Posts Tagged “geometry”

Flowers & Geometry: Spheres & Balls

I recently saw a question about how many carnations would it take to cover a floral foam sphere or ball.  Upon ready this question, I thought back to my previous blog post in which I discussed how you come up with how many flowers to cover a round flat surface, like a round table.  And then I wondered why I didn’t discuss a sphere as that seems just a common.

So, the nerdy part first …. the formula to figure out the surface area for any sized sphere or ball is 4*Pi*r2 (Pi = 3.14159).  But if you want a short-cut to figure this all out, visit (you can calculate the area for a circle, sphere, or a cylinder.  All you need to do is enter the diameter and then the calculator will spit out several numbers.  You just need the AREA.  (If you Google “area of sphere calculator” you will get results for many other calculators as well.)

For this post, let’s say you want to cover a 12” floral foam ball with carnations that are 2” when fully opened.  A 12” sphere will have an area of 452.39 inches.  Divide that number by 2 which equals 226.195.  So you will need about 226 carnations to cover a 12 inch ball.

Pretty cool – right?  Who said you weren’t going to use those pesky math skills in real life?


Flowers & Geometry

So the nerd in me got very excited when I saw in my inbox the following message from Viviana Grasso of Petal Play Design:

Hello! I need help! I have to cover a 60″ round table with white football mums, is there some sort of recipe to try to figure out how much to order? thanks!

Yep, I’m one of those nerdy girls who finished high school math with Calculus.  So when I get a math question, I get happy.  Maybe you all already have a way to solve this question, but just in case I wanted to share my answer with you. So here is what I came up with:

You can use the geometric formula to figure out the area of a table and divide that by the area of the football mum (
Using the formula R * R * Pi (R=radius), you would get 2827.4333 square inches for the table, then if you divide that by the what the average area of a football mum or the flower you are working with (for arguments sake let’s say an average mum is 3.5 inches then the area would be 9.6211 square inches) … that equals 293.878 – I would order around 300 stems plus a bit extra.

I’m happy to say that Petal Play Design just sent over pictures of the table they designed (below) and said that the formula worked just as we thought.  Beautiful isn’t it?

Let me know what other floral formulas you have used or other floral math problems that you may need help solving!


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