Matchmaker, Matchmaker: Cutting Flowers for Vase Size

cutting flowers for vase feature

The ability to design a flower arrangement is a gift. But even the most amateur among us can still learn the basics. If you don’t have a natural green thumb, the easiest way to quickly improve your flower bouquets is with the fairly basic art of flower cutting. A well-manicured floral arrangement is the boldest way to liven a table or room!

Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, my green thumb ends up squishing my floral dreams.


how to cut flowers to vase size


Fortunately, there are a few easy steps that have helped me, and might also help you step up your game. (You likely do a variation of these steps anyways.)


How to Choose a Vase


stem length


Vases are like flowers’ significant other and when paired improperly, you might be looking at a relationship that won’t last long. I am guilty of this, especially with tulips! For some reason, I always cut them for a wide-neck vase only to watch them run away from each other. Here I have paired three different bouquets with their perfect significant others.


basket of flowers


It’s important to consider stem length when pairing a bouquet with a vase. Here you will see that I have a long-stem bouquet paired with a long narrow vase. I can trim the bottoms without losing any of the bouquet. The narrow top gives the illusion of a full vase. The same goes for the shorter stem bouquet. A short, wide-mouth vase requires a shorter, fuller bouquet.


Don’t Get Sharp with Me


stem cutters


One of the most important factors to floral longevity is trimming the ends. Do yourself a favor – go out and purchase a pair of floral sheers. It’s a small investment, but make sure they are clean and sharp. Flowers have vascular systems, which suck up the water. If cut improperly you mind as well send your next bouquet of Valentine’s Day flowers straight to the desert.

Pay close attention to the length of the stems when cutting, measure properly and angle the sheers at a 45-degree angle to make a clean slice. This provides a larger mouth for the stem and allows for a larger uptake of water. Anything else will prevent the stem from proper water intake.


how to cut stems


Once you have cut the stems, go back and remove the excess foliage. If you leave it on, it’ll make the water murky and smelly.

For larger bouquets, trim the outer circumference of flowers slightly shorter than those in the middle. This gradual difference will round out the arrangement and provide the best viewing of all the beautiful flowers.

Feed Me, I’m Starving


flower food


No one likes swimming in cold water, including flowers. Take the time to run the faucet so it heats to lukewarm temperature. This allows for the stems to absorb the water faster. Pour the packet of flower food in the warm water before you place the flowers in the vase. Stir the powder around until it’s dissolved, and make sure the food is completely absorbed before adding the flowers. Then, voila! You have yourself a beautiful arrangement that would make Martha Stewart smile.


Featured Bouquets & Vases:

Blooms of Hope Bouquet by Better Homes and Gardens

Life in Bloom Bouquet by Better Homes and Gardens

Scene Stealer Bouquet by Better Homes and Gardens