Design Tips

Flower Arrangement Tips & Tricks from Floral Design Experts

Get easy tips and tricks for creating flower arrangements and prolonging the life of cut flowers and bouquets from floral design experts Poppy Flowers.

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It’s amazing what a walk outside can do to your mood. Studies have shown even brief exposure to nature, like touching real leaves or flowers, can induce a subconscious calming response. That’s why we’ve partnered with Poppy Flowers on a collection of nature-inspired floral design kits—we could all use a moment of nature’s restorative beauty.

Below, the team from Poppy Flowers shares their top tips and tricks for prolonging the life of your cut flowers and botanical stems.

Tips for Prepping Cut Flowers

When your flowers arrive, do the following before designing your arrangement:

1. Trim the stems a half-inch from the bottom at a 45-degree angle. This provides more surface area for your flowers to drink from, helping them hydrate better.

2. Remove all of the leaves that will fall below the waterline in your vase. If these leaves are submerged in water, bacteria can grow and your flowers will wilt more quickly.

3. Let your flowers hydrate in water and flower food for 2–3 hours. This is the minimum time needed for them to perk up after their time in transit! Proper hydration is key.

Pro tip: In the off chance you did not receive flower food or accidentally threw it out, you can add a teaspoon of sugar and a drop of vodka for the same effect.

Tips for Arranging Cut Flowers

Once your cut stems and flowers are hydrated, you can design your floral arrangement. Have fun with it. Design a big statement bouquet in a single vase, or mini bouquets in a cluster of bud vases. Whatever fits your vibe!

To create an arrangement:

1. Start with your filler flowers to build a base. Cross the stems of your filler flowers to create a lattice in your vase that will serve as the base of your arrangement.

2. Now it is time to create dimension. Place your focal flowers in a wave formation, alternating high and low heights around your vase.

3. Finally, add some character! Use your texture flowers to spice up your design. When you are done, fill in empty spaces with any remaining stems.

Pro tip: Give your flowers a little finessing to make them pop. For example, for roses—remove the guard petals, blow into blooms, and spin stems to help cut roses open up to their full potential.

Tips for Prolonging Cut Flowers

Now that your bouquet is designed, you'll want to be sure to refresh the stems with fresh water and flower food every 2–3 days. If you run out of flower food, simply use a tablespoon of simple sugar as a substitute.

Some stems will naturally die more quickly than others. As they die, be sure to remove them from your bouquet, as dead stems will emit a toxin that will cause the remaining fresh flowers to die. This will help to extend the life of your flower arrangement.

And remember that unlike flowers growing in a field, your cut flowers actually don’t fare well in direct sunlight or heat. Be sure to keep them at room temperature and out of the sun.

Enjoy!