Flowers used for corsages have several characteristics in common. They can't be too large or they'll look clownish. The flowers have to have strong stems to be wired into the corsage and must be able to last out of water for several hours without wilting. The flowers shouldn't bruise easily or lose their petals.
Gardenias are white flowers that measure 2 to 3 inches across. Florists prefer them in floral arrangements like corsages because of their strong floral scent. The stems are short and strong, making them ideal for corsages. The gardenia bush is about 24 inches high with dark green glossy arrows shaped leaves. It grows well dappled shade and prefers acid soil.
Carnations have ruffled petal edges with tightly packed petals that measure about 3 inches across. Colors include white, pink, yellow, purple and red. The stems are long and strong with gray-green thin leaves. Garden varieties often have a strong spicy scent while those grown for the florist industry have a light scent or no scent at all.
Orchids come in many sizes, shapes and colors. Cymbidium orchids are about 4 inches in diameter and are often used as a corsage. Cattleya orchids used to be known as the "corsage orchid," according to Everything-orchids.com because they were a favorite flower to wear to special events. Phalaenopsis orchids are another popular choice for corsages. Orchids are not fussy flowers to grow at home but they do have specialized requirements and under the right conditions, orchids will bloom twice a year.
A rose corsage can be romantic, sweet or downright glamorous. Different colored roses have different meanings--white is innocent, red is true love, pink means admiration, and yellow means happiness, according to Proflowers.com. Roses grow naturally in every color but blue. Blue roses have been dyed by spraying with floral spray or by placing a white rose in a blue dye. The rose absorbs the water and the dye to turn blue.
Baby's breath is a tiny white flower that looks like a powder puff. It's used as a filler to compliment other flowers and give corsages an airy appearance. The flowers are easy to work worth because while the stems are thin, they are strong and flexible. It's possible to gather the flowers closer together by bunching them without breaking the stems.