Choosing a Flower Vase

One size doesn’t fit all

Nothing perks up a room and makes it more inviting like fresh flowers. Whether cut from your own garden, picked up at your local farmer’s market, or an impulse buy at the grocery store, you simply can’t go wrong with a spray of pretty blooms. 

While you don’t need a florist’s green thumb to spark joy with an arrangement, pairing the right flowers with the right vase will help arrangements look their best. (For example, if the vase opening is too wide, it might not provide enough support for the stems; if it’s too narrow, your flowers could look squished together or the stems could become damaged.)

Chances are you already have at least one of the following vase styles—so all you need are the flowers that are best suited for it. 

Column Vase

This tall, slender, cylindrical vase is perfect for long-stemmed flowers, such as lilies or sunflowers, and decorative branches, like pussy willows or forsythia. The sleekness of the vase paired with long stems makes for an elegant display.

Hourglass Vase

Well-suited to its name, this vase style is wide at the bottom, narrow in the middle and slightly flared at the top. Shorter-stemmed flowers with large, round blooms, such as peonies, dahlias and hydrangeas work well in an hourglass vase, as do ready-made bouquets.

Round Vase

Like an hourglass vase, a round vase is ideal for filling with large-headed flowers, like hydrangeas and gerbera daisies, which can spill over the top of it. The key to an attractive arrangement in a round vase is to cut the stems to the vase height, so they form a dense layer over the top of the vase.

Bud Vase

Individual stems or a handful (one to three stems) of flowers with smaller blooms work best in a bud vase, which is perfect for brightening a bedside table or bathroom vanity. If you’re showcasing more than a single stem, cut the stems at different heights, for added interest. 

A solitary bud vase looks great on its own, but a collection grouped together looks cute, too.

Rectangular Vase

A tall, rectangular vase, which complements contemporary interiors, is perfect for arranging a handful of single stems, like cheery tulips or statement-making birds of paradise. Like a column vase, the height will keep blooms from flopping over.

Helpful Hints

Some general tips to keep in mind: 

  • Make sure flower stems aren’t more than 1½ to 2 times the height of the vase you want to use. 
  • Once you’re ready to arrange your flowers, make sure to recut the stems at an angle; doing so creates a wider surface, allowing the stems to better absorb water, so they last longer. 
  • Remove any leaves or buds that will fall below the water line, in order to help keep the water clean (though you should also change the water out every 2 to 3 days).


Copyright © Hunter Douglas
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