What’s Special About Sunflowers – Meaning, Arrangement Ideas and Care Tips

When I see sunflowers, I think of Vincent Van Gogh, the artist. And he would have been very pleased because when he was alive, he wanted to be known as the painter of sunflowers. And he painted many still-life paintings of his favourite flower. 

Sunflower arrangements are popular because of the wonderful meaning sunflowers hold, and the uplifting, cheery effect they have on us.

In this post, I’ll share some of my favourite sunflower arranging ideas and pro tips on how to select sunflowers as well as help them last longer in a vase.

The Meaning of Sunflowers

To Van Gogh, sunflowers were meant to symbolise gratitude. In general sunflowers have a wonderful meaning – they represent love, loyalty and longevity.

That’s also why it’s a popular flower choice with brides for their weddings in summer. 

Sunflower wedding flowers

Flowers That Go Well Together with Sunflowers in Arrangements

Flowers that go well with sunflowers in arrangements include roses, snapdragons, chrysanthemums, chamomile and irises.

Bright colors such as reds and oranges tend to pair well with the yellow. On the other hand if you wish to go for a contrasting colour, blue or purple irises make a beautiful pairing.

As for greenery, select foliage that have a warm tone such as camellia leaves, gymea leaves or monstera leaves.

You can read more about colour in my other post

Sunflower Arrangement Ideas

The yellow of the sunflower is so vibrant that it instantly brightens up any space.

You can arrange sunflowers on their own in a vase and they will look stunning because of their large full blooms. 

Sunflower Bouquet with Roses

The first arrangement pictured below is a gift bouquet for Mother’s Day. A combination of sunflowers, red roses and yellow solidago or solidaster.

As you can see it’s a very bright, cheery bunch of flowers. Great choice for a Mother’s Day gift or for any celebration.


Sunflower Ikebana Arrangement

In my second flower arrangement which is ikebana-inspired, I used only sunflowers in a Japanese-style basket. If you don’t have a basket, you can swap it out for a short pot-like container.

Sunflower Arrangement Ideas
Sunflower ikebana arrangement in a Japanese bamboo basket

The sunflower stems were long. So I cut them down to better suit the proportions of the container.

However as I didn’t want to waste the stems, I looked for ways to use them in the arrangement. I ended up placing them at various diagonal angles to bring visual balance to the floral arrangement.

And there was no discolouration or softening of the stems even after a few days being out of water. Amazing!

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Studies have shown that arranging with flowers can help you relax and reduce stressful feelings. Ikebana is a great way for you to get in touch with nature while being creative with flowers. No prior training required – just A LOVE OF FLOWERS!

In my FREE GUIDE I share EASY PRACTICAL STEPS (including visuals) to help you GET STARTED.



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Modern Sunflower Arrangement in a Glass Vase


The third arrangement is a sunflower arrangement in a glass fishbowl vase. Here I’ve used about a couple of philodendron leaves in the fishbowl to hide the stems of the flowers as well as create interest.

This arrangement is best viewed from the sides. So they will make a wonderful centrepiece for a round dining table. 

You can also place multiple similar arrangements as table centrepieces along the centre of a long dining table at home.

Or even use this arrangement idea as wedding reception table centrepieces.

This arrangement style has a modern minimalist aesthetic that will suit contemporary interior styling.

Sunflower Wall Hanging

Japanese inspired wall hanging with sunflowers

This fourth arrangement is a small cluster of sunflowers, delicate flowers and greenery inspired by the Japanese style of wall hanging.

When tied with long satin or silk ribbons, these flowers make lovely pew end markers or pew end flowers in a wedding ceremony held in a church or chapel.


If you want your arrangement to last for at least a week then try to get blooms that are starting to open when buying the sunflowers from the store. But if you need to display the flowers on the same day of purchase, then get those with open blooms.

For a smaller arrangement, try and select sunflower bloom heads that are smaller and have smaller centres. These will tend to have thinner stems and are therefore less heavy.


  • Cut the stems at an angle before placing the sunflowers into the vase.
  • Change the water regularly. Like every other day. It will help to make the flowers last longer. If you like, you can also add (for every litre of water) 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of bleach and 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice into the water. 
  • Keep the sunflowers out of the cold or draughts (for example under cold air-conditioning).
  • And if you find any holes in your sunflower petals, check to see if there is a caterpillar somewhere among the flowers and get rid of it promptly!


If you are in Sydney, you can visit Glenbernie Family Farms in Kurmond (1 hour north west of Sydney) for some sunflower picking or photo opportunities when these flowers are in season (usually summer to autumn). Check out their website for more details.

For other flower arrangement inspiration, you may like to check out my other post on arranging gerberas in creative and fun ways

If you enjoyed the flower arranging ideas in this article and would like to try them out some day, pin and save the post.

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As a qualified floral designer specialising in Japanese ikebana and modern elegant styles, I offer custom arrangements and classes for individuals looking to decorate their wedding, event and space with flowers.

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