How to Arrange Zinnias (or any fresh cut flowers) in a Vase and Other Ideas

vase of zinnias

In this post, I will share how to cut and arrange zinnias in a vase and other flower arrangement ideas. This summer, I have enjoyed growing zinnias and other flowers. I have learned about flowers that not only survive but thrive for this “Wannabe” master gardener. Click HERE to learn more about this flower bed Neal built for me (pictured below) and other spring and summer flowers we planted in pots on our deck.

Now that my zinnias are thriving, I have enjoyed arranging flowers in vases, including vintage mason jars, and milk bottles. It is such a joy to share bouquets with neighbors as well as decorate our table.

I am pleased to share a few zinnia flower arrangements with you and maybe inspire you to cut (or buy) some fresh flowers and arrange them for your family and friends.

I am by no means an expert; however, over time, I have learned and improved by actually arranging flowers in a variety of vases.

Cutting Zinnias:

Using an old pair of scissors, I cut each flower stem at an angle.

To keep the flowers fresh on a hot Alabama summer day, I quickly put them in a cup or jar of water as I pick them. Once I have several picked (enough for a flower arrangement), I bring into the house (where it is cooler) and start arranging.

Arranging Flowers in a Vase or Jar:

Gently, I strip the leaves off of each stem by carefully putting the stem between my pointer finger and thumb and then gently moving down the step which removes all the leaves.

I position the vase/jar at the edge of the table and then hold each flower up to the edge of the table next to the vase/jar with the excess stem hanging below the countertop. This shows me where to cut the stem. In other words, I can tell exactly where to cut each stem so that each flower is the perfect height in the vase.

I cut the middle flowers a little taller and then cut the flowers around the circumference a little shorter. This gives the bouquet sort of a doom appearance. I continue to play with it until all the flowers are positioned the way I want them.

It gets a little easier once there are several flowers in the vase. The stems start to hold each of the flowers in place. Try not to touch the actual blossoms too much so as not to damage them. You can add sprite or even a little sugar to the water to help the flowers last longer.

This is one of those things in which practice and experimentation help. There is no right or wrong way and no matter the outcome, it will be beautiful because all flowers are beautiful.    

The Final Result

Some Additional Ideas for Flower Arrangements:

Vases, Jars, and Containers:

Use a variety of vases, mason jars, vintage milk bottles, or other containers. The arrangement below is in a vintage mason jar with a jute twine tied around the neck of the jar.

Below is an arrangement in a vintage milk bottle with jute twine tied around the neck of the bottle.


Tie ribbon around a vase or jar. My favorite is to use jute twine. Sometimes I use multiple ribbons on a vase. Get creative!

Below is an example of using multiple ribbons (this is obviously not zinnias but faux cotton.)

Table Runners/Fabric/Burlap:

I use different table runners, burlap (my favorite), or cut and layer fabric under the vase/bottle. This tablescape uses a vintage mason jar in the middle, two medium vintage milk bottles, and two small vintage milk bottles.

This is the same arrangement but with different fabrics. I used a variety of plates, bowls, and cups to trace and cut circles from scrap fabric. Fat quarters work well for this too. I usually have a variety of fat quarters in my collection for this type of thing.  I use pinking shears to cut the fabric.

Pictured below is a patriotic flower arrangement showing how layering scrap fabric (burlap in the middle) can add some color. It is also an example of using different types of ribbon.

And one more with some store-bought flowers.

You can grow your flowers or purchase freshly cut flowers. I enjoy fresh-cut flowers and hope you will too!

Go spend some time with the butterflies and bees and cut some flowers!

Don’t forget to Pin this for future reference.

Pinterest Pin Arranging ZInnias in a vase

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions about how to cut and arrange zinnias (or any other flowers) by commenting below.


  1. Vivian G on 08/12/2020 at 6:01 AM

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous!

  2. Sue Gore on 09/22/2021 at 5:10 PM

    What do you put in your water to keep zinnias looking fresh for a few days?

    • Suzanne on 09/22/2021 at 8:16 PM

      Hey Sue,
      I add Sprite to the water and this seems to help them last longer. I hope that helps.
      Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Susan on 03/11/2024 at 6:45 PM

    Your bouquets are beautiful!

    • Neal on 03/11/2024 at 8:36 PM

      Awww… thank you so much for posting this. I absolutely love Zinnias.

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