Foliage play an important role in an arrangement. Mainly because it can hide the mechanics of an arrangement.
For example, to cover an exposed foam in an arrangement, foliage is used. To make an arrangement look 'fuller' and more compact, the right foliage type can help.
Although many foliage is green, colored ones can be used also, depending on how you use it in the arrangement. Common colors are green, yellow, red and brown.
Green is considered natural in an arrangement, so you need not worry about color balance so much. But for colored foliage, you need to pay extra attention on which flower color to go with it, as it can make or break your arrangement.
Below here, I've assembled a list of common foliage for arrangements that florist use, be it in arrangements or bouquets.
I hope you find it very educational.
This is the most common foliage for arrangement, at least to me. It is mainly used to cover exposed foam. Nevertheless, it can also be used to give more volume to a certain part of an arrangement.For example, if you are making a triangular arrangement, the three corners of the 'triangle' can be enhanced using baker's leaves.Very easy to work with and can last a long time.
Xanadu leaves are big glossy leaves, rather flat and shaped like a hand. It is considered a tropical leaf and often used in tropical bridal bouquets.
Polycia leaves are also often used in arrangements as well as bouquets. They are somewhat short in height and have rather soft branches.
Variegated ivy is also commonly used in arrangements as well as bridal bouquets. It matches perfectly well with roses.Its structure is like vine and when used correctly, can create beautiful curvy lines.
There are two types of this fern. One is the flat type with soft small leaves, which we also call Springery. The other is the foxtail type, also known as Meyeri. It is long and straight, with the same type of small and soft leaves. It may be hard to work with because the leaves are so delicate and easily fallen off. This will leave your arrangement look bare and around the arrangement messy.
Birds Nest Fern
Birds nest ferns are large long ferns with wavy sides. Often used in tropical arrangements. Since it is quite big, it is often noticeable in arrangements.
Monstera leaves are big and wide leaves, shaped like a heart. Can be used both in arrangements and bouquets.
Cordyline leaves are very glossy, long and straight leaves. The sides of the leaf are red. Can be used as it is or folded. Since it has a little bit of red, the flowers used with this leaf may have to be matched with its red.
Draceana leaves are also long and straight. What's special about it is that it has yellow stripes. Can be used as it is or folded, just like the cordyline leaf. If cordyline leaves are glossy, draceana leaves are not.
Dusty Miller is also a special kind of foliage. Because it is silver-gray in color and its texture is velvety. Mostly used in bridal bouquets and matches well with pink roses.
There are many types of hosta leaves. Different type may have different colors and shapes but basically they are quite round in shape. Some with white margin and some not. Can be used both in arrangements and bouquets.
The calathea leaf is a long and straight leaf. The leaf sides are red in color and on the body, sometimes green spots, which makes this foliage a very peculiar one.
When we speak of foliage for arrangements, don't limit your mind to just 'green leaves'. There are many types of foliage out there, with different colors, shapes and texture that can be used in arrangements.
It is up to the florist to cleverly identify its characteristics and mix and match with other flowers to make a beautiful arrangement.