Green Plants – Trendy, Timeless and Taking Root

Sharon McGukin

Smithers-Oasis North America Design Director Sharon McGukin, AIFD, AAF, PFCI
enjoys sharing floral tips and techniques for celebrating life with flowers.

All photos: Sandy Schroeck

Why incorporate 2021 Color Trends to increase
flower and floral product sales? 

Color is the most eye-catching element of design. Our brain interprets color in ways we are not even consciously aware of. Colors evoke emotions, recall memories, or create associations with objects or experiences.
Color allows us to connect with customers in a personal way.

On-trend color is like fashion, it inspires consumers to want something new. 

Fads, Trends and Styles

Fads, trends, and styles are projections of what consumers will want to buy or do. When something ‘trends’, that popular fashion, décor, activity, product, etc. is evolving into a recognized movement.
    • Fad: a new idea; becomes a craze for 6 months to a year.
    • Trend: a general direction of change; lasts in popularity for 3 to 5 years.
    • Style: a popular, distinctive way of doing something; lasts 5 to 10 years.

Be strategic about selling trendy materials. Fads appear and disappear quickly. Trends differ regionally. Consumers are willing to invest more in styles because they last longer. 

Trends Tell a Story

According to Sandy Schroeck AIFD, PFCI, CFD “Trends are stories we use to sell products. A trend story helps the customer connect emotionally with a product.”

Sandy suggests labeling your collections by name to give them a personality.
“The customer can then share that story, giving the item more importance.”

Trends do not appear suddenly. They flow into the consumer’s awareness, then recede.
   • Trending in – getting noticed.
   • On trend - becoming a recognizable trend.
   • Down-trend - beginning to wane.  

Consider the 80/20 rule. When 80% of consumers want and do the same thing at the same time, it is a trend. The remaining 20% do the exact opposite, as a counter-trend.
   • Mass market shoppers (80%) look for best prices.
   • Boutique shoppers (20%) look for best value or unique products.
   • Boutique shoppers buy into a new trend first and will pay more for it.

Understanding the consumer’s visceral reaction to color can be instrumental in creating sales. 

Oasis University Color Trends 2021 Webinar

Sandy, of Trend on Design, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, loves the process of connecting floral trends to flower sales. She recently shared some color trends in this Oasis University webinar.

Pantone Color of the Year 2021

Retailers often think of the Color of the Year as a trending-in hue (or hues).

Actually, Pantone identifies a color expression that’s already prominent in retail across the global marketplace. A mood, attitude, movement or products currently selling off the shelves.

Pantone announced “positivity supported by fortitude” for 2021. Bright, optimistic yellow (Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating) and grounded, resilient gray (for Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray)

Yellow is luminous, optimistic and imaginative.
• The sunny, happy color of friendship.
• The vibrant hue of enlightenment, idealism, and caution.
• An intense color, best used as an accent. Gold accents too.

Yellow represents hope, well-being and brighter days on the horizon.


Gray, a mix of black and white, is a neutral often associated with technology.
• The absence of color that reminds of neutrality, balance, or personal grounding.
• Associated with anxiety or feelings of moodiness and depression.
• A dull hue that lacks visual energy like ashes or lead.

The strength of gray’s practical, weathered tones can foster feelings of resilience.

Sandy offered these color projections in the webinar. 

Shades of Green

Green is both as the color of nature and an environmental movement.

Green, from neutral to Nordic shades, helps decrease feelings of stress.
• Cool Water blue-greens calm, soothe, and refresh inner harmony.
• Emerald green inspires rejuvenation, relaxation, and reflection.
• Vegetation, open landscapes, growing plants.
Local Flower Farming and Plant Parenting are components of this trend. 


Vibrance is a graffiti-mix of fun colors. Hot hues that move toward
the eye.

Red radiates joy, energy, and enthusiasm with an artful ‘look at me’ intensity.
• A vibrant color of visual pulsating power.
• Represents passion and danger or love and sensitivity.
• Can mean rage or romance, willpower or wrath.

In shop windows, in-store vignettes, online displays, fresh flower designs, or wedding collections, vibrant shades of red draw the eye like a magnet. 

Neo Tropical Designs

Bold colors layered in a blend of ‘Temps and Trops’ – temperate and tropical flowers. This innovative style, brought forward by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD, offers an exciting way to uniquely mix color and texture.

In the past, designers were hesitant to combine the casual, rounded shapes of temperates with the dramatic, angular forms of tropicals because of their opposing characteristics.

Bold versus pastel colors, matte versus shiny surfaces, smooth versus rough textures. Today, it’s a mix that works.


Orange is an energetic color and a fruit of the same name.
• A youthful, exciting, and happy color for modern thinkers.
• Often associated with health and vitality.
A color of change and creativity, prominent in the changing of seasons.  

CMG’s Calm Down

In the midst of a pandemic, Color Marketing Group’s ‘Calm Down’, may be just what we need.


Purple is kind-hearted and compassionate color.
   • Lavender, the color and the fragrance encourage relaxation.
   • Purple hues reflect luxury, royalty, sophistication, and mysticism.
   • A cool color that can also represent calm, sadness, or change.

Depending on the intensity of shade, purple reflects strength, wisdom, or peace.

Trends evolve in fashion, fabrics, furniture, then décor. Good resources for analyzing in-coming color trends include:
   • Furniture fabric swatches.
   • Fashion runway shows.
   • Paint distributors.
   • Pinterest Predicts (Ideas)

To identify regional trends, pay attention to the direction your local competitors, clothing stores, popular catalogs, and big box retailers are going. Once trendy material hits mass market discount stores, it’s done. Delete those items from your product mix. Promote items that are trending. 

Get Social with your Media!

How can you deliver this message to potential customers?

Sandy suggests that “Social Media is your connection to your customer – the front window of your shop.” Buy local. Saving main street. Small business awareness. These buzzwords make your online presence more important than ever.
   • One Click social media posts.
   • Live promotions online.
   • Selling via online comments.
   • Virtual Floral Workshops.
   • Zoom Classes.
   • Virtual open house or tour.

Do your homework. Study national color trends.
Then, establish your shop’s Color Trend Collection for the year based on customer preference.

Create applicable color harmonies for everyday design, sympathy, home décor or wedding and event work. Promote these collections to your in-store and online customers to increase sales. 

How can you use Color Trends in your floral business to
increase 2021 sales?