Flowers are one of the best ways to dress your interior. Not only do flowers bring a little of the outdoors into your home, but they also add seasonal colour. Blooms of varying style and fragrance can be updated throughout the course of the year depending on what's in season. But, how do you choose the right vase for the right flowers? Our in-house floral designer Jane has the answers. Read on for Jane's top tips and advice on choosing the perfect vase shape for your flowers. Or if you know which vase you want already, head over to our website to shop all of our newest in-stock vases.

How to Choose the Right Vase for Your Flowers

How to Choose the Right Vase for Flowers: Advice from a Floral Expert

Creating a spectacular flower arrangement takes practise. However, the likelihood is that when we require a vase, much of the time it is simply to house a gifted bunch or pre-arranged bouquet rather than creating a bespoke arrangement. Despite this, it's still worth taking a moment to consider the different types of vase shapes and styles. Depending on the type and quantity of flowers you are using, arrangements will look their fullest and most beautiful in certain vases. Key factors to consider when flower arranging are: location, style and proportion.

How to Choose the Right Vase for Your Flowers


Where are you flowers going to be placed?

Where in your home will your flowers be located? And how will the arrangement be viewed? Will it be front facing or viewed from all sides? On a coffee table, a flower arrangement will often be seen from above so take time to consider what it looks like from this view. Alternatively, keep a flower arrangement low on a dining table so that it doesn't intrude on your social and dining area.


Ensure your arrangement matches your interior style

When choosing a vessel for your flowers, consider the style of vase. Choose something that complements your interior style - be that traditional, casual or contemporary. Clear glass vases are a classic contemporary favourite. You can use coloured vases made of glass and other materials to link in with the colour of flowers. If using artificial flowers, opaque coloured vases disguise the stems which are often thicker than would be found naturally - perfect if your intention is to create the illusion of a natural bouquet. I tend to use copper and brass vases during the autumn to bring warmth to my floral arrangements.

Tip: Use odd numbers of key flowers to create an organic and naturalistic arrangement.

"As a rule of thumb, flowers or vase should dominate in ratio 1.5:1"

Proportion: Creating Balance

How tall should flowers be in a vase?

As a rule of thumb, flowers or vase should dominate in ratio 1.5:1. For tall arrangements, flowers should be 1.5x the height of the container. Alternatively, for a low arrangement (like a mound of hydrangeas in a cube vase), these proportions should be reversed.

How tall should flowers be in a vase?

How Do I Choose a Vase Shape?

After you've thought about the setting, size and style of your flower arrangement, you should next consider your vase shape. Different vase shapes offer different qualities. Continue reading to find out more about some of the main vase shapes I use in my arrangements below or click here to shop in-stock vases over on our website.

Vase shapes

Bud Vases

Bud vases are great for displaying single stems such as a beautiful rose from the garden. These small vases come in a variety of shapes - from small milk bottles and glass jars to round vases and more abstract forms. Just a single stem is needed for a bud vase. If adding more, I'd recommend no more than 2 or 3 stems so that it doesn't look overcrowded.

Tip: Create a contemporary look by styling 3 identical bud vases together or go for a more casual look by grouping different sized bud vases together with a mixture of single stems.

Fishbowl & Round Vases

Round and fishbowl vases make for a classic arrangement. They are perfect for florals with large heads like hydrangeas, peonies and roses. For a casual arrangement, a loose bunch of flowers look great in a fishbowl vase. For something more contemporary, trim flower stems short so that the heads sit slightly above or against the top edge of the vase for a smart, denser look.

"Squat jugs and ceramic pitchers make beautiful country garden style arrangements."

Bottle & Jug Vases

Jugs and bottles make beautiful vases. They come in a broad range of shapes and sizes, allowing for versatile styling and arrangements. Glass bottle vases look great in a contemporary space while squat jugs and ceramic pitchers make beautiful country garden style arrangements.

Cube & Square Vases

Square or cube vases are great for a bunch of short stemmed flowers. These vases make beautiful centrepieces when arranged densely with flowers, especially those with oversized heads such as mini roses, anemones or peonies. For a unique look, put coloured beads at the bottom of the cube vase and float a single gerbera on top.

Tip: Keep stems in place by making a sellotape grid. Half fill your vase with water then place strips of sellotape across the top of the vase portrait and landscape to create a check grid. Fill the vase by arranging stems within the grid squares.

Posy Vases

Posy vases are my go-to vase for a small bunch of flowers. They come in different sizes and have an hourglass-like shape with a bulbous base and narrow neck which flares gently at the top. This shape is extremely versatile and supports arrangements beautifully. Posy vases look lovely filled with sweet peas, roses and tulips.

"Posy vases are my go-to vase for a small bunch of flowers."

Column Vases

Tall column vases are for long stemmed flowers. They can even be styled with branches, foliage and twigs as the cylindrical column shape helps them to keep their structure.

Tip: In tall vessels like the column vase, flowers should be 1.5x the height of the vase.

My Top Tips For Getting the most from your flower arrangement

My Top Tips For Getting the most from your flower arrangement:

  • Use foliage to create structure. My favourite is eucalyptus. You can even use artificial eucalyptus in amongst real flowers to keep arrangements looking fresh.
  • When trimming fresh flowers, you may already know to cut the stems at an angle, but do you know why? Doing this lets the flower drink. The angled cut creates a wider surface area that allows the flower to absorb more water and extend the life of your blooms.
  • When placing flowers in a vase, remove any leaves or foliage from below the water line to help keep the water clean.
  • If you are creating your own arrangement and are struggling to keep the flowers in place, use sellotape to create a grid. See my tips under 'Cube & Square Vases' above for instructions on how to do this.
  • For bouquets, I recommend a wide tapered vase. These are wide at the bottom with a pinched waste which keeps the flowers together. The wide base allows the stems to cross the vase giving space for larger flowers to open.

How to Choose the Right Vase for Flowers

Creating spectacular flower arrangements certainly take practise. But you don't need to be an expert to beautify your home with flowers. Simply choosing the right vase shape for the right flowers is the easiest way to get the very most out of your bunches and bouquets. Begin by following my tips and advice above and in a few simple steps, you will have created a stunning flower arrangement for your home.

Jane Ewart, Floral Designer at Pavilion Broadway

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