The Meaning behind Your Plants

Just like different flowers communicate different emotions, different plants too have different meanings. Knowing what ideas a plant represents is very helpful when picking them out. It doesn’t matter whether you want to decorate your home or you’re getting a gift for your loved one – always find a plant that creates a positive environment and symbolizes things that matter.

To give you a clear understanding of what different plants mean, we’re going to look at the history of plant symbolism and the symbolism of some popular plants:

History of plant symbolism

Evidence of plant symbolism appears throughout history and dates as far back as Ancient Greek times. Plant symbolism is also evident in religious texts like the bible, in art and literature dating back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, all the way into the modern-day culture.

Dictionnaire du language des fleurs, published in 1809 by Joseph Hammer-Purgstall, formalized the study of plant symbolism and plant definition.

Plant meanings and symbols

This simplified plant guide that includes the definition of plants should come in handy if you’re trying to find plants to add to your garden this growing season:

  1. Aloe Vera – This plant symbolizes healing and protection
  2. Azalea – This plant symbolizes femininity, strength, and beauty
  3. Bonsai – This plant symbolizes harmony, wisdom, and calm
  4. Cactus – This plant symbolizes protection and endurance
  5. Carnation – This plant symbolizes love and femininity
  6. Daisy – This plant symbolizes innocence and purity
  7. Fern – This plant symbolizes health, luck, and protection
  8. Lavender – This plant symbolizes relaxation and comfort
  9. Lucky Bamboo – This plant symbolizes good fortune and longevity
  10. Money Tree – This plant symbolizes wealth and good fortune
  11. Orchid – This plant symbolizes admiration and love
  12. Peace Lily – This plant symbolizes peace and sympathy
  13. Philodendron – This plant symbolizes the love of nature and growth
  14. Prayer Plant – This plant symbolizes devotion and focus
  15. Rose – This plant symbolizes love and romance
  16. Snake Plant – This plant symbolizes cleanliness and tenacity
  17. Spider Plant – This plant symbolizes mindfulness and health
  18. Sunflower – This plant symbolizes happiness, adoration, and loyalty
  19. Tulip – This plant symbolizes unconditional love and cheer
  20. Venus Flytrap – This plant symbolizes strength and courage

5 common plants in Hong Kong and their meanings

There are plenty of gorgeous trees and shrubs that you can keep as house plants in Hong Kong. This is mainly because of the favorable climate in the region that favors how the plants grow. Each one has a unique life cycle and unique meaning.

  1. Hong Kong Azalea (Rhododendron hongkongense)

This evergreen shrub bears white or pink flowers. Its upper lobes are usually tinged with purplish blotches. It symbolizes love and happiness.

  1. Hong Kong Dogwood (Cornus hongkongensis)

This plant produces fragrant four-petaled flowers, resembling four-leaf clovers. Blooming from late spring to early summer, it symbolizes rebirth and resurrection.

  1. Hong Kong Camellia (Camellia hongkongensis)

This plant blooms from late autumn through springtime and is Hong Kong’s only native camellia with red blossoms. It symbolizes passion and deep desire.

  1. Hong Kong Iris (Iris speculatrix)

This species of plant grows in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. The little blossoms come in shades of blue, ranging from violet and lilac to lavender and pale blue, blooming in April and May. It symbolizes hope, trust, and valor.

  1. Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia x blakeana)

This hybrid plant’s parents are the Purple Camel’s Foot and Camel’s Foot Tree. Because cross-breeding is involved, it is sterile and can only be propagated by grafting and root cutting.

Beautiful indoor plants to keep

Do you need a few plants to keep in your home but aren’t sure where to start looking? We have put together a few of them that are bound to inject your space with some vibrant green energy:

  1. Ctenanthe

This bushy and evergreen perennial shrub is native to Central and South America. It’s also known as the fishbone prayer plant and can grow up to 70cm tall. People love this plant for its beautiful leaves that display their glory during the day and fold up at night.

The fishbone prayer plant should be watered every 3-4 days.

  1. Pink Evergreen Plant

This plant can suit any interior décor style from traditional to contemporary. Its wide leaves remove toxins from the air. The plant is also believed to boost productivity and concentration.

The pink evergreen plant is one of the most durable houseplants kept indoors and can grow up to about 1.5ft tall.

  1. Straight Money Plant

This is literally one of the easiest plants to care for. Just ensure that yours is placed correctly in an area with bright indirect light. You should water it at least once every week to avoid the soil becoming waterlogged.

It helps to rotate the plant with each watering to ensure that it grows upright especially if the source of light is not overhead.


You could be an amateur gardener or a pro with tons of experience with plants; but if you don’t know anything about plant symbolism, you’ll never know how to choose the most appropriate plant for different occasions. Certain plants are well suited for different purposes than others. Understanding the language of plants means that you can successfully tell what each one of them stands for.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing house plants is that different colors have different meanings too.