When determining the best corsage flowers, the key is finding a variety of shapes and sizes as well as flowers that are easily dried and preserved. Since corsages accessorize more formal events, choose preservable flowers based on aesthetic value and consider color as it relates to your outfit or event.
Baby's breath (Spirea spp.) is widely used as filler in a corsage to add extra texture without overpowering larger blossoms. Baby's breath is a low-maintenance shrub for the garden that displays sprays of tiny white flowers. With a fast growth rate, it prefers full to partial sun. It is suited to most soil types except for wet sites, according to the Clemson University Extension. For corsage use, simply hang baby's breath in a dry environment until stems and flowers are dehydrated. Hang baby's breath in a bunch from a tie, upside down, for up to three weeks and keep out of sunlight, which may fade plant color, as suggested by the West Virginia University Extension Service.
Additionally, for use in a fresh-cut corsage, use fresh or dry baby's breath as filler.
Roses (Rosa spp.) are widely used in corsages for their elegant appearance and rich color. Available in a wide array of colors (nearly every color but blue, green and black) and large to smaller blossoms, roses thrive in full sun and loose, well-drained soil, explains the Clemson University Extension. For corsage use, choose single blooms that are only partially open; lay the bloom on its side and gently loosen the petals for a fuller look. First, hang roses to dry. Once dry, apply a mix of borax and corn meal in a 1:1 ratio over the entirety of the flower head; the West Virginia University Extension suggests cutting a small hole in the bottom of a box and pulling the stem through so only the flower head remains visible in the bottom of the box. Next, fill the box with the mixture and check the flower intermittently to determine when the entire flower is dry. Drying time for roses is two weeks. Once dry, use a soft brush to remove the remaining borax mixture from the flower petals.
Alternatively, if you are making a fresh corsage, since roses last longer than three hours as cut flowers without wilting, simply use the fresh-cut rose as a part of your corsage design.
Irises (Iris spp.) add dramatic shape and vibrant color to a corsage with their full blooms and typically deep blue to purple hues and pleasing contrast in varieties with yellow throats. Irises thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, according to the Clemson University Extension. Due to a range in variety sizes, small "dwarf" flowers up through full size large blooms are available, making the iris a versatile corsage flower. For corsage use, apply shellac (a clear liquid that seals and holds flower parts together) to the flower and any remaining foliage. Allow to dry before use.
Irises are also an appropriate choice for a fresh corsage meant to last one evening. Like roses, irises do not wilt quickly and remain vibrant for more than three hours.