Flower Bouquet Fillers to Enhance Your Bouquets

Mixed bouquet with bright pink bee balm flowers filling in gaps
This mixed bouquet had few flowers to go on. But the bee balm, acting as a filler, supports the arrangement by adding volume and filling gaps. Notice the sea lavender in the center that adds a bit of sparkle.

When arranging your cut flowers look for your larger and showiest flowers first. Then the smaller ones that will be secondary. And in between those will be the filler materials. The fillers provide a supporting role for your flowers.

Bouquet fillers can provide structure to the arrangement, act as blenders, and they simply fill in the empty spaces.

Branches, ferns, and some flowers provide structure.

Branches like Eucalyptus and boxwood, flowers like peach-leafed campanula and lavender are all upright and provide strong vertical elements for a bouquet.

Examples of smaller, less showy flowers that play a supporting role are celosia, gomphrena, and carnations. Their colors can add to mix with similar or contrasting colors to set off the main, larger flowers.

Examples of flowers that act as blenders and that fill in the gaps, are feverfew, statice, and baby’s breath.

White colors are good blenders to harmonize a variety of other flower colors. Or something like purple statice can contrast with the colors of hot summer yellows and orange for a striking effect.

Bouquet fillers are found mostly in smaller flowers and greenery from foliage, and ferns. My list below are good flowers and foliage plants that are easy to grow (or find) and are basics for a versatile cutting garden.

Find perennials below and then the annuals further down.



Agastache: Taller Agastaches are good to use. They drop their flowers a little early but they have a nice fragrance and are good for structure.


Bee Balm

Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila)


Chrysanthemum: Spray type


Globe Thistle: (Echinops ritro)

Gold Stick

Golden Glow: Good for both feature and filler flowers


Ornamental Oreganos

Peach-leafed Campanula

Perennial Statice: Sea Lavender, and others

Peony: The leaves  make very nice foliage filler. But don’t get carried away, removing the leaves will reduce the food going to the tuber. Try to use only in a pinch…because peonies are so wonderful!




Mixed rounded bouquet with clusters of small daisies adding fullness and spikes of lavender stems add vertical element.
Mixed bouquet with few flowers uses feverfew to add fullness and lavender for a vertical element. Other flowers are yarrow, perennial scabiosa, alstroemeria, and gomphrena. They make a bouquet!





Bachelor’s Button

Celosias: plume and crested (small)

Green Drops Grass

Gomphrena: also known as globe amaranth





Sweet Annie: a fragrant artemisia

Bouquet with golden glow flowers with upright and trailing types of amaranth and sweet annie as fillers
In this simple bouquet, golden glow flowers are the main flower, red spike amaranth and trailing amaranths, green and coral tassels, along with sweet annie are the fillers that fill in and support the golden glow flowers, which are spindly on their own. Orange marigolds are the secondary flowers.


Artemisia ‘Silver King’

Eucalyptus: These are perennial plants, trees, that can grow in much of the southern tier of the US. They will freeze to death in colder areas. Those in the southern tier of the US can grow them. If you’re in a colder area you can grow them in pots and move the plants into frost-free locations for the winter. You can start them from seed, or you might be able to find a source of small plants.

A very good source of Eucalyptus seed and varieties for cutting for arrangements can be found at Johnny’s Seed. They have several varieties to choose from…and it’s hard to choose! But beware, they can become pests so keep them short and their seedlings under control.


Scented Geraniums: These are another frost tender plant, so if you get frosts, you need to keep them frost-free over the winter. What makes these so nice is the strong fragrance they add to the bouquet—in addition to the foliage. It’s the foliage that provides the fragrance. And it’s nothing like the regular potted geraniums!

Choose the taller varieties for your bouquets. If you can smell them before you buy, that’s best. But my favorite has always been peppermint geranium, with large leaves

Other: You can get creative with trying different leafy branches. I’ve used cedar and fir. I’ve seen oak branches, milkweed pods, sticks, and other things.

The key to using woody plants is to cut them at an angle and then from the bottom, cut a slit up about ½ to an inch up and another perpendicular to that. This allows water to travel up more easily


Leatherleaf Fern: (Rumore adiantiformis) This is the classic florist’s fern. It grows in zones 9-11.

Western Sword Fern: (Polystichum munitum) Native to several western states, it grows to 2-4 ft. tall and wide. This is an excellent  for dry shade. It provides fronds with a nice arch, and in a bright green color.

Western Sword fern growing on a shady side of a house
Western Sword Fern growing on a shady side of a house. Leaves can reach 2-4 ft. long, plants grow well with minimal water in dry summers, more water if it's in up to full sun.


Bear grass is a commonly used, very attractive foliage plant in the floral industry. I don’t know where all the bear grass in the world comes from for the florists, but although the  plant is native to very near where I am, no one carries it as a plant. I would have to start it from seed and grow it for a few years before it’s harvestable. But I’m saving that project for a few years on. Seeds are available from a few sources if you Google it.

You can experiment with perennial grasses that grow near you. Miscanthus grasses offer a variety of options.

So there’s a list of some good flowers and greenery that complete your bouquet or add extra dimension.

When I make a bouquet I start with the tallest items  either flowers and structural  greenery, then I start adding the next items around that base. I work in the filler materials as I go, especially when I see gaps or when I need a break from the showier flowers.

I hold the bouquet in my hand as I work. When I’m done, I cut the stems all together, at a slight angle, and put them right into the vase of water I’ve prepared for it.

Many of the bouquet flower fillers are good as dried flowers, and as secondary bouquet flowers, so it’s easy to have filler material on hand.

Click on any of the links in the lists to get you started on ensuring your supply of bouquet fillers.


Rounded mixed bouquet with taller stems of Agastache and branched stems of ornamental oregano sticking out adding height and extra texture
A rounded bouquet of flowers gets extra eight from Agastache stems and extra texture and unifying color from Hopley's ornamental oregano as fillers.