How to Arrange Ikebana Flowers


Ikebana flower arranging is the art of placement and blending of flowers to create harmony with the environment. Although there are several disciplines, or schools, of ikebana flower arranging, from the ancient style developed by monks to the more modern, all follow a fixed, rigid pattern, blending of a triangular configuration representing the three points of heaven, earth and man. The placement of your flowers in a ikebana arrangement will represent these three points. Your ikebana creation must use an odd number of flowers and be asymmetrical to be authentic.

Step 1

Select the ikebana vase you wish to use. Ikebana vases are one of two basic styles: either tall or short and wide. An ikebana vase is not just a receptacle for holding the flowers and water--the shape and color of your vase should enhance the beauty of your arrangement.

Step 2

Place your first, primary flower in your ikebana vase. Your primary flower represents heaven and will be the tallest, or longest-stemmed, flower in your arrangement. Keep in mind that the placement of your flowers for an ikebana arrangement should ultimately resemble an asymmetrical triangular shape.

Step 3

Cut the second flower for your arrangement approximately two-thirds the length of the first flower. The second flower represents man and should be placed to the side of your primary (heaven) flower.

Step 4

Place the third, shortest flower on the opposite side, or in front, of the heaven flower. This flower represents earth in an ikebana flower arrangement.

Step 5

Add greenery, branches, or additional flowers to your ikebana flower arrangement if you wish. Remember, an ikebana arrangement must contain an odd number of elements, be asymmetrical and triangular in form and have an open, airy feel and look.

Things You'll Need

  • Ikebana-style vase
  • Flowers
  • Branches or greenery (optional)


  • Ikebana Flower Arranging
  • Japan Zone: Ikebana
  • Pottery by Janet Jacobs: Ikebana Tips

Who Can Help

  • Flower Arrangement Advisor: Want to Know More About Ikebana?
  • Japanese Lifestyle: Pictures of Ikebana Arrangements
Keywords: simple ikebana arranging, Japanese flower arranging, Japan flower arranging, Asian flower arranging

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.