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Practical Floral Arranging - Oasis

Updated on August 2, 2013
Candle, floral, platter arrangement
Candle, floral, platter arrangement | Source

Floristry is the general term used to describe the professional floral trade. The production, commerce and trade in flowers.

Floral Arranging is defined as the art of creating flower arrangements, cut or artificial in vases or containers and bouquets

The Flowers can be real / live flowers that are cut and placed in water or oasis so that they survive. Or they can be artificial, man made out of fabrics and wires.

Cut flowers tend to be more popular, although artificial flowers have their place.

Vases, water proof containers are necessary when using real cut flowers in arrangements, although you can make a container water proof by lining it with plastic.

Floral form - dry or wet is used when creating arrangements in containers. It is not always necessary but it tends to help with the longevity of the cut flower arrangements life span.


Oasis is used to keep cut flowers living for a longer time, feeding them so that they survive. It is the mechanics, also used to create a structured arrangement holding the flowers in position when designing.

Wetting Oasis

  • Oasis holds water
  • Oasis absorbs water, don't push it just place it in a container with clean fresh water with plant food (fortified) and let it soak up the water on it's own
  • Drop the cut oasis in the water, hole side down
  • Never force it down because you will end up with some dry patches or pockets in the center which will cause the life of the arrangement to be shorter than necessary
  • Oasis turns darker green when it is saturated
  • Oasis is fragile when wet, the fibers of the form collapse easily under any pressure


  • once you place a flower in the Oasis you need to leave it there or be very careful in removing it from the hole, it can also create air holes which means the flower won't receive water and die
  • tip- gently pull it back out the way you put it in the way you did , careful not to move it around
  • wet oasis becomes very fragile.

Cutting suggestions

  • cut to fit container
  • cut so the top is at least an inch taller than container rim
  • cut when dry
  • cut before soaking

Some florists have a preference on when to cut the oasis, some prefer it wet, stating because of the ease in which the knife passes through the water logged foam.

Tools to cut

  • short knife for shaping, especially when wet
  • large knife for dry form, cutting straight lines and larger pieces


  • Oasis comes in blocks

New shapes are available but more experienced florist cut the shapes they want before designing their product

New shapes

  • Spheres
  • wreaths
  • hearts
  • crosses
  • cones

Other supplies

  • floral tape
  • floral food

Flower tips

  • cut stem end at 45 degree angle
  • clean off leaves, strip
  • condition before use, place in water that has flower food
  • take off guard petals, outer most petals
  • assess flower's best side

Hiding mechanics

There are many ways to arrange flowers, but typically when someone is using oasis in a container they are looking for the arrangement they are creating to be supported as well as for it to live longer than a week or so.

Most oasis arrangements have to include a design that covers the oasis especially if the container the oasis is being placed in won't cover up all the mechanics. There are several ways to do this my favorite is known as Pave.

The one thing to remember is that you need a method that covers the oasis so that it does not interfere with the overall look or design of the finished arrangement.


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