How to Choose and Prepare Flowers for Arranging

Gorgeous floral design starts with good flowers. Find out how to choose the best ones, and prepare them for your arrangement.

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Splitting Stems

Make a diagonal cut about 1 inch from the base of each stem to encourage the stems to absorb more water and hydrate the flower heads.

Split the ends of woody stems such as roses, lilac and cultivated guelder rose with florist's scissors. This increases the surface area of the plant cells in these thicker foliage and flower stems so they take in more water.

Cut and Split Stems of Flowers to Keep FreshEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Insider Tips

- If you use a clear vase, add a sterilizing tablet or stir flower food into the water and dissolve before adding flowers. This will keep the water clear and kill any bacteria.

- To encourage buds to open, take off more leaves. With fewer leaves on the stems, more water and nutrients pass to the flower head. To encourage lilies to open, put the stems in warm water, let the water cool and repeat.

- Remove pollen from flowers such as lilies to prevent stains on petals or clothing, and prevent allergy sufferers from experiencing any symptoms. Lily pollen is poisonous to cats and dogs so be sure to remove it if you have a pet. To do so: Gently pull the pollen-laden stamens from the center of the flower with your thumb and forefinger. If you miss a flower and the stamens become powdery, pinch the stamens out in the same way and dust off any stray pollen with a paintbrush.

Remove Pollen Laden Stamen from LiliesEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited
12Next »

Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

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