Silk Flower Stems: Types
and Tips On How to Use Them

Silk flower stems and artificial flowers, foliage and greenery elements for silk floral designs range widely and go by the category names of Stems, Sprays, Floral Picks or Bushes, Branches, Cuttings, Bundles and Drop-ins.

Here we will take a closer look at these types of artificial flower stems and learn how they differ. There are also tips and ideas for using them in a silk flower arrangement or bouquet.

Please consider this a general overview of stem types. Bear in mind, people may sometimes interchange or overlap some of the terminology used.

Let's sharpen your silk flower shopping expertise and explore...


Types of Silk Flower Stems

STEM or SPRAY

Silk Hibiscus Spray

A Stem generally has a flower blossom or two and maybe some leaves. The stem length varies from approximately 14 to 36 inches.

A Spray (pictured) is similar but usually has several blossoms of a single flower variety, with leaves.

A silk stem spray offers better 'fill' in an arrangement, and more value for your money.


CUTTING

Silk Tea Rose Cutting

Similar to a stem or spray, a Cutting has a short stem length of approximately 12 to 18 inches, with medium to large blossoms.

Created with the intent that no stem trimming is needed, these silk flower stems are optimally sized for quick placement.

You can use artificial flower cuttings to make wedding centerpiece table arrangements that look real by displaying several stems in a glass container or vase with water. Scent can be added.

Silk stem Cuttings are also excellent for making a hand-tied bridal bouquet.


BUNDLE or DROP-IN

Artificial Ranunculus Bundle

A Bundle or Drop-in is a group of loose silk stems tied together with a short length of twine, raffia or ribbon.

They can consist of a single flower variety or a coordinated selection of flowers and foliage, or even just foliage and branches.

Bundles and Drop-ins may be available pre-assembled by the manufacturer, although it's easy enough to make your own. Stem ends usually meet evenly across the bottom. Lengths can vary from 8 to 40 inches.

Silk Tropical Flower Drop-in

The silk tropical flower Drop-in at right measures about 36 inches in height, and can be placed as is in a tall container.

You could combine two or three small or large bundles to make a fuller, quick and easy decorative floral display.



PICK

Artificial Mixed Berry Pick

A silk Floral Pick is a pre-made coordinated grouping of flowers, greenery, berries, fruit, gourds or other items.

By using several of these small clusters, you can quickly add a variety of interesting visuals to a floral design, saving time and money.

Picks are fairly short-stemmed (6 to 15 inches), and can also be found as accent items, such as a bead or feather pick.





FLORAL BUSH

Calla Lily Silk Floral Bush

Similar to a floral Pick and Drop-in, a silk Floral Bush is a manufactured grouping of coordinated artificial flowers and foliage, all joined into a single, thick molded stem. They are generally of small to medium size.

Mixed Floral Bush

Although Floral Bushes are available with only a single flower type like the Calla Lily Floral Bush at left, a mixed floral bush that includes different flowers and colors can be more interesting.

A silk floral bush can be placed in a container and displayed as is.

Better yet, one can be used to jumpstart the making of your own silk wedding flower centerpiece or reception table arrangements for any celebration. Simply add several stems of another flower variety, and some filler stems (such as Baby's Breath) all around the base.

Consider using a small or medium Floral Bush as a thrifty throw bouquet for a wedding. You could wrap and glue some fancy ribbon around the stem area and add a big bow to dress it up.


BRANCH

Artificial Protea Foliage Branch
An artificial Branch can be a bare tree branch, a leafy foliage branch or a flowering foliage branch. Length can vary from 20 to 70 inches.

A single Branch can add visual impact as a backdrop to medium flower arrangements.

Large floor arrangements can incorporate several long branches, of same or mixed types, for dramatic accent.


LEAVES and PLANTS

Artificial Vanda Leaf Orchid Plant
While not considered silk flower stems, let’s not forget that artificial plants and leaves can beautifully enhance silk flower arrangements — or can be combined to make bold and beautiful, lush plant arrangements.

A well-placed Palm Leaf or Vanda Leaf Orchid Plant (pictured) adds darker areas that can help colorful blossoms to really stand out.


It's exciting to see that artificial floral manufacturers are expanding their offerings of enhanced products, giving more attention to botanical correctness of petals, blossoms, leaves, and even stems. The inclusion of nature's imperfections and blemishes adds to their illusion of being real — and we are seeing truer colors, too. High-end quality and realism are finally taking root!

There is also a growing assortment of artificial vines, weeds, gourds, pods and feathers to add textural interest to your silk flower arrangement.



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A Floral Design Trend
The increasing availability of high-end, botanically-correct silk flower stems flourished along with a trend of recent years — that of floral arrangements exhibiting a simpler, more casual, untailored look. (Read what Aldik's CEO thought about market trends of upscale silk flower stems. Was he right?)

During that period, there was less emphasis on a pattern of stem placement, which may be our accustomed expectation when we think of a flower 'arrangement.'

Dropping a cluster or two of mono-botanical cut flower stems into a vase became quite popular, and still is.

This 'Instant Silk Flower Arrangement' method still perfectly suits a lot of people that want some quick floral cheer and don't have the time or inclination to attempt anything fancier.

This does not mean the art of creative floral arrangement is going to disappear. On the contrary, in my opinion, this widens the field for silk flower arranging enthusiasts of all skill levels. Everyone can start enjoying this floral craft, and beautify their surroundings immediately with a handful of quality silk flower stems.

So, keep an eye out for the good stuff — high-end silk flower stems and foliage. If you don't see any, inquire if the store will be carrying them. This let's them know we are interested in better product quality.

And remember, you get what you pay for. Quality silk flower stems will cost more, but I think they are worth it.

Happy shopping, everyone!


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