Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

The Best Flowers for a Floating Centerpiece

A floating flower centerpiece can be an elaborate creation with candles, ribbons, and exotic blossoms floating in a swimming pool--or as simple as a few flowers floating in a bowl of water or in wine glasses marching down the center of a table. As such, most floating flowers are meant to be seen from above.

Flower Floaters

Flowers that have a broad base and are reasonably flat are the best for floating in water by themselves. Camellias, hollyhocks, gardenias, open roses, gerbera daisies and orchids are some of the best flowers for floating. More difficult are tube-shaped flowers such as lilies, tulips, and daffodils, or heavy flowers such as sunflowers. These have a tendency to sink after an hour or so.

Cut the flower stem to an inch long. It will act as a stabilizer to keep the flower upright. Carefully place the flower in the water without getting water on the petals or in the center of the flower.

The flowers can be floated in wine glasses, votive candle holders, and small bowls. A number of flowers may be floated in larger bowls or stemmed bowls. Flowers with floating candles make a stunning centerpiece. Float flowers in half-filled wine glasses. Use the wine glasses to hold up a clear glass plate. Stack three to five shorter glasses with floating flowers on the glass plate. Add another glass plate with candles on top as the finishing touch.

Flowers for Floating Pool Centerpieces

Floating centerpieces that will be seen in a pool or water feature from a distance require flowers that are light, big and colorful (big in the sense the flower itself is large, or the flower spray is large). Appropriate flowers include lilies, both trumpet lilies and Asiatic, as well as carnations, larkspur, delphinium, snapdragons, gladiolus and roses. Also included would be baby's breath. The flowers are small but provide an airy, cloudlike effect in the arrangement while not weighing very much.

Edible Flowers for Ice Ring Centerpiece

Floating an ice ring with edible flowers, or a bowl of ice with flowers in a punch bowl, turns it into a centerpiece. Flowers float on top of the water. Fill the ice ring or bowl with flowers facing the outside of the ring. Barely cover the flowers with water. Freeze solid. Add another layer of flowers on top of the first. Barely cover with ice water. Continue until the ring is full. Edible flowers include bachelor button, chrysanthemum, day lilies, roses, carnations, snapdragons and nasturtiums.

Floating Flowers in Ice

Ice is lighter than water, so it floats. If you have the space, time and an extra large freezer, freezing large flowers in ice blocks makes a stunning floating centerpiece for a pool or water feature. Fill a large container two thirds full with water and freeze solid. Place a row of large colorful flowers down the middle of the container. Barely cover with water and freeze. Fill the container to the top and freeze solid.

About two hours before the block of ice is to be displayed, remove from the freezer. Right before displaying, place empty tuna fish cans on top of the block. Fill with boiling water. When the can has melted an indentation in the block remove it. Take the block out of the container. Place a candle in the indentation. Gently place in the water. Just about any kind of brightly colored flower can be used.

Garden Guides