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Ep52 | Floral Symbology – Flowers to Celebrate LIFE

Welcome back to the Helpful Gardeners Podcast!

A few weeks ago, we explored some planty destinations to satisfy the travel bug this year and realized that flowers play a big part in how we celebrate major events. This week we celebrated Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day which got us thinking about all the ways flowers help up celebrate life’s big moments.


When you think about life’s big moments, are there flowers present? Across culture, we use flowers to express emotions, meaning, and gratitude. They add beauty, elegance, and a touch of nature to any event. A study conducted at Rutgers University revealed that the presence of flowers in social gatherings increased positive social behavior and improved mood. Interesting, right? Let’s explore some of the ways we use flowers in events.


It’s important to note that floral varieites and colours are interpreted differently around the globe. While yellow flowers may represent energy and warmth, it could be a symbol of betrayal elsewhere. White may represent death and therefore shouldn’t be gifted during a birthday or wedding.


Have you ever looked up your birth flower? It might vary depending on the website, but we like this one from the Farmers Almanac

Birth Month Flower



Some plants are more prevalent and abundant at specific times of the year. For example, Lunar New Year welcomes more bamboo plants and money trees as they are believed to promote wealth and good fortune in the Chinese culture. During Valentines Day, roses symbolize love and make a popular gift. St. Patrick’s Day will bring lots of clover and Oxalis to greenhouses.


The most popular event for significant floral elements. Even if you’re allergic to pollen, artificial florals are still utilized to enhance an overall theme. Wedding flowers can be selected by seasonal availability, and also cultural or personal significance.

  • Indian Weddings | The bride and groom traditionally exchange floral garlands much like rings in western culture. Marigolds are said to represent the sun and positive energy. White jasmine are often worn in your hair to symbolize good luck.
    • Other Flowers: Chrysanthemums (happiness), roses, orchids, tulips, delphiniums, sunflowers, etc.


Roses are the traditional gift to actors after a successful show. Presenting a bouquet before the curtain could be seen as bad luck! Gifting performance flowers has been around a looooong time and for various stages including theatre and dance.


Temples and shrines may feature flowers as well. In the Buddhist religion, devotees will often place a lotus flower on altars to symbolize purity and enlightenment.


Flowers honour those no longer with us, and may serve as a gesture to support loved ones when we can’t find words. In China, white flowers are commonly displayed and gifted as the colour symbolizes death. Peace lilies are a common gift after the death of a loved one to encourage peace within oneself. Visitors to cemeteries  may display flowers at graves.

Flowers and their Meanings

Every wondered about the language of flowers? Iowa State university released a list of flowers and their common meanings. Keep in mind that flowers carry different meanings around the globe, such as the marigold. Floral language can help you become more intentional when you gift flowers and when you’re planning your garden. Have you ever thought about creating an “energy garden” and using it to inspire positive energy in your life?

Some of the highlights include:

  • Cactus | Endurance
  • Peony | Happy Marriage
  • Iris | Hope
  • Mock orange | Deceit
  • Sweetpea | Good-bye
  • Tiger lily | Wealth
  • Garlic | Courage

Hypothetical Question of the Week….

“What flower represents your soul?




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