Ikabena Flower Arrangement Guidelines

 In Japan , great emphasis is laid upon art of flower arrangement. Flower symbolise seasons and particular occasion. Ikebena means making flower live . In such arrangement heaven, man and earth is represented by means of three main branches.

Shin, the main spray is the highest and symbolizes heaven . See, the second highest stem represent man and Hikae, the lowest spray denotes earth. The Japanese used vessels made of bamboo, bronze or pottery. Similarly, they always uses odd number of flower as as they believe off numbers are lucky for them. There is no overcrowding . 


While preparing flower arrangements, following guidelines should be followed:-

  • Plant material should be cut as a slant using sharp knife or scissors. It should be cut in morning or after sunset as in that time the plant is filled with moisture.
  • It is best to cut flowers , before they reach maturity.
  • Carry cut flowers into head down position so heavy headed flower will not snap off
  • Wrap flower on newspaper till the neck of flower and plunge into a bucket of water for 3/4 hours or overnight to condition.
  • Remove all leaves from the stems of flower 
  • Re-cut any stem that has been left out of water
  • Use flower with different stem of different size and select flower according to size of the base
  • Arrange tallest stem first and then others
  • Avoid mixing of fresh flowers and artificial flowers
  • Distinctive flowers should usually be placed alone
  • Low containers are suitable for all type of arrangement
  • Pour enough water into the vases


    • Never place a fresh flower arrangement where it will be exposed to direct sunshine from a window or tab to prevent of from dehydration.
    • Do not put flowers near a bowl of fruit as they release ethylene gas when ripening and it cause flower to wilt
    • Prolong the freshness by spraying lukewarm water from a mister(spray bottle) morning and night
    • Never used chilled water and change the water everyday to make it last longer
    • Listerine, ammonia , charcoal , slat, lemon , camphor added in water reduce bacterial growth thus , prolonging the life of flower
    • In every three days , re-cut the stems, clean the vase and replace water .
    • Use clean containers to prevent bacterial growth and premature fouling . 
    • Use coloured glass container as possible . usually if the glass is darker ,it will be harder for algae to grow
    • Do not use aluminium containers for flowers.

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