How to Choose Colours that Complement Each Other for a Flower Arrangement

How many times have you found yourself stuck in the hustle and bustle of the flower markets, surrounded with countless gorgeous blooms in different varieties and colours and you're unable to make a decision on which to buy?

You might be there for 20 minutes um-ing and ah-ing over pink or peach coloured roses. It happens to all of us!

Understanding the colour wheel and different types of colour schemes will assist you in making these kind of decisions and help you to achieve the overall look you're going for, particularly when you're getting started.

The eye perceives colour in relation to its environment so it's important to consider this when selecting a colour palette for your flower arrangement. For example, a red flower within a white palette can look dark, whereas a red flower within a dark palette can appear light in comparison. 

Lets start with basics and take a look at the colour wheel:

  • Primary/foundation colours are known as red, blue and yellow.
  • When you blend 2 primary colours, this creates secondary colours which are purple, green and orange.
  • Combining primary and secondary colours will leave you with tertiary/intermediate colours such as red-orange, yellow-green and blue-purple.

So what does this colour wheel tell us about selecting colours that complement each other? 

To understand this further, lets take a look a few different types of colour schemes.


Monochromatic colour schemes uses different tones of the same hue to create a unified, yet contrasting palette.

Take a look at the example below.


Analogous colour schemes use several colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel to create a soft and harmonious design.


Contrasting colour schemes use a large variety of colours on distant sides of the colour wheel to form a visually exciting and vibrant theme.


Complementary colour schemes use colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel for example red and green to create a balanced design.

Which one do you prefer? 

Are you after something striking and contrasting? Or do you prefer an arrangement with a soft and delicate palette?

Consider the overall effect that your trying to achieve and have a look at each of these colour scheme types to determine which one best suits your brief.

We would love to hear which type is your favourite and why in the comment box below!