plant symbolism

plant symbolism

Posted by Megan Nichols on Feb 14th 2020

We love plants and flowers (of course). And as we near the official day of love, we are reminded of plant symbolism and that some varieties are well-known and will be the go-to for gift giving this Valentines Day. News to no one, red roses are the most iconic floral symbol of love. (Note: Tonkadale does not offer cut flower bouquets). But, roses don’t have to have the last word.

Plant and flower symbolism has been around a long time and wasn’t invented just for February 14th. More than one flower can convey love, and there are some less-than-loving meanings behind some plants, too.

For the Lovers  

If you want to stick with traditional red, but step outside the norm, go for red tulips. They are given to declare love and come without the need to devote your wallet to the cause (as is the case with roses).

Another flower that conveys love is the peony, and specifically the pink peony. Peonies symbolize romance, prosperity, and a good marriage, often given for a 12th wedding anniversary.  

Marimo (Moss) Balls, when given as a gift, are said to manifest the desires of the heart for both the giver and the receiver. Who needs cut flowers when you can give balls of moss? Seriously, though, they’re really cute and super easy to take care of.

For the Culinary Queens and Kings

If you love someone who loves to cook, give the gift of herbs.

Lavender symbolizes devotion. Besides smelling divine it also has calming effects. Gift someone, anyone, a lavender plant to encourage relaxation (we all need more of that in our lives). You might want to specify your intent, however, as the Victorians considered lavender to be a sign of distrust.

Basil is one tasty little plant, but it’s suffered a symbolism identity crisis over the years. Originally meaning “hate,” it later became embraced as a symbol of love. During the Victorian era Sweet Basil conveyed “good wishes” to the receiver. In Italy, a man who accepted basil from a woman was destined to marry her.  Either way, if the receiver likes basil (especially on pizza, yum) it’s a lovely gift.

Marjoram is said to mean joy and happiness. What a fantastic gift for someone who brings you joy and happiness and who finds those same things in their culinary creations!

Send a Different Message

Maybe you want to send a different message entirely? Here’s how.  

Image may contain: plant and outdoor

Know someone going through a rough time? Give the gift of a cactus. These gritty plants signify determination and just may be the best way to say “you’ve got this.” Afterall, cactus are tough, resilient plants.

Yellow carnations sure look bright and happy, but they signify disdain, so they may not be the best choice. Or are they? Also, striped carnations mean “I can’t be with you,” so they could be a poor choice, or the perfect one.

In Chinese symbolism, Monstera is said to represent long life and pay homage to our elders, making it pretty and purposeful. Gift yo’ self!

No secret, of course, Pilea and Peperomia are know as friendship plants. Given easy-care and pretty, compact growth habit, they make a perfect gift for friends.

Whether or not a plant has symbolic meaning attached, plants and flowers always brighten our day. Here’s to showering some love on our most special people and plants!