How to Arrange Roses


A fresh rose arrangement can be done as a formal arrangement or an informal arrangement. An informal arrangement consists of roses with foliage attached placed in a vase filled with water, stem first, with the longer stems in the middle if the arrangement is to be viewed from all sides or in the back if arrangement is viewed from the front. A formal arrangement has the same basic form but includes foliage and small filler flowers such as baby's breath.

How to Arrange Roses

Step 1

Fill a clean vase up to 1 inch from top with clear clean water. The majority of flowers and greenery need the full stem submerged in water to last longest.

Step 2

Add greenery to vase by cutting greenery stems to a length where the stems will be submerged in the water. Strip leaves from the stems of the greenery that will be below the water line. Leaves below the water line create an environment for bacterial growth in the water. Bacteria can clog the stems of the flowers where they uptake water and decrease the vase life of the flowers. Greenery is used to add stability to the roses and other flowers in the arrangement and create the ultimate shape of the arrangement, so add as much as needed to serve this purpose. For best results, arrange greenery into a pyramidal shape, meaning that it is wider at the bottom of the arrangement than the top when finished. An arrangement that is viewed from all sides should have greenery higher in the middle. If viewed from one side, the greenery should be taller on the opposite side from where it will be viewed.

Step 3

Place filler flowers into the arrangement. They should be at different levels and compliment the greenery and final arrangement. If they are placed too far into the greenery, they can't compliment the roses, and if placed too high, the roses cannot be seen very well. Try to find a medium area where the roses will be seen without being overwhelmed by the filler flowers.

Step 4

Prepare roses for placing into the arrangement by gently clipping off the thorns and any leaves that will be below the water line. Don't strip the thorns off the rose stem with a potato peeler or any other tool even if the tool is made specifically for stripping thorns off roses. This creates open wounds along the stem that dry out and decrease the vase life of the rose.

Step 5

Place roses into the arrangement by gently pushing the flower stems through the greenery and filler flowers. You will notice that the greenery and filler flowers hold the stems in place. To gauge how long to cut the rose, place the vase near the edge of the table and hold the rose in front of the arrangement and cut the stem to the correct height before placing into the vase. Add the roses that will be the tallest first, evenly spacing the roses as you go. Most vases have a wider area toward the bottom of the vase. Use this area as a way to add the roses into the side of the arrangement to give the rose arrangement a fuller, rounder and more elegant appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Water
  • Foliage or greenery
  • Roses
  • Filler flowers


  • Basic Flower Arranging
  • Flower Arranging for Hobbyists
  • Rose Flower Arrangement
Keywords: rose arrangement, roses, how to make a rose arrangement

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.