Amy Balsters from The Floral Coach holds a whimsical floral arrangement as she prepares to talk about mass flowers.

Mass Flowers: Understanding What They Are and How to Use Them

Wanting to discover what makes mass flowers so enchanting? In this post, I’ll walk you through the beauty of these flowers and how to use them in your own work. Let’s get started!

What are Mass Flowers?

Mass Flowers are the main flowers used to create the overall shape of a floral arrangement. They are often round in shape and have a single stem. Their most common feature is their round ends. Really, these flowers serve as the bulk to just about any floral arrangement. When looking at a floral design, these are the flowers that stand out as the gorgeous majority.

Mass Flowers in Floral Design 

The four main groups of flower types are line, form, mass, and filler. Naturally, mass flowers fall under the “mass” category. Such flowers are typically the most interesting and vibrant flower choices in an arrangement. This is one reason why using them is so fun! With all those color options, you’re bound to create an eye-catching bouquet.

Hence the name, mass flowers add mass (otherwise known as visual weight) to a floral arrangement. They give gravitas to a floral piece and keep the viewer’s attention captivated. 

What are Mass Flowers used for?

Mass flowers are used to draw emphasis to a specific focal point in an arrangement. They unify and balance floral arrangements within their sized containers. They add stunning depth to arrangements and their framework.

These flowers give floral arrangements flavor and make them multi-dimensional. Without such flowers, floral arrangements could have the potential to be dull and unflattering. In addition, mass flowers are used as foliage, to cover any unnatural mechanics. For example, mass foliage can cover any left-over or exposed foam.

Mass Foliages 

Mass foliages are a subsection of mass flowers that help to disguise floral foam and cover any practical slip-ups! Just like mass flowers, they too add visual weight to an arrangement, making it all the more breathtaking.

Types of Mass Foliages 

  • Pittosporum 
  • Huckleberry
  • Camellia
  • Leatherleaf

Mass Foliage vs. Filler Foliage 

The difference between mass foliage and filler foliage is, mass foliage covers any mishaps in an arrangement while filler foliage is significantly smaller and adds detail (rather than weight) to a floral piece. It’s important to note the difference between the two because you don’t want to be using filler in areas that only mass foliage can cover!

Most Common Mass Flowers 

Mass flowers are used as focal flowers due to their radiating beauty and captivating attention. They are often referred to as “face flowers” due to the sense of focus they create in an arrangement. Just as the face is the most referenced point of the body, mass flowers are the focal point of an arrangement.

Here are a few examples: 

  • Rose
  • Carnation
  • Gerbera
  • Sunflower
  • Lily
  • Daffodil
  • Tulip
  • Dutch Iris
  • Freesia
  • Zinnia
  • Protea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Sweetheart rose
  • Aster
  • Yarrow
  • Peonies
  • Hydrangea 

How to Use Mass Flowers in Your Arrangement

When it comes to using mass flowers in your arrangement, you’ll want to make sure to select your own choice of flowers. If it fits, using up to 3 different flower choices is highly recommended. 

Next, you’ll want to work these flowers around your choice of shape. Typically, most mass flower arrangements fall into triangular, fan, or circular shape designs. In addition, these flowers are most often designed in asymmetrical or symmetrical techniques. 

Once you’ve chosen your flowers, shape, and technique to follow, you’ll need to decide if you’re using them as foliage or as a focal point. To help you better determine between the two, I’ve listed the purposes of foliage vs. focal point below:

Foliage

  • Mostly covers mechanics 
  • Balances arrangement

Focus Point

  • Draw attention to the focal area 
  • Multi-dimensional view  
  • Adds visual depth
  • Unifies arrangement 
A close up image of Amy Balsters adding mass flowers in a floral arrangement.

The Steps

Now that you’ve decided which of the two you’ll be using mass flowers for, it’s time to start arranging! 

Below I have listed 5 steps to include when building a piece incorporating mass floral design:

Step 1

Cut floral foam into the proper size and place it in your vase/container.

Step 2

Be sure to cover the foam with moss or oasis. This will ensure that the foam will not be seen from the outside and allow water to travel through, should it need to. 

Step 3

Place any greenery stems into the foam so that it follows the shape (triangular, fan, circular) you have chosen for your design.

Step 4

Next, place the mass flowers into the arrangement. Be sure to snip each stem before you add it to the arrangement. Depending on the overall shape you have chosen to follow, place your flowers accordingly (If you are using mass flowers as foliage, skip this step and simply use such flowers as foliage in step 5).

Step 5

If needed, use filler foliage to cover any bare spots. Review the layout of your mass flowers and if all looks well, you’re done!

Mass Flowers and Their Benefits 

Mass flowers are a major benefit when it comes to floral design and enhancing your arrangements. Because they have so many great perks, these flowers can be used for a variety of things. 

For example, they can be utilized to strengthen your floral arrangements with color and intrigue. They are also a great tool for filling. If you’re struggling with overall balance, mass flowers are a wonderful way to unify your arrangement in areas that may be needing extra attention. 

These flowers are wonderful for helping to create a focal point in your arrangement. By placing them near the rim of your container they can centralize your arrangement.

Now that you know what mass flowers are, the different ways you can use them, and the great benefits that come from utilizing them, you’re ready to begin your journey in mass floral arranging. I hope my blog has helped you to see how powerful and pleasing these flowers can be when it comes to floral design. 

Without these flowers, we florists would not have much of an art to work with! After all, what’s a picture if you can not focus it, an arrangement if it has no central point of focus to study? These flowers serve as the very face of a floral arrangement and play a major role in developing it. 

With this whole new avenue unlocked to you, I’d love to continue to guide you into more of the beautiful world of mass floral design. Check out my post, Floral Design Classes: How to Choose the Right Class For You to ensure that you’re moving in the right steps it takes to become a well-rounded floral designer! Now, have fun arranging!

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