Amateur florists and professionals alike can rely on floral foam to create stable living flower arrangements that last for several days or even weeks. This product is similar to styrofoam, but is more delicate and contains a network of fine capillaries that can feed water to a living plant stem. Using floral foam is not a complex process. It is easy to cut to the shape of any bowl or vase using only a pair of scissors or small knife. It absorbs water naturally within a couple of hours and holds that water until the plant needs it or else it evaporates.
The floral foam can also be used to provide a stable base for a flower arrangement. Plus, this foam product can be refreshed with more water as needed or even reused later on. It is a delicate material and should be handled as such, but is extremely valuable for creating long-lasting living flower centrepieces. Floral foam can be purchased through manufacturers, florist shops, crafting stores, greenhouses, online crafting and floral supply websites, and websites like eBay.
Uses of Floral Foam
Floral foam is a product used by florists in creating tabletop centrepieces and other floral arrangements. This product absorbs a great deal of water providing moisture for the plants that are inserted into the foam. There are a few uses of floral foam; primarily, it is used to provide water to living plants in arrangements. It is also stiff enough to use to secure these flowers in place in unique arrangements, such as dome shapes, and crescent arrangements. Floral foam, however, should not be confused with styrofoam blocks, which do not absorb and hold water. Styrofoam blocks are useful in floral arrangement, but only for use with non-living flowers, greenery, and other items.
Floral foam can serve as a basis for the living flowers and greenery in any arrangement. Simply inserting the flower stems into the foam is often enough to secure the flower stem in place without it leaning. Floral foam is also weighty enough to hold down top heavy arrangements, especially those that are placed in shallow bowls and vases.
Inserting Floral Foam into a Vase
Floral foam is an excellent product to use for securing flowers, because it can be shaped to almost any container. Most floral foam products come in rectangular blocks or spheres of varying sizes. To add the floral foam to a container, first try inserting it into the container. Use a marker or pen to mark areas where the foam is too large to fit or rests outside of the vase. Cut away these excess areas with a pair of scissors until the floral foam fits inside the base without being seen. It should also be large enough to support a planned flower arrangement. Flower arrangers might want to leave some excess around the floral foam so that it wedges firmly inside the container and does not come loose with top-heavy flower arrangements.
Those who plan on using styrofoam blocks instead of floral foam would use the same process to cut it down to size. Since the styrofoam is much lighter than water soaked floral foam, it needs to be secured inside the container with double-sided tape or floral tape. It is also a good idea to use floral tape to secure the floral foam inside the container too. Floral tape works to secure floral foam even when it is wet.
Adding Water to the Floral Foam
Adding water to floral foam is an easy process. After cutting the floral foam to size, it is ready to soak in water. Find a sturdy bucket or tub and fill it about halfway with water, then add a couple of drops of bleach to the water to discourage the growth of bacteria. Place the floral foam on the water. Do not press down on the floral foam to submerge it in the water. It is delicate when dry and crumbles easily. Allow it to sit in the tub and slowly soak up the water for a few hours. The foam is ready when it is slightly soft to the touch and expresses water under the slight pressure of one's finger.
After the floral foam has soaked up enough water, cut a small slit in the centre of the foam with a pair of scissors. This cut makes it easier to water the foam on a daily basis to continue adding water to the flowers. It is also possible to leave a thin space between the floral foam and the side of the base when cutting it to size where one can water the foam each day.
Adding Flowers to the Foam
After securing the watered foam to the vase, it is time to begin placing the flowers into the foam. Prepare the flowers as necessary for a bouquet or floral arrangement. This entails removing thorns and excess leaves, and cutting all of the flowers to an appropriate height.
When cutting the bottoms of stems off the flowers, be sure to cut the stems at an angle so that they can puncture the floral foam more easily. This also helps ensure a tighter seal between the stem and the floral foam making for an easier transfer of water between the two surfaces. When working with crooked or weak flower stems, attach them to flower picks or metal wire before inserting them into the floral foam. This helps hold them in place and improves the structural integrity of the arrangement.
Caring for Flowers in Foam
Like with many other living flower arrangements, try to keep them away from direct sunlight. Avoid extreme temperatures of hot and cold, which can dry out the flowers or freeze them. Flowers do prefer a slightly cooler environment, but not freezing temperatures.
Touch the floral foam every day to check for moisture. The foam is good as long as it depresses slightly and releases a small amount of water under pressure. If the floral foam needs water, water it in the central cut created and along the sides of the container. Just add enough water for the foam to soak it up and become moist again.
Another option is to remove the entire arrangement from the container including the floral foam. Place it in the bathtub or a container of water and allow it to soak up water for a couple of hours. This soaking technique is good for use on a floral foam block and flower arrangement that appears to be completely dry or has dried out too quickly. Allow the foam to drain for thirty minutes before placing it back inside the vase or other container. Remove flowers from the arrangement as they die and replace them if desired.
Buying Floral Foam on eBay
You can buy floral foam in packages of varying sizes on eBay. Rather than searching through the entire site to find this one product, consider saving yourself time and effort by using the eBay search engine. The eBay search engine is available on every single eBay page. Using it is simple. Just enter your search term, such as "floral pins" into the search engine bar. The site looks through thousands of listings in a variety of categories and returns the matching listings in a search results page. You can further narrow down your selection using the refinements available on the search results page.
Before purchasing a product on eBay, it is a good idea to get to know more about the seller through their customer feedback. This feedback can be found by clicking on any seller's name in a product listing. This automatically takes you to another page with all of the seller's feedback from previous customers. The feedback consists of written comments about the seller or the sale, and a star rating for the seller. Customers can leave star ratings for the seller in four different areas; item description, communication, shipping time, and shipping and handling fees.
Floral foam is an excellent product to have on hand for flower arrangements. This product absorbs moisture and holds it for long periods of time, providing necessary water to flower stems within the arrangement. Floral foam is not the same as styrofoam, but it can be used to hold the arrangement in place within a vase or bowl. It is a stable base for working with a variety of different flower arrangements. Floral foam can also be used in combination with other tools, such as pins and metal wire for shaping elaborate flower arrangements. Working with floral foam is easy.
First, one needs to cut the floral foam to the size of the container. Next, one places the foam in a tub of water to allow it to absorb enough moisture for flowers. This is followed by fixing the floral foam to the inside of a vase and adding the flowers for the arrangement. Over the course of the following weeks, warm water can be added to floral foam as needed to continue supplying moisture to the living flower arrangement. Floral foam is a product available through sellers on eBay.