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Color Theory in Floristry

Applying the Color Wheel and Harmonies In Floral Design

Red symbolizes love and passion. Yellow rouses happy and bubbly vibes. White and blue elicits feelings of calm and serenity. In most visual art forms, the proper use of colors is fundamental in creating pieces. Floral design is no exception! Using color theory is the first step in designing beautiful floral arrangements.

Before this, we talked about the origins and styles of different flower arrangements. Now, we'll take up the basics of color and design in the art of floristry. We'll go much deeper into simple concepts like ROYGBIV. From there, we'll cover more complex principles of color combination. Here's the brief rundown of the color theory that every florist in the industry needs!

Floral Color Wheel

Depending on how you want to use them, colors can be soft and subtle, bright and radiant, or quiet and serious. But whichever combination you use, it's vital to refer to the color wheel! This will help your floral pieces look more pleasant and exquisite. There are three basic terms in color theory: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary colors are the three main parts of the color wheel - red, yellow, and blue. These are the only colors that aren't created from the mixture of other colors. Secondary colors are blends of any two primary colors. Orange is the mix of red and yellow. Green is the mix of yellow and blue. Purple is the mix of blue and red. Tertiary colors are blends of any primary color with any secondary color. Red orange, yellow orange, red violet, blue violet (indigo), and blue green (teal), are examples of this.

Color Styles You Need To Know To Create Harmonious Arrangements

It's essential to use the color wheel in appropriate and creative ways. It can help speed up the process of selecting flowers, foliage and accessories. With this, you can create charming, harmonious arrangements and decor with ease. There are a million and one ways to mix your colors and styles to go with the theme and occasion! To launch your inspired flow of ideas, you can follow these four basic color harmonies. (Tip: Keep that color wheel in view for an easy reference point with these combinations.).


These are pairs of colors right across from each other on the color wheel. Examples include red and green, yellow and violet, and blue and orange. They create an interesting palette due to their stark contrast to each other. This is excellent for building intense or bright floral arrangements!


These schemes consist of three colors beside one another on the wheel. It the two most prevalent divisions of colors: warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (blue, green, purple). Florists match these color harmonies to a variety of themes! Whether for somber moods or appealing motifs, they mix well to produce a flowing look.


On a tight budget? These arrangements are light on the pocket but charming to the eye! Simple yet elegant, they suit any theme or celebration with ease. Referred to as "greenery", they add the appeal of nature's touch to any arrangement.


This scheme uses three colors in equal distance from each other on the color wheel. In floral arrangements, this appears in bunches of the primaries and secondaries. Florists often select muted or lighter shades of the triad. They also go with a mix of rich and soft shades for a pleasing, balanced aesthetic. Want a more detailed guide on making floral designs for specific containers or events? Check out our two-part series on how to create floral arrangements!

Read all about Flower Flower Ornaments For Any Occasion. in our next article.