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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 vital in creating pieces. Floral design is no exception! Using color theory is the first step in designing stunning floral arrangements.

Before this, we discussed the origins and styles of different flower arrangements. Now, we'll tackle the basics of color and design in the art of floristry. We'll go deeper into simple concepts like ROYGBIV. From there, we'll go over 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 gentle, bright and lively, or quiet and somber. But no matter what 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 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 combinations 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 creative ways. It can help speed up the process of selecting flowers, foliage and accessories. With this, you can create lovely, harmonious arrangements and decoration with ease. There are a million and one ways to mix your colors and styles to suit the theme and occasion! To launch your inspired flow of ideas, you can use 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 appealing palette because of their clear contrast to each other. This is excellent for creating intense or radiant floral arrangements!


These schemes consist of three colors beside each other on the wheel. It produces the two most common divisions of colors: warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (blue, green, purple). Florists match these color harmonies to various themes! Whether for solemn moods or exciting motifs, they mix well to create a flowing look.


On a strict budget? These arrangements are light on the pocket but pleasing to the eye! Simple yet chic, they suit any theme or event with ease. Referred to as "greenery", they add the beauty 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 bundles of the primaries and secondaries. Florists often opt for gentler 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 detailed guide on making floral designs for specific containers or events? Check out our two-part series on how to make floral arrangements!

Read all about Floral Arrangements in our next article.