Adhesive Materials

1. Floral tape: This tape is similar to a waxed crepe paper. It has a stretching quality and is used to wrap flower stems when wire is needed for their support. It comes in assorted colors to blend unseen into the arrangement.

2. Waterproof tape: Its most common use is to hold stem support material, such as floral foam, in the container.

3. Florist clay: A waterproof material, it is used to hold pinpoint stem holders in place within a container.

4. Styrofoam glue: Some glues dissolve styrofoam. This material does not, yet it is a strong adhesive.

5. Hot glue gun: The glue is inserted as a solid stick into the gun. It is heated electrically and dispensed in a liquid state that quickly cools and hardens.

Stem Support Materials

1. Water-holding foams: The most common material used by profes­sional florists to support fresh flowers is floral foam. It is a light­weight, soft, and porous material that holds flower stems in a fixed position while enabling them to absorb water. There are several manufacturers of the foams, the most well-known of which is the Smithers-Oasis Company. Their foam products are termed Oasis®. Floral foams are available in dry blocks, shredded foams, and pel­lets. They are also produced in varying densities to support stems of different weights and sturdiness. In arrangements where the block of foam is not fully concealed by foliage, sheet moss may be pinned over the foam to disguise it.

2. Shredded styrofoam: Styrofoam does not hold water. It is commonly used to hold the stems of dried, silk, and plastic flowers and foliage, especially in tall containers. If fresh materials are used, water must be added to fill in between the particles of styrofoam.

3. Block styrofoam: An excellent base for dried and permanent arrangements, it cannot be used with fresh flowers.

4. Chicken wire: This wire has a 1-inch mesh and can be rolled loosely into a ball and inserted into the container. Stems can then be inserted into the folded mesh.

5. Pinpoint holders: These are used more commonly by homeown­ers than by professional florists because of their expense. They are held in the container with florist clay. Stems are then pressed onto the pins. They are reusable.

6. Glass pebbles and marbles: Made of clear glass or opaque black, the marbles are used to support long stems in tall vase arrangements. The pebbles are often used in bowl containers.

7. Plastic grids: The grids snap on the top of vases and some novelty containers and hold flower stems in position. Because of the varia­tion in container sizes, plastic grids are not available for all con­tainers. A handmade grid can be substituted, using criss-crossed thin strips of waterproof floral tape.

Updated: September 27, 2015 — 11:10 pm