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I've used flowers. Here's what I do:

1) I make sure there is no glitter or 'decorative stuff' on them that could contaminate the water.

2) I make sure there is no metal in the stems. (If there is, I remove it, or I use a section without metal.)

3) I submerge them in a pot of hot (not boiling) water. I cover the pot, and let it soak overnight (to remove any excess dyes or contaminants).

4) If I want a floating plant, and this isn't floating, I'll create a hole in the back of a silicone suction cup, and push the plant 'stem' through it. (Don't make the hole go all the way through the cup though. It won't stick if there's a hole all the way through.) If I want the plant to be anchored on the bottom, I'll use a tiny bit of aquarium-safe silicone to attach the plant to something like a river rock.
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