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Essential Tips for Arranging Floral Bouquets

A bouquet of flowers is guaranteed to brighten up any room, injecting not just a splash of colour but a wonderful evocative fragrance too.

However, if you’ve ever tried to arrange a bunch of flowers yourself, you’ll know that creating a beautiful bouquet is harder than it looks.

Therefore, to help you create a fabulous floral bouquet, here are a few essential tips.

Consider the type of blooms

You may not realise it, but there’s not a one size fits all rule for arranging bouquets, and when it comes to using vases, the type of flowers you are using will make a difference.

A wonderful Iris flower arrangementStiff-stemmed blooms, such as roses and irises, look their best when grouped together in a low cube, rather than in a tall and leggy vase. This allows the flowers to be densely packed and can be viewed from above if placed on a coffee table.

Other more woody types of sprig may look better in a taller vase which is around one third of the overall length.

Beware of dominating textures

When selecting the flowers for your bouquet, you should of course consider colour but there’s also a need to think about the different textures and structure of each bloom.

There are some types of flowers which are so rigid and upright that they simply don’t look good squashed into a bouquet with more pliable blooms. Calla lilies are a great example of this; their leaves are rubbery and their stems are so stiff that they don’t look very good in a mixed bouquet.

If you particularly want to use this type of flower, you’d be better off either selecting a single bloom, or to create a bouquet made from them alone.

Keeping them in place

Example of a wedding bouquet, beautifully arrangedYou may have gracefully arranged your bouquet and got it looking perfect, only for it to splay apart the minute it hits the vase.

A great tip is to use special floral marbles; this can typically be picked up very cheaply from your local gardening centre.

Not only will they help to weight the vase, preventing it from tipping over, they can also be used to hold the blooms exactly where you want them, creating the desired effect.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with a particularly floppy bloom, such as a tulip, you can very loosely gather around a third of the bunch in an elastic band in the centre. The remaining flowers should be allowed to fall naturally around them creating a bouquet which has beautiful arcing shape.

and finally…

Once you have created a beautiful bouquet, you will no doubt want it to last as long as possible. Simply plonking the flowers in some water and leaving them means that you are unlikely to be able to enjoy them for as long as you might do with just a couple of extra tweaks.

Before you even start to arrange your bouquet, make sure the vase has been washed in hot soapy water to get rid of any bacteria; this is the arch enemy of your flowers.

You should trim the stems of your flowers before placing them into the vase, snipping them at an angle of 45 degrees. The best way to do this is to use either garden shears or a sharp knife whilst at the same time running the stems under cold water.

Strip the stem of any foliage which will fall below the water line or even just dip into it. As leaves decay underwater, deadly bacteria can accumulate, killing off your flowers.


Your bouquet should come with a packet of flower food; this really will extend the life of your bouquet so don’t forget to use it! If it doesn’t, a couple of drops of bleach in the water can also help to preserve your blooms for longer.

Finally, if you remove the flowers every few days and gently re-trim their stems, as well as changing the water, you will get much longer out of your bouquet.


The above tips should help you to create a bouquet which goes together well and also looks great in the vase you have chosen. And by taking a few steps you can help your beautiful bouquet to last even longer, so you can sit back and appreciate your efforts.


Image Credits: Gemma Harrison and Michelle Collins