What is flower foam?

What is flower foam? Florists and flower arrangers use it all the time. But do you know what it is and why it’s useful to use when you’re arranging flowers at home? The most recognisable brand of flower foam is probably Oasis.  So, I checked out their website to see whether they had any easily digestible information about what flower foam is.  And they did.

what is flower foam
what is flower foam


Prior to florists and flower arrangers using flower foam we would have used chicken wire and greenery as a base for flower arrangements.  It’s interesting that things are going full circle to the old ways and there’s a move back to using these materials because they are kinder to the environment.  Having said that, you will need to make your own decisions regarding the balance to be made between being eco and the ease/practicality of arranging flowers. Essentially flower foam is made from a form of plastic and isn’t biodegradable.

Light weight foam capable of absorbing water

The story goes that Vernon Lewis Smithers was working on a light-weight crushable foam in his laboratories in the United States for the Union Carbide Company, but a suitable use couldn’t be found for it.  Mr Smithers went on to buy the equipment used to manufacture the foam, and Oasis as we know it today was born in the 1950s.  A lightweight foam that could absorb water and be used as a base for flower arrangements.

what is flower foam
what is flower foam

Soak it properly

The thing about flower foam is that while it soaks up water it doesn’t spring back into shape once it’s been squeezed.  It doesn’t survive being treated roughly. If you decide to use it as a base for your arrangements – success lies in soaking it correctly.

Float your foam in a bowl of water and let it sink of its own accord.  As the images above, if you push it under water, it’ll look like it’s completely soaked through, but when you cut it open the centre will still be dry.  Not good news when your flower stems are relying on your foam as their water source to keep them alive.

I’d be interested to hear your views on the pros and cons of using flower foam – leave me a comment below.


Until next time, happy flowers! Julie

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