There are three general tips you can apply to almost any floral design project to instantly transform it. In the example here you will see how these design tips apply to faux succulent arrangements in pots, but any plants can be used for these project types.

Take a look back at the image above. Notice that the white pot contains one floral stem with five elements on it and the gray pot contains one plant type with three stems. The metallic vase in the back has an arrangement with three different types of flowers. This demonstrates that the “rule of odd numbers” can be applied multiple ways.

What do you think about the arrangement in the image above? It doesn’t look terrible because the color and the texture of the vase are both interesting and the red in the flower provides a great contrast. With the drastic variation in heights and the double pairing, the overall arrangement looks pretty, but odd.

visual triangles 1

All three pots are very different from each other, but they look aesthetically pleasing because each one individually forms a visual triangle as illustrated above. People psychologically find odd numbers more “interesting” and thereby more appealing. This is why creatives tend to use odd numbers and a “trio” is so widely popular in design.

visual triangles 2

Note that “visual triangles” also apply to staging. All three arrangements were purposely placed in such a way that they formed a visual triangle, and then the picture was taken slightly off center and at an angle to avoid perfect symmetry. All of these considerations went into framing a visually interesting image for this post.

The arrangement in the metallic vase works so well because the succulents provide height variations in a way that looks natural and does not leave gaps anywhere, unlike this version below.

This could be a good start to a five component arrangement if the large red one was replaced with something smaller, or a three component arrangement with something taller ro replace the green midsized plant on the right. In this situation, the midsized plant cannot be lengthened due to the size of the stem, so a replacement is a better option.

This arrangement is a lot better, because it provides a visual triangle with a more gradual variation in height that is pleasing to the eye. Replacing the midsized green plant with a taller red and green plant also makes it look more cohesive by drawing out the red on one plant, and the green from the other.

Color is especially important when it comes to plants like succulents because there are fewer variations in color options compared to other plants. You can make an arrangement and follow the rule of triangles, but if the plants are similar in color, shape, or type, they fail to “stand out” and the whole arrangement looks too chaotic. Take a look at this image.

This arrangement has a good height variation and it creates a visual triangle, but the components get lost in each other. While there are three contrasting colors of green, they are too similarly colored which leads to all three competing with each other as a focal point.

This arrangemt creates a visual triangle, has a nice gradual height variation, and the colors enhance rather than compete. In this arrangement, the blue provides a great contrast in color to the other plants, AND the reddish colored spikes on the blue plant tie back with the red color variation in the shortest plant so the arrangement as a whole looks more visually appealing.


When creating arrangements with multiple components it is very important to have a focal point to draw the eye in. In the example above it was the blue plant. Can you guess what the focal points is in this one?

Please note that focal points also apply to staging! Can you guess what the focus is supposed to be here?

Easy right? Use these all as guidelines because at the end of the day, there is no “rule” to follow. Make what you love to look at and enjoy it… the opinions of others do not really matter and there is no “right or wrong” way to be creative!

Happy “planting”!

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