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How do I use The Slate Vase?

The Slate Vase is simple and so easy to use!

Simply fill the vase base with water, trim stems to desired height and arrange them on the spikes.

Thicker stems can be placed directly on to the spikes. And thinner stems? Simply wedge several stems together between the spikes or tie stems together into a posy (small bouquet) before placing onto the spikes.

Do the spikes injure the stems?

No, in fact the action of spiking a floral/green stem onto the Kenzan (the metal pins) serves to aerate and expand it - allowing a more thorough hydration to occur.   Piercing the stems, combined with keeping a shallow level of water, limits that decay so commonly experienced with deeper vases. 

  • Stems easily placed into position onto the spikes
  • Piercing the stem causes a hydrating, capillary action
  • Noticeably less decay and unpleasant odours
  • Best of all ~ longer arrangement life

Can I put my vase outside?

Absolutely! The Slate Vase is suitable for indoor AND outdoor use! The slate is fully sealed and water resistant, so no harm done if the slate gets wet from rain or water spillage. Simply wipe down with a cloth as needed.

How long will my arrangement last in The Slate Vase?

Since your flowers / greenery wont be “drowning” in excess water, expect your cut stems to last approx. 30% longer in The Slate Vase. How great is that!

The Slate Vase concept of keeping the water shallow, acts to avoids the rot and unpleasant odours that commonly occur in deeper vases. Instead the water supply is drawn directly into the stem's pierced or exposed end, and will keep your arrangement staying fresh and beautiful longer!
Simple replenish the water as needed over time!

*NOTE: Certain items might grow roots in The Slate Vase after many weeks. Customers have reported this happening with plants such as succulents, bamboo varieties, ‘mother-in-law’s-tongue, rhoeo and more…

Like this idea? A few customers have recommended you can also assist the process by adding a small drop of fertilizer when the roots appear. The item could then be planted into soil, or remain in the vase with the root system intact.

How and when should I replenish the water in my vase?

The Slate Vase requires very little effort to keep your arrangement looking fresh. Just keep an eye out for when the water level is low or no longer covers the bottom of the Kenzan (the metal spikes).

When needed, replenish the water to, or just below, the slate hole's rim. There is really no need to change the water (as required with deeper vases where the water becomes unpleasant over time).

Simply pour water into the vase with a watering can, water bottle, or if your arrangement allows it, refill it under the tap. The water fills the entire saucer hidden underneath the slate.

How much water to add and how often varies with vase size, the number of stems in your arrangement and placement in your home.

For example, an arrangement of herbs placed on a sunny kitchen windowsill will exhaust the given water supply faster, in comparison to a single rose stem on a cool bathroom vanity.

HANDY TIP: To check the water in a vase – lift the side of a vase slightly up on an angle with a gentle movement. The subsequent water movement will help determine the water level. If the water is near or below the bottom of the spikes then it is time to ‘top up’ the water supply.

Do I need to change the water?

Nope! Just make sure your vase is 'topped up' regularly or when needed. The water in The Slate Vase stays fresher than in deeper 'cup' style vase, since your arrangement sits in a shallow amount of water – avoiding the detrimental soaking of stems which causes slime, smell and dirty water.

How do I clean my vase?

The Slate Surface:
If needed, wipe over the surface with a soft damp cloth. Do not use any chemicals or harsh cleaners. The slate has been well sealed inside and outside with a specific non-toxic sealant to ensure it is not porous to water.

Inside Your Slate Vase:
To clean inside the vase base, dilute a small amount of vinegar OR bleach into some water and pour into the vase reservoir. Using a rotating motion, swish this liquid around until satisfied with the cleaning effect.

If needed use a long implement eg toothpick to scrape out any excess plant matter left between the pins after prolonged use.

We only use Japanese Kenzans (the metal spikes) of very high quality. Made out of marine grade stainless steel and manufactured specifically for this immersion in water, they are extremely durable and easy to clean.  Depending on the water hardness in your area, the material may dull over time, but this will not affect function nor effectiveness.  You can expect many, long years of quality use.

What Size Vase will suit me?

The size of the vase does impact the function - larger vases display tall, top heavy arrangements best as they have the stability of the wider base to support this. Small or medium sized vases are more than sufficient if you prefer a few stems on a smaller bench space.

In many ways The Slate Vase provides a 'less is more' approach. No need to spend huge dollars on large bunches... maybe choose a single beautiful flower for your display, add a touch of greenery, and it is complete.

Another point of difference with The Slate Vase is the ability to start tall, then trim the stem over time as needed, until displaying it with just the remainder of the bloom. eg. Gerbera flower - generally this stems will wilt before the flower is finished... You can extend your enjoyment by trimming bit by bit all the way to within an inch of the flower. Short stem - no problem! Now that's versatile. 

NOTE: Low arrangements can go in ANY sized vase:
Shorter arrangements and/or single stems will work in any of our vases.
Know a child who likes to pick you flowers with barely any stem? Our vases will take such tricky, short-stemmed items with ease. 

Want to avoid blocking dinner table conversation with a tall arrangement? Simply cut your floral stems short to better enjoy the company and The Slate Vase centerpiece. 

Short stems, single flowers, bunches or tall stunning arrangements... from SMALL to DELUXE sized vases ~ choose the size vase to suit your needs.



  • Great for ALL arrangements (holds small to very tall)
  • Most versatile of the vases - the premium Slate Vase at the top end of our range.
  • Largest water reservoir (21cm diameter) providing greatest stability & water supply.
  • Large hole in slate and Large 45mm Kenzan (spikes) which enables several very thick stems or a large bunch of standard stems to be displayed eg. Gingers, sunflowers
  • Suitable for oversized arrangements seen in large foyer, reception areas, or even an impressive entrance table in your home.
  • Suitable also for something as simple as a lovely array of succulents.




  • Great for MOST arrangements (holds small to very tall)
  • Quite versatile - the 2nd largest Slate Vase in the range.
  • Very large water reservoir (19cm diameter).
  • Standard hole in slate and 38 mm Kenzan (spikes) 
  • Only slightly less than Deluxe vase capabilities (primary difference is Kenzan size).


  • Great for small, medium and some taller arrangements
  • Versatile - the 3rd largest Slate Vase in the range.
  • Large water reservoir (17cm diameter).
  • Standard hole in slate and 38 mm Kenzan (spikes) 
  • An arrangement with tall Birds of Paradise or similar is best in this size vase (or larger) to support the height of such top heavy floral items.




  • Great for both small or medium arrangements
  • Ideal if you don't have the space to display a large vase.
  • Medium water reservoir (13cm or 15cm diameter) .
  • Standard hole in slate and 38 mm Kenzan (spikes) 
  • Suitable for moderate height to shorter arrangements.
  • Popular idea: why not have a beautiful bunch of herbs on the kitchen bench for easy cooking access. Remember, if stems are very fine, put them in a posy and trim stems level to display easily in your vase!




  • Best suits small/low arrangements (single or few stems*)
  • Popular size - the small vase, great for small spaces.
  • Small water reservoir (11cm diameter) .
  • Standard hole in slate and 38 mm Kenzan (spikes) 
  • Suitable for short, few stems or single stemmed arrangements. 
  • Ideal for the areas with little space but still needing that lovely touch of nature. eg. Bathroom vanities, bedside tables, study desks, caravans.




I have a vase already. How do I work out what size it is to match it with one online?

The slate piece on top of the vase sits over a saucer base underneath. Each individual vase has its own unique slate shape and amount of overhang.

It is the measurements of this base underneath that will best indicate the 'size' of a vase.  (specifically the diameter of the top edge of the saucer, where it connects to the slate).

Our vase sizes are currently categorized as the following:

  1. Small (11cm diameter base) 
  2. Medium (either 13cm or 15cm diameter base)
  3. Large (17cm diameter base)
  4. Extra Large (19cm diameter base)
  5. Deluxe (21cm diameter base)

The Slate Vase function also increases as the saucer underneath gets larger in width, offering greater capacity to hold water and better balance for tall arrangements.


INSPIRATION & HISTORY behind The Slate Vase

The Slate Vase utilizes a shallow ‘saucer’ instead of a deeper ‘cup’ of water (seen in typical western vases) as this leads to less rotting of the stems and allows the water to stay fresh for longer. The low profile concept actually lengthens the life of your arrangement (approx. 30%) compared to the identical stems submerged in the water of a 'cup' style vase.

The shallow water reservoir is inspired by the ancient Japanese style of flower arranging called IKEBANA (ick-ee-bahna) meaning "flower kept alive".
  The Japanese name for the metal spike is 'Kenzan' (also known over the years as a 'Frog', floral pin or stayput).

For centuries, the Japanese have used open, shallow bowls of water with a ‘Kenzan’ sitting in the base (as well as other Ikebana concepts) to create beautiful floral arrangements. 

Inspired by this particular unique and practical concept - we have translated the ‘low profile vase’ further into the artisan product you find here at The Slate Vase. 
The addition of the natural slate stone differentiates our vase from all other vases – it is a case of ‘nature displaying nature’…  Slate displaying Stems…  Nature’s beauty in stone and stem. 

It’s basically all about #morenature. Good for wellbeing!

More about Ikebana

The creative art form that is Ikebana has a different approach to that of most western floristry.  Drawing emphasis on shape, line and form and focuses at times on more unusual parts such as the stems or leaves. It tends to be more minimal in style, featuring fewer flowers and other elements. 

A quick google of 'Ikebana' will bring up a wealth of further information. Even though you do not need to know about this art form to successfully use The Slate Vase, many customers become interested over time.  If you are curious to know more, here are a few easy to read links to help you on your way.


Note: We hope to eventually link to Ikebana classes and more in this space. If you wish to stay in touch regarding this, consider signing up for The Slate Vase newsletter (form in website footer) to be notified of such news.


Delivery Questions - please see Delivery Policy

How does my vase get packed?

We aim to limit the impact on the environment with any manufacturing process and packaging used – thus a lot of our protective wrapping is recycled and/or compostable material. We are not perfect yet in this but are trying to do better – one process, one step at a time.

Our slate products are not a standard sized item to pack – each handmade piece is unique and varying in shape and size. Therefore we spend extra time with each package, using a variety of mediums (eg. shredded papers / recycled cardboard and boxes / bubble wrap & other such protective packaging only when recycled from other businesses) to aim for a low an impact as possible.

So = all hand made AND hand packaged with love from us to you.

Underneath all the protective packaging you will find your vase(s) and slate items nicely presented and encased in tissue, ready to be unwrapped and put to use.
Feel free to let us know if you are purchasing your item(s) as a gift and getting the package delivered directly to them.

We are happy to include a personalised message at no extra charge. Just let us know what you wish written onto a card to be packed with your gift.