Bohemian bouquets

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When it comes to cut flower trends, brides and stylists want a natural feel, but nothing messy.

February 25, 2020

Vibrant colors and natural feels are a hit in this year's bridal bouquets, along with the unexpected desire for dried botanicals.
Photo: © hiv260 | Adobe Stock

Go ahead, immerse yourself in nature! If you follow cut flower trends, that’s the word on the street for 2020. A focus on a more natural feel and eclectic mix of materials could make it easier for you to get back to your natural roots and boost your floral product offerings this year.

Go boho?

As an avid lover of cut flowers, I’m always keen to keep an eye on floral trends and how they inform or are influenced by other horticulture industry trends. If I had to label all the different trends and styles I’m seeing emerge this year, it would be refined bohemian. Brides and cut flower stylists are looking to create a more natural feel with their creations, but they aren’t looking for anything messy. Sophistication is in, but with a soft edge.

Mix it up

The most exciting thing I’m seeing in floral design and events is that live plants, cut foliage, fresh flowers and dried materials are all being mixed to create unusual and beautiful arrangements. And that’s apparently exactly what consumers are looking for right now: something different.

DRIED FLOWERS PHOTO: © vikakurylo81 | Adobe Stock

Natural vibes

If you look at the Flower Trends Forecast Floral + Design Trend Book for 2020, you’ll find this common thread ties all their trend themes together. Two themes that stand out to me are called “A New Leaf” and “Posh + Polished.” The former creates a style immersed in nature where cut flowers are mixed with plant materials, cut foliage and dried botanicals. The latter blends unexpected materials such as painted tropical foliage and brown dyed flowers.

According to Jill Mullaney, owner of Platinum Petals — and my accounts manager here at Halleck Horticultural — these are BIG trends among her Millennial and younger brides. Mullaney states that her brides want more and more tropical foliage, especially palm leaves. They also want more foliage that is reminiscent of their houseplant collection — both fresh and sprayed white or other colors. When it comes to live plants and fresh foliage, we’ve moved beyond the standard succulent centerpiece to painted Monstera and fern foliage.

Dead is in

Back to that brown-dyed flowering thing. Yes, it’s for real. But it’s not just flowers dyed brown that brides are seeking, it’s all things fully dried — flowers and foliage. My florist friends call it the “dead look” and it is also a very real thing. How does a big uptick in the popularity of dried botanicals help you as a cut product grower? Well, it certainly offers up an opportunity to make use of overstock. Consider drying leftovers and marketing them to your local florists or wholesale floral buyers. This is also a great way to market “no waste” floral.

Pampas grass
PAMPA GRASS Photo: © yuriy | Adobe Stock

Plant parents

As this relates to the rest of the horticulture industry, the most important market shift to pay attention to is how the houseplant craze is influencing cut flower trends. My inside sources tell me that more and more of their brides are “into houseplants” and as a result request more tropical foliage in their bouquets and arrangements. They want to see more of the nature they are surrounding themselves with at home reflected in floral for their special events.

Color please!

When it comes to color, it appears that autumn colors will be in year-round. Peachy beige, orange, crimson and deep burgundy flowers are trending. Pastels such as pale lavender and pink are also sneaking back in. There is also hope on the horizon for a return to more bright colors with Flower Trends Forecast’s “Vibrant Vibe” trend, which sports harmonious bright oranges, pinks and yellows that give off an international flair.

When it comes to live plants and fresh foliage, we’ve moved beyond the standard succulent centerpiece to painted Monstera and fern foliage.


When it comes to specific materials, Mullaney tells me that she needs ALL your pampas grass. Apparently, pampas grass foliage and inflorescence are in big demand. She’s also seeing increased demand for air plants incorporated into bouquets. She also sees a big opportunity for locally grown dahlias because they don’t ship well. Cut dahlias are trending right now, so you might want to reach out to your local florists to get a pulse on demand. When asked what she always needs but can’t ever seem to get, Mullaney says, “Clematis, I always need white clematis!”

Floral trends for 2020 give growers a chance to grow and sell a bit outside the box. If you grow live plants, have cool cut foliage or flowers that dye or dry well, this is your year.

The author (CPH) owns Halleck Horticultural, LLC, through which she provides horticultural consulting, business and marketing strategy, product development and branding, and content creation for green industry companies.