I stopped in my tracks when I saw these beautiful Stock flowers at our local grocery store. The colors caught my eye, and they looked so fresh – AND…they were on sale! Having worked with Stock quite a bit in my years as a floral designer, I’ve picked up some helpful tips I’d love to share in this Tips For Arranging Fresh Cut Matthiola incana (Stock) post!

Whether you’ve found some great bunches at your grocery store, bought some from a florist, or picked fresh stems from your garden, keep reading. I think you’ll find these tips useful for making the most of your Stock flowers!

bright beautiful stock in a vase.

Getting to Know Stock (Matthiola incana)

The Names Behind the Bloom

Stock goes by a few different names. Its scientific name is Matthiola incana, but you might also hear it called Hoary stock or Common stock. Don’t let the fancy names fool you – these flowers are popular for good reason.

Matthiola incana’s Botanical Family

Believe it or not, Stock is part of the Brassicaceae family. That’s right, it’s related to broccoli and cabbage! But trust me, it smells a whole lot nicer than its veggie cousins.

Stock’s European Roots

Stock originally comes from Southern Europe. It’s been brightening up gardens in that part of the world for centuries before making its way into our flower shops and homes.

Bright purple and pink stock flowers in a white pitcher.

The Charming Looks of Stock Flowers

Size and Shape

Stock isn’t just one flower – it’s a whole bunch on a stem. The blooms start bigger at the bottom and get smaller as they go up, kind of like a snapdragon. The stems and leaves are a grayish-green color, and they feel a bit fuzzy if you touch them. They’re not showy flowers, but rather delicate beauties that add a touch of charm to any arrangement or garden. I used them quite a bit in bridal bouquets as they have a romantic cottage feel to them.

A Rainbow of Options

One thing I love about Stock is its wide range of colors. You can find these beauties in soft pastels, vibrant pinks, deep purples, and crisp whites. There is a very soft yellow that is stunning and one of my favorites! With stock there’s really a shade for every taste and occasion.

Soft yellow double stock.
Soft yellow double Matthiola incana

Single or Double? Take Your Pick

Stock comes in two main bloom types:

  1. Single blooms: These have a simple, classic look with one layer of petals.
  2. Double blooms: These are the fancy cousins, with multiple layers of petals, called double flowers, for a fuller, more luxurious look.

Both types have their own charm, and I’ve found they work great together in arrangements. The singles add a bit of airiness, while the doubles add a bit more fullness.

single purple stock flowers in a garden.
Single bloom Matthiola incana

The Scent of Stock

Stock flowers have a really nice smell. It’s sweet and spicy, kind of like cloves. Some people say it reminds them of carnations.

The scent isn’t overwhelming, but it’s definitely noticeable. If you put a bunch in a room, you’ll get a gentle, pleasant fragrance that can really freshen up the space.

Getting Your Hands on Stock Flowers

Growing Your Own Flowers

If you’re into gardening, you can grow Stock right in your garden beds. Here’s the basic rundown:

  • Sow the seeds directly in your garden or start them indoors
  • Best times to plant are early spring or late summer
  • They like full sun and well-drained soil
  • Water regularly, but don’t overdo it
  • Pinch off the tops when they’re young to encourage bushier growth

For more detailed information on growing Matthiola incana, check out this helpful article from Gardener’s World.

A vase of beutiful purple tones of Matthiola incana.

Buying Stock

Not everyone has a green thumb or the space to grow flowers. No worries – you can easily buy Stock year-round:

  • Check out your local grocery store’s flower section
  • Farmers markets often have fresh, locally grown Stock
  • Florists usually carry Stock, especially if you call ahead
a very soft pink double Matthiola incana.

Picking the Best Fresh Cut Stock

When you’re buying Stock, here’s what to look for:

  • Go for stems with lots of unopened buds. They’ll last longer.
  • Check the open flowers – they should look fresh, not wilted.
  • Avoid stems with yellowing leaves. That’s a sign they’re past their prime.
  • Give them a quick sniff. The scent should be sweet, not musty.
  • Look at the stem ends. They shouldn’t be slimy or discolored.
  • If possible, gently squeeze the stem. It should feel firm, not soft.

Remember, it’s okay if not all the flowers are open. In fact, that’s better – you’ll get to enjoy the blooms opening up over time.

Tip: Don’t be shy about asking the florist or store clerk if you can take a closer look. They usually don’t mind and it helps you get the best flowers.

beautiful bright stock.

Taking Care of Your Fresh-Cut Stock

Getting Them Ready

When you get your Stock home:

  • Cut about an inch off the stems at an angle. Sharp scissors or a knife work best.
  • Strip off any leaves that would sit below the waterline in your vase. They’ll just rot in the water.

Setting Up Your Vase

  • Use a clean vase. Give it a quick wash if you’re not sure.
  • Fill it with cool, fresh water.
  • Add flower food if you have it. If not, don’t sweat it.

Design Tip: Stock works great in floral foam, making it perfect for structured arrangements. Just cut the stems at an angle, push them about 1-2 inches into the soaked foam, and you’re set. It’s easy to reposition, so you can play around with your design.

Keeping Them Happy

To keep your Stock looking good:

  • Change the water every couple of days. Fresh water = happy flowers.
  • Trim the stems a bit each time you change the water.
  • Pluck off any flowers that are past their prime.

Using Stock in Your Arrangements

Versatile Roles

Stock is a jack-of-all-trades in flower arranging. Use tall stems as line flowers to add height and structure. Shorter stems make great fillers, adding texture and color throughout. Bunch them together and they become mass flowers, creating a full, lush look.

Color Play

Stock comes in a range of colors, so mix and match to your heart’s content. Pastels blend beautifully together, or try pairing bold colors with whites for eye-catching contrast.

Floral Companions

Stock plays well with other flowers. Pair it with Queen Anne’s Lace for a light, airy feel. For romance, team it up with roses, peonies or tulips. Want a full, lush arrangement? Stock and hydrangeas are a match made in heaven.

A mixed arrangement with stock mixed in.

Arranging Tips

The shape of floral arrangements guides how you use Stock. For one-sided designs, place taller stems in the back to create height and structure. Use shorter stems to fill gaps and add interest throughout. This approach works well for various arrangement shapes, from triangular to crescent. Remember, Stock’s versatile stems allow you to easily adjust and create the perfect shape for your design.

Tip: Shoot for the arrangement to be 1 1/2 times taller than the vase. This ensures a balanced and visually pleasing composition. Please note this is a general rule and well…you know what they say about rules!

How to Arrange Mixed Colors of Stock in a Vase

Supplies for Arranging Stock

  • 15-20 stems of assorted Stock flowers
  • Vase (medium-sized, about 8-10 inches tall)
  • Sharp scissors or flower shears
  • Fresh, cool water
  • Flower food (optional)
  • Clean towel for spills
  • Garbage bag or bin for trimmings

  1. Prep Your Vase

    Start with a clean vase filled with fresh, cool water. Add flower food if you have it (follow instructions on the packet).

  2. Prepare Your Stems

    Trim the stems at an angle, about an inch from the bottom. Remove any leaves that would sit below the water line.

  3. Create Your Base

    Choose your tallest stems first. Place 3-4 of these in the vase, spreading them out to create a loose triangle or square shape. This will be the framework for your arrangement.

  4. Build Your Bouquet

    Start adding in the rest of your stems, alternating colors as you go. Place darker colors towards the bottom and lighter ones towards the top for a natural look.

  5. Add Depth

    As you add stems, place some closer to the center and others towards the edges. This creates depth and makes your arrangement look fuller.

  6. Final Touches

    Once you’ve added all your stems, step back and look at your arrangement from all angles. Adjust any stems that look out of place.

Tip: The vase you choose can affect how you arrange your Stock. A vase with a narrow neck naturally supports the stems, making it easier to design directly in the vase. For wider openings, you have a couple of options:

  1. Use floral foam to hold the stems in place
  2. Create a grid across the top with clear tape to support your arrangement

This approach keeps the stems upright and helps you achieve the shape you want.

bright purple, pink, magenta stock flowers.

Stock Flowers: Uses and Applications

Wedding Wonders

Stock is a wedding favorite. It adds a sweet scent and delicate touch to bridal bouquets and centerpieces. Its range of colors means it can fit any wedding theme, from soft hues for a brides bouquet to lively vibrant centerpieces.

Sprucing Up Your Space

There’s nothing like a vase of fresh flowers and for home decor, Stock is a winner. Pop a bunch in a vase for instant charm. They look great on dining tables, coffee tables, or even place a single stem in a vase in the powder room to greet guests.

Beautiful green hydrangea, purple stock and purple tulips.

The Perfect Present

Stock makes for thoughtful gift arrangements. Its lovely scent and long vase life mean your gift keeps on giving. Mix with other flowers or let Stock shine on its own.

Fancy Flavor

Here’s a fun fact: Stock flowers are edible! They have a mild, slightly peppery taste. Use this beautiful bloom to dress up salads or as a pretty garnish on cakes. Just make sure they’re organically grown and pesticide-free before eating.

A single stock florette.

Whether you’re picking up a bunch from your local farmers market or growing your own, these fragrant blooms offer a lot of versatility. Their clove-like scent and range of colors from white flowers to vibrant hues make them excellent cut flowers.

Use Stock as filler flowers to add volume and scent to your arrangements, or let them shine on their own in a single-stem vase. These fragrant flowers with small, densely packed blooms create a beautiful, roundy moundy shape that works well with other flowers small flowers like bachelor buttons or baby’s breath.

Remember to trim the lower leaves, cut stems at an angle, and change the water regularly to keep your Stock fresh for a long time. And don’t forget – if you’re using organic flowers, these edible flowers can add a unique touch to your culinary creations too!

Whether you’re a seasoned florist or just starting out, Stock is a good choice for creating unique floral designs. So next time you’re looking for a versatile, fragrant flower, give fresh cut Matthiola incana a try. You might just find it becomes your new favorite!

Thank you for visitng the blog today for this Tips for arranging fresh cut Matthiola incana (Stock) post.

Happy Arranging Friends!

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