How to make tall flower arrangements with vases

Tall flower arrangements offer an eye-catching display for the home, or for a special event such as a party or wedding. Through the ages, flowers have provided a form of expression. Though some people consider flower arranging intimidating, you can take clues from the flowers themselves. Garden flowers and florist flowers provide colour and natural beauty to a wide range of decorating themes. With a few pointers on creating a tall floral display anyone can put together an effective arrangement of long-stemmed flowers.

Select the flowers for the arrangement. Durable choices include roses, birds of paradise, lilies and gladiola.

Choose a tall vase at least one-third as tall as the flowers. For example, use a vase at least a foot tall to display 3-foot-tall flowers. Clean the vase and fill it to within 3 inches of the top with room-temperature water. Add cut flower food according to package directions to help keep the flowers fresh longer.

Use garden shears to cut the tall flower's stems at a 45-degree angle. This exposes more stem to provide the flower with plenty of water and nutrient to keep the tall flowers from drooping.

Place the long stemmed flowers in the vase one at a time. Use an odd number of flowers, such as five or seven. Large dramatic flowers, such as birds of paradise, work well by themselves. You can add tropical-looking foliage such as calla lily leaves. Place the tallest flower near the centre and angle the stems of other flowers to hold it in position. Crisscross the stems by inserting the other flowers at an angle. For example, place a large rose at the centre and cross two others to the right of it, one facing toward you, the other facing the opposite direction and repeat on the left of the central rose. Repeat this crossing of stems around the central stem until the arrangement is as large as you wish.

To create a dome-shaped arrangement, cut some stems 2 inches shorter than the central blooms and some 4 inches shorter. Use the taller stems closest to the central flower group and the shorter stems toward the edge of the vase all the way around.

Add foliage, if desired after the main flowers are in place. To create a fuller-looking bouquet, add filler flowers last. Filler flowers are small flowers such as baby's breath or St. Anne's lace. Insert filler flowers between the larger flowers.


Tall flowers with strong stems, such as tropical flowers and roses are the easiest to work with. Large flowers such as hydrangeas make full bouquets with little effort. With a clear or translucent vase, the criss-crossed stems show as part of the display. Clean the vase out, change the water and add floral food every two to three days for maximum cut flower life. Choose a cool location for the tall arrangement, if possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-stemmed flowers
  • Foliage
  • Filler flowers (optional)
  • Garden shears
  • Tall vase
  • Floral foam
  • Cut flower food
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About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.