Symbolism And Meaning Of Orchids


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Have you ever wondered about the meaning of orchids and what they symbolize? Orchids are one of the most popular flowers in the world. Perhaps you’ve been gifted one and wondered about the flower’s meaning, or maybe you are just plain curious.

In different cultures, orchids can symbolize different things. Let’s dive deeper into the meaning of orchids.

Orchids symbolize love, beauty, and luxury. Their blooms convey feelings of elegance, beauty and tranquility. In certain cultures, orchids can also symbolize femininity and virility. Specific colors of orchids hold special meaning and symbolism. For example, white orchid blooms stand for purity. Purple orchid flowers are a symbol of luxury and wealth.

Pink cymbidium orchid meaning

Before you gift someone an orchid, find out more about what orchids mean. The type of orchid, or the color of the flowers, can hold significance, and you want to be sure you are sending the right message.

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What Do Orchids Symbolize And Mean?

In general, orchid flowers represent love, beauty, femininity, and fertility. Across time, in different cultures, orchids have symbolized various things and have had different meanings.

The Meaning Of Orchids in History and Around The World

White orchid flowers against a blue and purple background, what does it mean

For example, in ancient Greece, orchids symbolized fertility, virility and sexuality. The word “orchid” actually comes from the Greek word “orkhis.” An ancient Greek botanist named Theophrastos actually thought the underground tubers (pseudobulbs perhaps?) resembled a certain male anatomy.

This led to the idea that depending on the size and type of orchids consumed, a woman could influence the outcome of her child’s gender. If the baby’s father consumed large, new orchid tubers, the woman would give birth to a baby boy. On the flip side, if the mother of the unborn baby ate small orchid tubers, this would cause her to give birth to a baby girl.

Ancient Aztecs thought orchids were a symbol of strength. Aztec warriors drank a beverage containing vanilla orchids, believing it would give them extra strength and power.

During the Victorian era, orchids were extremely rare. Orchids had to be imported over from the tropics, an endeavor that could take months. Generally, the wealthy or upper-class members of society were the only ones able to obtain and enjoy these flowers.

During this time period, orchids were a symbol of wealth, luxury, and refined taste. The rarer and more unique an orchid was, the more meaning it had when given as a gift.

Likewise, in Japan, orchids represented wealth and luxury. These were often flowers of royalty and decorated the royal palace.

In early China, orchids were the focus of many of Confucius’ writings and poems about honesty and virtue. Orchids symbolized love, beauty, unity and fertility. Gifting double stemmed orchids, especially to a romantic partner, were considered good luck.

In the certain areas of the Philippines, orchids are considered to be protectors of the forests. In Indonesia, Jewel orchids are thought to be made up of fairy cloaks.

Many Asian cultures believe orchids to have a yin, or feminine, quality. As you can see, around the world, orchids have had special significance and meaning.

Are Orchids Lucky?

Pink orchid flowers against a pink dreamy background, what is the meaning of these orchids?

Are orchids lucky? Absolutely! In feng shui, orchids are believed to be incredibly lucky.

Orchids in the home can bring good luck and prosperity. In fact, orchids are often given as housewarming gifts. This will bring blessings and luck to the new home.

During Lunar New Year, decorating your home with orchids is considered to bring good luck and fortune for the new year. You can read more about Lunar New Year traditions, orchids, and other lucky plants here.

New businesses are often gifted orchids as well. These are displayed prominently near the entrances and cash register. In these cases, orchids are a sign of good luck and good fortune.

You can use orchids in and around your home to strategically increase your luck even further. By placing them in specific locations in your home, you can boost feng shui in certain areas of your life. To do this, you will need to use a bagua map to section out the different areas of your home.

Read how to use orchids to improve your home’s feng shui for more detailed instructions and information. There, I explain the bagua map in more detail and break down each section further. You’ll get some ideas of what types of orchids go best in each section and how to use orchids to boost your feng shui.

For example, to increase wealth and prosperity in your life, place green orchid blooms in the rear left area of your home. This area is correlated with wealth and prosperity in the bagua map.

Green orchid blooms may sound unusual, but green is actually a lucky color. If you are having trouble finding green orchid blooms, try Cymbidium orchids. Cymbidium orchid blooms come in varying shades of green and would work great here.

Use Colored Orchids to Improve Luck

Meaning of pink orchids against a blue background

In addition, the various colors of orchid flowers can add to a home’s feng shui. Location and color work together to optimize feng shui and luck.

You can use certain colored orchid flowers to boost your luck, or feng shui, in your career, love life, or family life.

If you are looking to give a boost to your romantic or love life, try incorporating red or pink orchid blooms into your home’s decor. Green orchid blooms stand for longevity and good health, so be sure to place green orchids in the health area of your home.

Interested in learning more about how you can use different colored orchids in your home to improve luck and feng shui? Check out this article about colored orchids and feng shui for a deeper dive into this topic.

Orchids As Gifts

Yellow Cymbidium orchids in the light, what is the meaning?

What does it mean if someone gives you an orchid as a gift? Or if you give an orchid as a gift? We all know that red roses symbolize love, and yellow roses imply friendship. Orchids, when given as a gift, can carry different, more nuanced, meanings.

Make sure you know what different colored orchids mean before you give one as a gift. After all, you don’t want to give someone a red or pink orchid, the symbol of love, and have them get the wrong idea!

Orchids are also great gifts for people with allergies. Orchid pollen is sticky and doesn’t easily disperse in the air. This makes orchids ideal flowers for allergy sufferers.

Different Colors, Different Meanings

White orchids stand for purity, innocence, reverence and hope. Places of worship, along with somber occasions like funerals, will often use this color orchid.

Baby christenings, weddings, and offices also incorporate white orchids into their decor. White goes well with anything, anywhere, and gives off a classy, elegant vibe.

Orange orchid blooms are just what their color implies. Orange is a bold color. It stands for strength, pride, and risk-taking. These orchids are great gifts for competitions and inspiring someone to strive and achieve their best.

Red orchid blooms indicate passion, love, and romance. These are best given to someone that you love and truly care about. If someone has given you a red orchid in bloom, you might want to check if there is a deeper meaning to their gift!

Purple orchids were popular with royalty and the wealthy back in the day. Nowadays, these colored orchids symbolize gratitude and respect.

Pink orchids symbolize femininity, gracefulness, and joy. These orchids would be good gifts for friends.

Green orchid blooms represent health, good fortune, longevity and well-being. These would make good gifts for someone that is in poor health or down on their luck.

Yellow orchids symbolize new beginnings, life, and happiness. These bright orchid blooms make great housewarming gifts or gifts to someone just starting out a new business.

As a matter of fact, orchids come in every color imaginable. Truly blue orchids are harder to come by and only a few species are naturally blue.

Most blue grocery store orchids are blue by means of artificial dye. If you can find a naturally occurring blue orchid to give as a gift, this true blue color symbolizes rarity. Blue is also a color that stands for spiritual peace and meditation.

If you want to gift a blue grocery store orchid to someone, just be aware that that “blue” color only lasts for a season. The blue color will be gone after the flowers fall off. When the orchid blooms again the following year, the flowers will most likely be white.

Orchids as Anniversary Gifts

Pink striped Phalaenopsis flowers with Happy Anniversary tag

Rather than cut roses, which are beautiful, but short-lived, why not give an orchid as an anniversary gift? Orchids represent love. Their long-lasting flowers represent endurance. Hence, enduring, long-lasting love.

Orchids are a great anniversary gift and a wonderful way to commemorate a wedding anniversary. In fact, orchids are the modern-day anniversary gift for the 28th anniversary celebration. Pink orchids are the traditional flower of a 14th or 25th wedding anniversary.

Well-cared for orchids can last for years, even decades (much like a good marriage). You can enjoy Phalaenopsis flowers for up to twelve weeks. This is much longer than a bouquet of roses. What better way to show enduring love than with a potted orchid plant in bloom?

If you choose to give cut orchid flowers as a gift, these cut orchid blooms can also last for weeks with the right care. Depending on the species, cut orchid blooms can last up to six weeks, rather than just a few days like most other cut flowers.

The Meaning Of Orchids in Funerals

Close up of white orchid flower, what is the meaning?

In a funeral setting, orchids represent lasting love and remembrance for the deceased. Phalaenopsis orchids in particular have a quiet, tranquil vibe and can lend a peaceful feeling to a sad occasion. They are classy without being showy and well-suited for the somber mood.

When selecting an orchid to give to a grieving friend or family member, choose a white or pink orchid in bloom. These colors convey sympathy and loss. In addition, white orchid flowers symbolize reverence and elegance.

Final Thoughts

Orchids carry lots of meaning and symbolism, and have done so for centuries. These days, orchids symbolize love, beauty and luxury. They make great gifts and look beautiful in nearly every setting.

The color of the orchid blooms also carries meaning. When you are picking out an orchid to give as a gift, make sure you are choosing the right color that sends the intended message.

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White and pink Dendrobium orchid flowers meaning
Pale pink orchid bloom on a blue wooden table
Close up of pink Phalaenopsis orchid flower, meaning
Cut Cymbidium orchid flowers in small glass vases
Yellow Oncidium orchid flowers

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