Flower Color Meaning

Flower Color Meanings

Flower color meanings brings new life to paintings, bouquets, gardens and gift-giving! Flower color meaning can be specific even for the same type of flower. For example, a red tulip has a different meaning than a yellow tulip. However, there are general color meanings for the creation of a garden, a bouquet or the choice of a gift for a symbolic purpose. 

Flower Color Meaning in Gardens

Summer’s Joy by Kathleen Karlsen
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The Symbolism of Flower Colors

The color combinations are nearly endless for bouquets and gardens. One option is to create theme around a single color or a limited number of related colors. This is usually appropriate for a solemn occasion. For a birthday or other celebration, any number of colors can be used for a spectacular splash as a centerpiece or decoration. 

This article covers flower color meanings for red, orange, yellow, white, pink, blue, purple and violet flowers. The final section includes information about creating flower color combinations in your garden: arranging a garden in layers, arranging by flower colors and mimicking patterns in nature. Explore the flower color meanings below for some fresh ideas. Create a bouquet or a garden that is a conversation piece as well as a beautiful sight to see!

Rhododendrons (Asia’s Treasures) by Kathleen Karlsen
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Red Flower Color Meanings

The color symbolism for red flowers includes pleasure, desire and vitality. In addition, red represents the will to win, love of sports and the survival instinct. Red flowers are stimulating and eye-catching. The intensity of red flowers creates movement and drama.

Accordingly, bright red flowers symbolize cheerfulness and happiness. Red flowers and colors are warming, activating and energizing. On the physical level, red is recommended for colds and conditions related to poor circulation. Red flowers include poppies, poinsettias, daylilies, tulips, pansies and zinnias. 

Meadow of Gold by Kathleen Karlsen
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Orange Flower Color Meanings

Orange flowers raise the spirits and reflect the joy of sunshine. Is there anything happier and more promising than a meadow of beautiful marigolds? Cheerful orange flowers symbolize warmth, fire, energy and vitality.

The color orange stimulates sociability and promotes emotional health. On the physical level, orange is good for the digestive system including the spleen, pancreas, stomach, intestines and adrenals. Some color therapists say that orange can help with paralysis.

Flower color meanings for orange include creativity, confidence, intuition, friendliness and the entrepreneurial spirit. Orange is symbolic of joy and wisdom. Common orange flowers include marigolds, daylilies, nasturtiums, and calendula. 

Sunflower Meaning Photo

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Yellow Flower Color Meanings

Yellow flowers are the heralds of spring. Sunshine yellow flowers symbolize the clearing away of the winter and stimulate clear thinking. The color meanings of yellow are enthusiasm, confidence, cheerfulness, sense of humor, fun, optimism and intellectuality.

Yellow stimulates mental faculties as well as elimination. Yellow aids with depression, digestion and elimination. Too much yellow may result in nervousness and a racing mind.

Well-known yellow flowers include daffodils, crocus, irises, daylilies, coneflowers, dandelions and chrysanthemums. Yellow flowers mean friendship in the Victorian language of flowers. This makes them the perfect gift for a friend!

Daisy Flower Meaning

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White Flower Color Meanings

White flowers symbolize purity, contemplation and innocence. Many night-flowering plants are white, symbolizing the feminine energies of the moon. White awakens creativity and stabilizes energy, giving a general boost that amplifies all other colors. 

Use white to give breathing space in your garden from the intensity of bright colors demanding attention. White means purity, inner illumination and spirituality. White flowers include daylilies, gardenias, alyssum and baby’s breath. 

Spring Blossoms by Kathleen Karlsen
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Pink Flower Color Meanings

Pink flowers symbolize love and healing from grief, anxiety or emotional trauma. A rose garden is the quintessential pink garden. Pink is related to warmth and love, gentleness, beauty, and an outward orientation. Pink is believed to awaken compassion, love and purity.

On the psychological level, pink eases anger and feelings of neglect. Pink can assist in alleviating emotional scars from past experiences. on the physical level, pink stimulates the thymus and immune system. Too much pink may result is hypersensitivity and emotionalism.

Pink flowers are abundant! Pink blossoms include chrysanthemums, irises, daylilies, camellias, azaleas, carnations, peonies and dahlias.

Blue Flower Color Meaning

Blue Lotus by Kathleen Karlsen
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Blue Flower Color Meanings

Blue flowers symbolize the peace of ocean and sky. The impact of blue flowers is cooling, relaxing and calming. As a general meaning, blue symbolizes water, the source of life. The color meanings of blue are related to freedom, strength and new beginnings. Blue skies mean optimism and better opportunities. Blue is the top favorite color in the world!

The blue lotus in Buddhism symbolizes the victory over the senses. The blue lotus is psychoactive and has been used as an aphrodisiac, sleep aid and anxiety reliever. In terms of color therapy practices, blue is recommended for children when ill, lung conditions, jaundice and rheumatism. 

Indigo is a dark blue that is purported to have a sedative effect and the ability to induce deep mediation. The color indigo is recommended to strengthen the immune and lymph systems. Indigo is also advised for conditions related to the brain and head. This color is said to balance the hemispheres of the braing. Indigo flowers include the French Indigo, Natal Indigo and Guatemalan Indigo. These flowers are used to make dark blue dyes.

Blue is also said to awaken intuition and ease loneliness. However, too much blue may hinder alertness or result in procrastination. Blue flowers include irises, asters, bluebells, hyacinths, periwinkles, delphiniums, anemone, bachelor buttons, forget-me-nots and morning glories.

Lupine Majesty by Kathleen Karlsen
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Purple and Violet Flower Color Meanings

Purple and violet colors soothe the mind and nerves. Some color psychologists say purple helps to relieve tension and dissipate anger and violence. Violet is related to the psychological quality of transformation, transmutation and the balance of power and love. Additional meanings include charisma, charm, magical abilities and tolerance.

Violet balances physical and spiritual energies. Violet may assist in stimulating dreams at night. on the physical level, violet affects the skeletal system and assists in mineral assimilation. Some believe violet may help with arthritic conditions.

Purple is the color of royalty, adding a sophisticated note to the color palette of a garden or bouquet. Purple and violet flowers include lilacs, violets, irises, pansies, sweet peas, foxglove, lupines, allium and crocuses.

Green Color Meanings

The beautiful green leaves, stems and decorative foliage in bouquets also have symbolic meaning. Green increases sensitivity and compassion. Green is the perfect symbol of new life and hope. On the physical level, green helps to soothe inflammations. As a general meaning, green is restful and revitalizing at every level.

In terms of color therapy, green is the color recommended for ulcers, heart conditions, high blood pressure, exhaustion and headaches. There is a reason why flowers are used so often as get well gifts! The bright colors of the flowers contrasted with the green of the supporting foliage is a wonderful uplift under any circumstances.

Flower Color Combinations in Gardens

Gardening for pleasure as well as gardening to grow food is a universal human occupation. Achieving color harmony, contrast and effective color combinations is a fascinating art. Likewise, artwork can be chosen based on the colors of the flowers depicted. Knowing flower color meaning will bring your appreciation of flowers to a whole new level.

In addition to gifts and bouquets, gardens can be created in honor of a loved one who has passed on or as a celebration for a special event such as an outdoor wedding. Creating a beautiful garden is like painting a picture in living color.

Flowers can be combined in gardens in a variety of interesting ways. Flowers can be arranged in layers, by color, in natural groupings or by time of bloom. Non-flowering plants and vegetables can be used to add foliage and structure. Some gardens are also created with smell in mind and contain flowers that give off fragrant perfume throughout the growing season. Try one of these possibilities for combining flowers in your garden this year and enjoy the results all summer long!

Garden Wall Canvas Print

The Garden Wall by Kathleen Karlsen
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Arrange a Garden in Layers

To arrange a garden by layers, start at the back. Usually three tiers are sufficient, and the third tier is the tallest layer of plants. This tier is located either at the back or on the sides furthest from the viewer’s eye. For very large gardens, this tier can be a tree line. For smaller gardens, shrubs or the tallest plants to be included in the garden can be used.

Second and first tier plants can be somewhat merged with the third tier to give the garden different dimensions from different angles. This also helps to avoid an overly structured, highly formal garden. Low-lying ground cover can constitute the first tier and varying heights of intermediate level flowers can ease the transition from the lowest layer of flowers to the tallest.

Arrange a Garden By Colors

The key to remember when arranging gardens by color is that colors look different depending on the colors placed next to them. Bright colors jump forward whereas pastels recede visually. Colors with the same hue or intensity can stand well next to each other. Opposite colors will create excitement and a sense of action. Gardens are usually arranged around a main color, such as red, with all of the other colors functioning in secondary roles. This helps avoid competing colors that create too much tension rather than a relaxing effect.

Arrange a Garden to Mimic Nature

Arranging gardens by natural groupings of plants mimics the patterns set in nature. This can be accomplished by placing plants adjacent to each other that would naturally grow together in the wild or by grouping plants that bloom at the same time. Plants naturally grow together when their sizes and leaf shapes complement each other so that they are not competing for sunlight or other resources. When plants are grouped by time of bloom, the focus for the garden can shift as the season progresses. Each area of the garden has a time when the attention is focused on the blossoms in that area.

Bach Flower Remedies & Color Therapy

In the 19th century, Dr. Edward Bach created a system of healing that became known as the Bach Flower Remedies. Dr. Bach was a London physician who believed that disease is a manifestation of negative mental states. He established seven major color groups and color associations based on flowers and plants. The colors are a complementary set of two colors on a graduated spectrum.

Dr. Bach then created a type of homeopathic remedy with the flowers to bring about physical, mental and emotional healing. The diluted remedies were taken until healing had been achieved. Learn more on the web about Bach Flower remedies. Examples of the color combinations, mental states and associated flowers are given below:

Mental State: Despondency
Color Spectrum: Orange to Blue
Flower Example: Holly

Mental State: Lack of Interest in Life
Color Spectrum: Yellow to Turquoise
Flower Example: Wild Rose

Mental State: Overcare for Others
Color Spectrum: Magenta to Green
Plant Example: Beech

Mental State: Uncertainty
Color Spectrum: Red to Green
Flower Example: Sceleranthus

Mental State: Loneliness
Color Spectrum: Pink to Green
Flower Example: Impatiens Flowers

Mental State: Oversensitivity
Color Spectrum: Orange to Blue
Flower Example: Centaury

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Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.


The root of flower color meaning is found in the psychology of colors in general. in addition, some flowers have historic meanings or uses. This article covers flower color meaning for red, orange, yellow, white, pink, blue, purple and violet flowers. The next time you are planning a garden or choosing a gift, don’t forget to consider flower color meaning! 

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