How to Arrange Flowers in a Bowl


A vase is not the only container to use for arranging flowers. Arranging flowers in a bowl is useful in locations where tall arrangements can get in the way, such as on a side table, on a desk or on a dining table where tall flowers block faces. Because a bowl has a wider and lower profile, using a group of one variety of flowers-such as red roses-or a group of flowers in the same color provides a bold statement

Step 1

Store the flowers to be arranged in a clean container filled with warm water. If they are not going to be arranged soon after cutting, place the flowers and container of water in the refrigerator, away from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Step 2

Clean the bowl for the flowers, using hot soapy water. Rinse well with hot water. Add clean decorative marbles to support the flower stems or for added color in a clear bowl.

Step 3

Fill the bowl with warm water and add a floral preservative. As an alternate, horticulturist James Schmidt has a recipe for a homemade preservative; to 1 quart of warm water, add ½ teaspoon bleach, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Use this solution instead of the water and store bought preservative.

Step 4

Hold a flower up to the bowl to determine where to trim the stem. Cut the stem, using a sharp knife on a cutting board, at a 45 degree angle. Remove any foliage that will touch the water when placed in the bowl.

Step 5

Place the cut flowers in the bowl. Cut the center flowers taller than the flowers on the outer edge, to create a dome effect.

Step 6

Set the bowl of flowers where it will not receive direct sunlight. Carefully pour more solution to fill the bowl. Add more water or preservative solution each day to keep it filled to the brim.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowers
  • Container of water
  • Bowl
  • Decorative marbles (optional)
  • Floral preservative, either store-bought or home made
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Clear straws, non-bending type (optional)


  • The Book of Roses; Sylvie Girard-Lagorce; 2000

Who Can Help

  • James C. Schmidt, Horticulturist, University of Illinois
Keywords: flower, arrange, bowl

About this Author

Since 1995, H.B. Dean has written more than 2,000 articles for publications including “PB&J,” Disney’s “Family Fun,” “ParentLife,” Living With Teenagers,” and Thomas Nelson’s NYTimes Best-selling “Resolve.” After 17 years of homeschooling her five children, Dean discovered that motherhood doesn’t stop with an empty nest.