Become an Insider Log In
Sneak Peek The Next Big Thing Timeless Traditions

13 Flower Arrangement Tips and Images to Inspire You

Flower gardens are brilliant with color and bringing an armful of blooms into your home will add bright hues and joy to any room. Enjoy some inspiration from the Better Homes and Gardens archive to guide you in putting together your very own floral arrangements.

Prepping your Flowers

Tip 1: Carrying

The best way to carry cut flowers fresh from the garden is in a heads-down position. This keeps heavy-headed flowers wilt- and bruise-free.

Tip 2: Stiff Stems
Need stiff stems for your arrangement (i.e., not using a vase)? Condition your stems by wrapping them in newspaper and plunge them in tepid water for 3 to 5 hours to firm them up. If they still won't stand up, run florist's wire along the stem to hold it upright.

Tip 3: Trimming
Foliage sometimes needs trimming to look nice. Shape your leaves to a desired size or cut off brown and unsightly edges.

Tip 4: Removing Pollen
Gather up the pollen-bearing stamens of blooms such as lilies before they have a chance to stain your petals or tablecloths.

Tip 5: Foliage
Extra stems and leaves will draw water first before it reaches your bloom. Trim away extra foliage and thorns to preserve water and to keep greenery below the waterline from decaying.

Tip 6: Sealing Hollow Stems
Poppies, dahlias, and other plants with hollow stems must be held over an open flame. This cuts off the flow of sap and prevents wilting.

Arranging Your Flowers

Tip 7: Structure for Large Vases
Versatile holders for heavy floor or table arrangements can be made by crumpling chicken wire in planters weighted down by a layer of stones.

Tip 8: Structure for Small Vases or Containers
Cut a Y-shaped forked branch to fit snugly in the neck of a tall vase or narrow container to hold flowers upright. Scotch tape will work too if you're covering the edges of your arrangement in foliage.

Tip 9: Find Your Max Height
Cut the tallest stem you'll use 1 ½ times the length of your low bowl, or if you're using a vase, cut it 2 ½ times the height of the vase. This will give your arrangement nice proportions.

Tip 10: Use Assorted Heights
Cut each stem in your arrangement to a different height. No two flowers in your arrangement should be at the same level.

Tip 11: Space and Balance
Leave some space between your highest and lowest stems to keep your grouping from appearing cluttered.

Tip 12: Start with a Triangle
A great way to arrange flowers in a low vase is to start with a needlepoint holder. For a pleasing balance, place the first three stems on the needlepoint holder so their blossoms form a triangle. All the other flowers will go inside this triangle.

This is a basic recipe for arranging flowers that you can use again and again. These work well with any odd number of stems or branches. You can buy needlepoint holders at many craft stores.

Tip 13: Find Inspiration
This is as simple as looking at and finding arrangements that you appreciate. Here are some arrangements to spark your imagination!