Kelly Lehman is the owner of Cranbury Fields Flower Farm and shows everyday gardeners how to grow amazing flowers on her Youtube Channel.
How to Make a Beautiful Dahlia Arrangement
With the right materials and little know-how, you can build out a beautiful dahlia arrangement in no time. The arrangement in this tutorial will last around 4–5 days as long is it kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources (e.g., a heating duct or hot stovetop).
- Oasis foam
- Plastic or paper bags
- Sharp knife
- Semi-dried hydrangeas
- Greenery and accents
Step 1: Prepare Your Vase
For this project, an opaque vase is best, as a transparent vase would allow the foam to show through. In the demo above, I used a phony stone vessel (I think I got it at Michaels or A.C. Moore).
- Stuff a few plastic or paper bags in the bottom of the vase to give the interior some height.
- Soak your Oasis foam in a bucket of water. Get it nice and moist, and then use a sharp knife to shave it to fit into the container that you will be placing inside your vase.
- Place your container into the vase on top of the bags (if one doesn't come with the vase, you can always raid your Tupperware or use a plastic bowl). Ensure that it fits snugly and won't wiggle around too much when you start adding flowers.
- Add a little extra water to the container to act as a reservoir for the coming days (this is optional, but a good idea!).
Step 2: Build Out Your Base
- Cut some greens from your yard (things like ivy and curly willow work well).
- Strip off all the leaves on the bottom of the stems so that they can be inserted into the Oasis a little easier. I hold each piece kind of like a pen and push it into the foam that way.
- Go around the base of the vase with some of the fresh greens and build out the shape that you want. (In the demo above, I go for a wild look—one that isn't perfectly balanced on both sides. I wanted it to look more like nature, and nature has some beautiful wild shapes and wild angles!)
Step 3: Add Other Flowers and Accents
- Add some Endless Summer hydrangeas that are semi-dried out. Hydrangeas usually don't like being placed in floral foam and may flop prematurely, but that's not an issue with semi-dried out blooms (the petals will feel sort of papery). Get rid of any little blossoms that are a little bit brown.
- Add some accents for contrast. I love using Japanese maple branches because they give a huge contrast with that bright pop of red. Accents can also be used to give your display a little bit of height in the background.
Step 4: Add Dahlias
- Lastly, add your primo dahlias—the stars of the show! If your dahlia stems are super, super thick, you'll want to cut them so that they fit into the Oasis without making too large of a hole. Cut it on a diagonal so it's almost like a point; that should fit into the Oasis a little bit easier (vs. having a circle on the bottom).
- Don't be afraid to add quite a few dahlias! Sometimes more is more.
Add water to the container holding the Oasis foam every few days so it stays moist. The foam brick will absorb the water for the stems to draw up to the blooms.
Enjoy your gorgeous display!
More DIY Flower Arranging Tips
- How to Dry and Preserve Hydrangea Blooms Naturally
Drying hydrangeas can help you enjoy them year-round rather than just for the short time that they bloom, and it's incredibly easy to do.
- How and When to Cut Peonies for a Vase
Cutting peonies in the marshmallow stage (and ensuring a clean, diagonal cut) will prolong the vase life of your blooms.
© 2021 Kelly Lehman
MariaMontgomery from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 07, 2021:
Gorgeous dahlia arrangement. Great tips, too. I enjoyed reading the article.
Liza from USA on September 07, 2021:
So beautiful and elegant! I love everything about your dahlia arrangement. You are a specialist at building these pretty flowers and make them look glamorous to have them displayed inside or outside. Thanks for sharing your expertise here.