Flower Arranging – Aspidistra elatior

IMG_5884 tent pole decoration aspidistra bow

Growing Aspidistra for Flower Arrangements

  • Aspidistra elatior leaves were popular in Victorian parlors because they tolerate low light, draughts and neglect.
  • The pointed leaves are tough dark green and oval shaped. The Aspidistra elatior variegata has long stripe leaves.
  • Aspidistra thrive best if kept pot bound. Repot every 5-6 years in good loam or compost
  • Water regularly is spring and summer but avoid water logging.

Woman at the window, with her prized Aspidistra

Special Tips for Flower Arranging with Aspidistra elatior

  • Aspidistra elatior was made popular by french flower arrangers like Olga Meneur.
  • Leaves can be manipulated into different shapes by curling them round and securing with flower glue or a staple.
  • Two or more curls can be made by tearing the leaf down it’s mid-rib and curling in different directions to add different shapes and forms.
  • Leaves should be conditioned by standing in a bucket of cold water as soon as they are cut to receive a long drink. They should then last many weeks.
  • The leaves can be shined with a soft cloth and the application of a thin covering of cooking oil
  • Glycerining will make the leaves last many years. For method see Solomons Seal and dry well once the colour has changed to creamy-beige.
  • Order Aspidistra leaves from a florist if they are too slow growing on your plants.

A full array of books on Flower Arranging and related subjects is available from Amazon. You will find more advice and artistic inspiration amongst this selection.
I would also recommend the Harrogate spring flower show where I am always stunned by the floral arrangement amongst the plants on display.

Flower Arrangement
Credits
IMG_5884 tent pole decoration aspidistra bow by godutchbaby CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Woman at the window, with her prized Aspidistra by whatsthatpicture CC BY-NC 2.0
Flower Arrangement by Dominic’s pics CC BY 2.0

For a cast Iron winner in the flower arranging stakes you could do a lot worse than use Aspidistra leaves aka the Cast Iron plant. Slow growing so you may wish to buy your leaves but after glycerine they will last for years.
Turn your arrangements into botanical works of art – here are some examples and clubs you could join.

To grow a generic mix of flowers for arrangements and bouquets check out Thompson & Morgan


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