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The importance of colour symbolism in floral design


As floral designers, there must be an awareness not only of the theories of color, the harmonies of color, but of the effect of color.

It is often suggested that bright, warm and happy colors be sent to a hospital patient.  If that patient is just out of surgery, their sensitivity to color is heightened, almost exaggerated.  Orange, yellow, red can be abrasive when this patient needs soothing, not stimulation.

The artists in the 19th and 20th centuries shifted from an emphasis on form to a dedication of color.  Van Gogh stated:

“the painter of the future will be a colorist in a way no one has ever seen”.

Please read on to understand the psychology behind various colours and symbolisms you should consider when arranging flowers.


Is brilliant, intense and associated with heat, fire, blood, love, hate, sexuality and courage.  It is associated with danger but also with Christmas and Valentine’s.  Stop signs are red but so are tomatoes & strawberries.  Red is loved or hated but always noticed.

If you love red, you are aggressive, vigorous and vulnerable to impulsive moods and actions.  You have empathy for your fellow man but these feelings are easily swayed.  You are an optimist and life is to be a happy experience every day or you become upset.


Is tranquil, serene, soothing and cold.  It is water, the sky, the sea and gives a feeling of peace, tranquility and contentment.

If you have a strong preference for blue, you are sensitive to others and to yourself.  You are cool-headed and collected with a secure hold on your passions and enthusiasms.  You like to be admired for your steady character, your wisdom and perception.  The ‘blue’ individual is authentic, honest and dependable.


Is sunny and radiant and associated with optimism and anticipation but also with caution (the ‘yield’ sign).

The hue of imagination, novelty, nervous drive and search for great self fulfillment.  Intellectuals and idealists favour yellow and the individual who prefers yellow is usually logical and organized with clearly formed thoughts.


Is clear, moist, cool and associated with hope, growth, regeneration and money.  The color of nature is quieting, peaceful and gives a feeling of immortality.

To prefer green is to be educated, reputable and civilized.  And if reds are extroverts and blues introspective, greens have more balance.  Those who prefer green make good teachers.


Is deep and soft, associated with royalty, magic and mourning but also with Easter.  Purple is mystic, pompous and dignified.

Lovers of purple assume an exclusive, individualistic stamp.  You may seem aloof at times and chances are you do not have great powers of decision and consistency.  You have a multi-dimensional personality.


Is exciting, active and energetic, associated with food but also  warning.  Orange stimulates taste, fragrance but also uneasiness.  Orange is a prime color used in fast food restaurants.

Psychologically, orange indicates a cheery spirit and charming manner.  Individuals who prefer orange are bright spirited and good-natured with a radiant outlook on life.  Your face reflects an easy smile and you are articulate in your communication.


Is light, cold, cleanliness and chastity, associated purity and frankness.

Fondness of white reveals a trait of simplicity and the desire for an unpretentious lifestyle.


Is darkness, neutrality, emptiness and strength, associated with mourning but also with sophistication.

Is a mighty, dignified and stark color, regal without being pompous and dignified without being officious.  Black impresses with real substance and weight.  The word sophistication best describes the black type.


Those who prefer grey lead cautious lives.  Since grey is a compromise between black and white, those who identify with grey search for composure and peace.  A grey suit worn by either a man or woman is a symbol of neutrality.  It communicates a desire to be right and to be accepted.

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