How to Use Bulrushes in a Flower Arrangement

Written by andrea hamilton | 13/05/2017
How to Use Bulrushes in a Flower Arrangement
Bulrushes as their seeds are cast off. (bulrushes image by Kaarel from

If you are looking for something to add a charming, unexpected element to your flower arrangements, bulrushes are up to the task. Though bulrushes are rarely used in traditional flower arrangements, they lend a bouquet a rustic, unpretentious air while complementing roses and wildflowers alike. If you want an earthy-looking bouquet, try pairing the bulrushes with wildflowers. If you want to convey a message of exotic vivacity, try using them in an arrangement of bright tropical flowers. Or, for a minimalist approach, balance the bulrushes with some Dracaena spikes and a single large bloom.

How to Use Bulrushes in a Flower Arrangement
Though bulrushes are often overlooked for use in bouquets, they possess an understated beauty. (Bulrushes in summer breeze by lake image by thebigbear from

Look for the flowers you wish to arrange, deciding how prominent you wish for the bulrushes to be in comparison to the rest of the bouquet. If you want them to be an accent, three may be enough. If you want the bulrushes to be a main feature of the bouquet's structure, then perhaps six or more will be more appropriate, depending on the desired size of the arrangement.

Lay out your selection of flowers in accordance with how tall you want them to be in your arrangement. To add layers of interest in your arrangement, it is a good idea to cut the pieces of your bouquet into different heights to give the final product a raked effect. Because of their natural height and powerful appearance, bulrushes tend to be placed at the back of arrangements, though it is not necessary to do so. Interspersing them within the rest of the bouquet also looks lovely.

How to Use Bulrushes in a Flower Arrangement
Hold the knife at an angle and slice away from your body. (knife image by Albert Lozano from

Cut the flowers to the desired height. Cut the stems at an angle, holding them underwater. This will help the plants retain and absorb moisture better, thus helping them look alive longer.

How to Use Bulrushes in a Flower Arrangement
Leaving the cut edges of plants exposed for too long results in a shortened life. (queue de poireaux image by Maud Talêque from

Fill the tub with water and place the cut stems of the plants into the water.

Fill the vase with water and place it on a level surface.

How to Use Bulrushes in a Flower Arrangement
Bulrushes also keep for a long time and are therefore ideal for dried flower arrangements. (dired cattail and flowers image by Jikai Zhang from

Arrange the flowers in the vase with taller flowers toward the back. If you do not know where to start, think of how the plants look in nature -- they are relaxed, yet on show. So should your bouquet be. Once you have a general idea of how the finished product will look, consider adding accent flowers as well. Tiny vines or lilac blossoms that spill over the lip of the vase add an easy elegance while contrasting exquisitely with the striking quality of the bulrushes.

Things you need

  • Complementary flowers
  • Knife
  • Small tub
  • Water
  • Vase

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