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What are the Different Types of Artificial Flowers?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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The most common types of artificial flowers include stems, sprays, branches, floral bushes, floral picks, drop-ins and cuttings. Understanding the basic kinds of artificial flowers can make them easier to shop for as well as help you choose the best type for your project. You should look for high-quality silk flowers without frayed edges. The right kind of flower can make projects such as floral arrangements and wedding bouquets look professional and realistic.

Cuttings are artificial flowers on a single, fairly short stem. They are made to look like fresh cut flowers such as those snipped straight from a garden. Silk cuttings can have a very realistic appeal -- especially when placed in transparent vases filled with water and lightly sprayed with an elegant floral scent. In the floral industry, cuttings are usually considered to be convenient and able to fit easily in many different types of containers.

Drop-ins are single stems of artificial flowers or greenery placed into groups and tied into a bundle with a length of ribbon or a material such as twine or raffia. Twine is cord or string made of a few strands twisted together. Raffia is ribbon-like lengths of fibers from raffia palm tree leaves. Drop-ins with long stems may be placed in the center of a tall floral arrangement and then different pieces of artificial flowers and greenery may be fitted around them.

Floral picks are clusters of artificial flowers that are sold in a variety of stem lengths. Many types of floral picks contain a single kind of flower, but a floral pick may be a grouping of different varieties of flowers. Some floral picks contain novelty accents such as feathers, berries or gourds. A quick way to create a floral arrangement is to group several floral pick clusters together.

Floral bushes are similar to floral picks and drop-ins, but tend to look more like an actual flowering plant than a cluster of flowers. The leaf filled and flower topped stems of floral bushes may make a good centerpiece for an arrangement of flowers. Floral bushes are also great as the main part of a wedding bouquet when baby's breath and ribbon are added. Baby's breath is the dried natural stems of tiny white flowers that are often featured with roses or other flowers in dried, artificial and fresh flower arrangements.

Branches of artificial flowers look like blooming tree branches such as cherry blossoms. Artificial floral branches are usually used in arrangements displayed in a large pot on the floor. Sprays are fairly long-stemmed and contain several faux flowers. These are often used to fill in spaces in floral arrangements. Stems are long-stemmed faux flowers that feature one or two flowers -- they may be trimmed to suit the height of each particular floral display container.

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Discussion Comments
By pastanaga — On Jun 14, 2014

@Fa5t3r - Honestly, the only time I like having artificial flowers around, as opposed to real ones, is when I'm visiting a grave site, like my grandmother's grave.

Even then I'd rather use real ones, but unfortunately I don't tend to be able to visit very often and it doesn't seem like anyone else from the family goes regularly either, so real flowers tend to look a bit shabby in the long run.

By Fa5t3r — On Jun 14, 2014

@MrsPramm - Well, if we are talking about artificial flowers that aren't supposed to necessarily look real, I would go with glass flowers. I saw some beautiful examples of this when I was traveling in Europe. Even the cheap, mass produced versions seemed lovely, but there were some hand-blown examples that were just stunning.

This is truly getting out of the price range of people who are just looking for simple silk flowers though and you also have to worry about fragility. That's the reason I didn't get any, in the end. I knew they would most likely get broken while I was traipsing around on my trip. Although I suppose I could have arranged to have them sent back.

By MrsPramm — On Jun 13, 2014

If you aren't concerned with making sure people will mistake it for the real thing, you might try origami flowers. There are some people online who create the most beautiful works of art made from paper that is shaped to look like flowers or even flowering branches.

They aren't really cheap artificial flowers, but I think the fact that they are hand made makes a big difference.

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