Green Foliage: Eleven Varieties to Pair With Flowers

Posted by Kayla Neary on November 21 2019


The unsung hero of any floral arrangement, greenery can make or break your designs. From bouquets to arrangements, wreaths to installations, greens serve as an important "foundation" for your flowers by giving their colors a backdrop. In some cases, foliage is now being used as the primary design element, so getting your greenery right is more important that ever. There are endless options, but a few stand out at the top. Here are our best greens... which is your favorite?

Italian Ruscus

Known for its versatility and slim, glossy leaves, italian ruscus works great for cascading bouquets, floral arches or arrangements. One can find a use for this green in just about any design style. It's incredibly sturdy and a favorite for floral hair pieces.


Israeli Ruscus

A cousin to its Italian counterpart, israeli ruscus is just as sturdy but slightly shorter and more full-bodied. This ruscus is an ideal filler for wedding work and smaller arrangement styles. When cut down, it's also great for prom corsages and boutonnieres. 


Dusty Miller

For an ethereal touch, try adding dusty miller to your design. With it's pale jade leaves and velvety texture, this popular foliage is able to transcend across every season. Use in the winter for a frosted snowy look or with spring pastel blooms for a soft, yet modern style.



The Queen of tropical greenery, monstera leaf has come into its own as of late. Whether it's being used as greenery in arrangements, in potted-plant form or as a pattern in home decor, there's no escaping these unique leaves. Pair with tropical blooms and bright, bold color schemes or use a few stems in a skinny vase for simple table décor.



The eucalyptus family has several varieties that top every florists' favorite greenery list. And while they all add beautiful texture, they each have their own unique traits that work better for certain design goals.

Silver dollar eucalyptus has large circle leaves and is commonly sought-after for wedding work due to its ability to complement any bouquet style while adding fullness. Similarly, Seeded eucalyptus is a top choice for event designs. Its sturdy stems are very versatile and work for any theme from romantic to rustic. Try removing the leaves, leaving only the seeds, and mixing with silver dollar in your arrangements. These two varieties are a perfect base for garland and installation work since you can easily manipulate their stems. 


If you're searching for smaller leaves for your designs, look no further than gunnii or baby blue eucalyptus. Gunnii eucalyptus is extremely hardy and it's soft green leaves work with almost any color palette. Baby blue is a favorite for its wonderful aroma and ability to last without a water source. This makes it especially useful in dried arrangements.


Like eucalyptus, there exists a wide range of fern varieties. Ferns are known for their bright coloring and unique shapes that add a world of texture in year-round arrangements. 

Sword fern is the perfect decorative green with its bright green color and versatility. Its long, flat shape works best in line arrangements but can also be used for table decor or flower wearables. Flat fern is like sword fern's big sister. Similar in shape but flat fern has height advantage with slightly differing leafs making it likable for large, elegant designs. 


With its thin stem and wispy branches, tree fern is one of the easiest types of greenery to use. The bright green freshness of tree fern works great for sprucing-up a design or as a solid background in a colorful bouquet.

Leather leaf ferns have a unique triangular shape that’s great for adding body to a floral arrangement. It can stand alone in a vase or be used in a variety of design styles from classic to tropical. It’s a great budget-friendly option that can last up to 21 days!


One of the more unique greens, plumosa provides a perfect ‘airy’ look to arrangements. It's similar in appearance to ferns, but typically not as dense. Try using plumosa in combination with hardy greens to add dimension, or for your next outdoor event - for the perfect "boho-chic" vibe. 


Lemon Leaf (Salal)

Also known as salal, lemon leaf is often one of the first greens that designers become familiar with due to its usefulness and simplicity within any arrangement. With its lemon-shaped leaves and dark green color, this foliage is multifaceted and has a long-lasting vase life, making it a florists' best friend.



Camellia foliage stands out with its glossy, deep green leaves, perfect for holiday designs and garland. 


Olive Branch

Another widely used greenery is the olive branch. Its crispness adds an interesting texture that's great for large, dramatic arrangements. This is the perfect green to include in dried designs since it's leaves tend to dehydrate easily.



Available in variegated and green, pittosporum is great for adding a little touch of wild. It's a heavier green with densely compacted leaves and thick wood-like stems yet it won't overpower your flowers. 


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Posted by Kayla Neary

Kayla Neary is the Marketing Coordinator for Kennicott Brothers. She holds a Bachelors degree in Communications from The University of Alabama and has previous experience as a retail florist.

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