How To: Prep Flowers for an Arrangement – Primary Petals
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How To: Prep Flowers for an Arrangement

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How To: Prep Flowers for an Arrangement

Just like painting your house, the hard work is in the preparation. And as my Dad always told me, “The 5 P’s Chloe. That’s all you need to know.” What are the 5P’s? I’m so glad you asked! Preparation Prevents Poor Performance! Pretty simple right!

Well here is your 5 P’s guide to prep for any floral arrangement you decide to create! This is the exact process we use in our studio as well to prep all the fresh flowers we send to you and your beautiful people!


Flowers fresh from the wholesaler often come bundled up with elastic bands and newspaper and plastic wrappers. Your florals need some space to expand and open. Put all this in the trash as you go to keep your workspace clear.


Stripping the leaves is the process of removing all the leaves below a certain point on the stem of your flower. Having leaves sitting below the water line in your vase is going to create a great environment for bacteria to grow and thus shorten the life of your blooms.

There are a few ways to strip the leaves from your stems. I personally like to use a rag. Folded into quarters I wrap it around the stem with my right hand and holding the stem with my left hand, slide the rag down the stem removing the leaves as I go.

You can also use a stripping tool in place of the rag and complete the same action. If you decide you want one this is the one we have in the studio. The rose stripper is very handy to remove thorns from roses but often I just trim them with my floral shears. This technique of floral stripping does take some time to master so remember to be kind to yourself as you learn something new.


This is the step most people seem to know to do but some best practice ideas for you include, cutting your stems at a 45-degree angle as this increases the surface area that is coming into contact with the water thus enabling your stems to soak up more life-giving H20 and stay fresher looking. You also want to ensure you cut at least 1 inch off the bottom of the stem and feel free to continue to trim your flowers throughout their time in your vase as the ends will begin to deteriorate over time.


You want to ensure that the vessel that you place your flowers in is clean. Like REALLY clean. Get some soap and scrub all those little corners and give it a good few rinses. Starting with a clean, bacteria-free vase is essential to the longevity of your arrangement. Also, cool or room water temperature is best for your flowers as too cold will shock them and too hot will cause wilting. Treat them like a new goldfish and you’ll be fine. And as mentioned above, remove any leaves that are below the waterline.


Now that you’ve done all the hard work prepping your flowers are ready to be arranged into a glorious creation in your favorite vase! Remember to change the water daily, giving the vase a quick scrub to remove any new bacteria, trim the ends of your flowers and keep them out of direct sunlight. AND lastly, share your creations online with us! Tag @primarypetals #primarypetalssquad to share with us and for a chance to be featured on our stories!

with love and flowers,

Chloe and the Primary Petals Squada

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