How to Prepare Flowers for Arranging


Fresh flower arrangements are an added bonus to any dining room or kitchen table during the spring and summer. Before creating a beautiful arrangement with your fresh flowers, you need to cut and prepare them properly. Paying attention to detail is key in helping your flower arrangement stay vibrant and healthy for the longest time possible. This process is not hard, and even a novice gardener can do it.

Step 1

Fill a bucket with warm water before you head outside to cut your flowers. You don't want to shock your flowers with cold water and cause them to die early, and you need the water available to immediately place the flowers in after you cut them.

Step 2

Add flower food to your bucket of water. The University of Missouri Extension recommends doing this at a rate of 2/3 oz. to 1 qt. of water. Flower food is sold at both garden centers and your local florist.

Step 3

Look for fresh flowers that have their buds spread wide open. Do this either first thing in the morning or right before bed. That is when the flowers will already have water in their stems.

Step 4

Cut the flower stems as close to the base of the plant as you can and immediately set them in the bucket of water.

Step 5

Take your bucket of flowers inside and cut all of the stems again about 1/2 inch above your first cut, but cut the stem under the water. This will draw up some of the water that has been treated with flower food up into the stem of the flower.

Step 6

Cut any leaves or thorns that are below the water line off, and your flowers will be ready for arrangement.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket of water
  • Flower food
  • Gardening scissors


  • University of Missouri Extension: Cutting and Preparing Flowers for Arrangements
Keywords: arranging flowers, preparing flowers, cut flower preparation, flower arranging preparation, prepare flowers arrangement

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.