in mind when selecting your flower frog that not all flower frogs are suited for every arrangement design. 

Japanese Floral Pin Frog (Kenzan)

The Japanese Floral Pin Frog or kenzan is the most popular pin frog among floral designers. While the kenzan began in the world of Ikebana, this style is the most versatile and, therefore, can be used for a wide variety of arrangements. When placing the stems, you can place them either between the pins or directly on the pin to hold the plant upright. These adaptable tools come in several sizes and shapes to fit different vessels. Many pin frogs are made with rubber bases to create a secure foundation for your arrangement. You can also find modern variations of this design in other materials, such as ceramic pin frogs

Ceramic Flower Frog 

A nod to the principles of ikebana, ceramic flower frogs are ideal for simple, clean arrangements. Ceramic flower frogs are a sustainable, easy-to-maintain option that won’t rust and keep your water clean. Made from ceramic, most of these designs have round bases with holes to support the stems rather than the pins of the kenzan. Because of the limited space, there is less flexibility with your arrangements, so be mindful when selecting and placing your plants. To get around this and create more visual variation in your display, opt for a flower frog set so you can add more flowers and levels.

Stand-Alone Oval Flower Frogs 

With the stand-alone flower frog, less is more. These oval flower frogs can seamlessly transform from tool to vase. Play with the use of negative space and set this delicate accessory in a shallow vessel. The design of these flower frogs allows the holes to be filled with water so it can function as a stand-alone vase. Use this flower frog as a stand-alone display to highlight eye-catching individual blooms like roses or orchids. In between uses, these ceramic sculptures double as table art centerpieces.  

Copper Flower Frog Topper 

If you are seeking to create a minimalistic floral arrangement moment, try using a copper flower frog. These dynamic toppers help achieve the artful use of space used in ikebana while creating an extra layer of stability. This accessory pairs well with kenzans and ikebana vases. 

Our handcrafted Copper Flower Frogs are an aesthetically considered take on a utilitarian design mechanic. Used to space stems out and hold them in place, they pair perfectly with our Ceramic Cylinder Vase and the Ikebana Vase. Pure copper, they will patina gracefully over time.

Steps on How to Use a Flower Frog 

Incorporating a flower frog into the flower arranging process can make a notable difference in your experience. If you are new to how to use this tool or need a refresher, here is a quick guide on how to add a flower frog to your arrangement. 

1. Select Your Flowers and Arrangement Style 

What inspires your arrangement - an aesthetic, a mood, or an event? The flowers and arrangement you select should reflect this creative vision. To create a more visually dynamic arrangement select flowers of different sizes and shapes to mimic nature. For a more serene tone choose only a few or one flower for your display and focus on being intentional with your spacing. 

2. Choose the Right Flower Frog 

Selecting the right flower frog will depend on the arrangement design you are trying to achieve. A classic Japanese pin frog will be your best bet for lush arrangements requiring more space and flexibility. Whereas for a modern style ikebana arrangement you can opt for a stand-alone oval flower frog. If you are new to using flower frogs, there are pin frog bundle sets that include the flower frog and the dish to take out some of the guesswork. 

3. Select and Prepare Your Vase 

Flower frogs come in different sizes and can be used in most vases. They are particularly useful when arranging in short vases because they provide extra stability not afforded by longer vessels. Before you place your flower frog inside the vase, fill it with clean, room-temperature water. If your vase is transparent, consider adding a decorative element like marble or stones. If you are using a flower frog vase, you can just add the water and skip the next step!

4. Place the Flower Frog in the Vase

Place the flower frog securely in the center of your vase. If your flower frog has a suction cup on the bottom, check that it is adhered to the vessel to prevent any movement of the arrangement. This step is mostly important for people who plan on transporting their displays. Another way to secure your flower frog is by using floral clay on the base. 

5. Insert the Stems

Start your design by inserting each stem into the pins of the flower frog or inside the holes, depending on the style. The style you choose will determine how you arrange. If you plan on going with a minimalist arrangement with focal flowers, place this bloom on the inside and work your way out. Otherwise, try arranging from the outside of the flower frog and make your way inward, placing branches and greenery first. 

6. Make Adjustments

After you have finished your arrangement, step back and take it all in. Flower frogs make it easy to readjust and reposition pieces of your design without disrupting the rest of the arrangement. Don't be afraid to make tweaks if necessary. 

7. Maintain and Enjoy

Remember to clean the water regularly and trim the stems to keep your arrangement looking fresh. Flower frogs keep arrangements contained, which makes the maintenance process even easier.

The Benefits of Using a Flower Frog 

Flower frogs are a simple tool that every floral enthusiast should have in their toolkit. Made from reusable materials, they are an environmentally friendly way to display nature in the home. These efficient accessories are an easy-to-use way to enhance your floral arrangement. From professional florists to floral hobbyists, learning how to use a flower frog can support your designs so you can showcase your creativity. 

More Useful Floral Society Resources 

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