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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 evoke feelings of calm and serenity. In most visual art forms, the proper use of colors is fundamental in creating pieces. Floral design is no different! Using color theory is the very first step in designing amazing floral arrangements.

Before this, we explored the origins and styles of different flower arrangements. Now, we'll take on the basics of color and design in the art of floristry. We'll go deeper into easy 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 delicate, bright and vibrant, or quiet and serious. But whichever combination you use, it's important to refer to the color wheel! This will help your floral pieces look more lovely and gorgeous. There are three basic terms in color theory: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary colors are the three major parts of the color wheel - red, yellow, and blue. These are the only colors that aren't made 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 combinations 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 vital to use the color wheel in proper and unique ways. It can help speed up the process of selecting flowers, foliage and accessories. With this, you can create beautiful, harmonious arrangements and decoration with ease. There are a million and one ways to mix your colors and styles to match the theme and occasion! To launch your artistic 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 intriguing palette thanks to their sharp contrast to each other. This is excellent for designing intense or vibrant floral arrangements!


These schemes consist of three colors beside each other on the wheel. It creates the two most common 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 solemn moods or delightful motifs, they blend well to yield a flowing look.


On a tight budget? These arrangements are easy on the pocket but charming to the eye! Simple yet elegant, they suit any theme or event with ease. Known as "greenery", they add the charm 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 opt for subtler or lighter shades of the triad. They also go for a mix of rich and soft shades for a pleasing, balanced aesthetic. Want a more in-depth guide on making floral designs for specific containers or occasions? Check out our two-part series on how to craft floral arrangements!

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