What Do Hydrangeas Symbolize: Unveiling the Meaning Behind This Enchanting Flower

Hydrangeas are a beautiful and popular flower that can be seen in many gardens and floral arrangements. But did you know that these lovely flowers also hold a deeper meaning and symbolism? From love and gratitude to wealth and good fortune, hydrangeas have been used to convey different emotions and messages throughout history.

In Japanese culture, hydrangeas symbolize gratitude and apology. These flowers are often given as gifts to express appreciation towards someone or to apologize for a mistake. In European cultures, hydrangeas are said to symbolize abundance and prosperity, making them a popular choice for weddings and other celebratory events.

Moreover, the color of hydrangeas plays an important role in its symbolism. Pink hydrangeas represent love and romance, while blue hydrangeas represent serenity and calmness. White hydrangeas are symbolic of purity and innocence, whereas purple hydrangeas symbolize respect and admiration. Whether given as a gift or used in a special occasion, hydrangeas hold a significant meaning that can communicate a range of emotions and thoughts.

Origins of the hydrangea symbol

The hydrangea plant has a rich history of symbolism stretching back centuries. It is a native of Asia and was first cultivated in Japan, where it was known as ajisai. In Japanese folklore, it was a symbol of gratitude, humility, and perseverance because of its ability to thrive even in difficult growing conditions. The hydrangea was later introduced to the Western world in the 18th century and quickly became a popular ornamental plant.

Here are some examples of how the hydrangea has been symbolized throughout history:

  • In Victorian times, hydrangeas were seen as a negative symbol, representing boastfulness and vanity.
  • In some Asian cultures, blue hydrangeas are thought to represent forgiveness and gratitude, while pink hydrangeas symbolize love, romance, and heartfelt emotion.
  • In Christian art, hydrangeas are sometimes seen as a representation of the Holy Trinity because of the plant’s three-part flower structure.

Today, the hydrangea is a popular flower for wedding ceremonies, symbolizing grace, beauty, and abundance.

Cultural significance of hydrangeas in different countries

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular flowers worldwide due to their gorgeous colors and ability to thrive in a variety of climates. However, what many people don’t know is that hydrangeas symbolize different things in different countries. Below, we take a closer look at the cultural significance of hydrangeas in several countries around the world.


  • Hydrangeas are known as “ajisai” in Japan and are highly regarded for their beauty and elegance.
  • They are often used in traditional tea ceremonies and as a symbol of gratitude and apology.
  • In Japanese folklore, hydrangeas are believed to represent the growth and transformation of the human soul.


  • In China, hydrangeas are believed to symbolize peace, harmony, and unity.
  • The flower is often featured in traditional Chinese art and is an important part of Chinese culture.
  • Hydrangeas are also associated with a long and happy life in Chinese culture, making them a popular gift for birthdays and other special occasions.


In France, hydrangeas are a beloved flower and commonly grown in gardens across the country.

They are often associated with old-world charm and elegance, and their large, showy blooms are a favorite of both gardeners and florists.

South Korea

Hydrangeas are a popular flower in South Korea and are often featured in Korean art and literature.

In Korean culture, hydrangeas are associated with femininity and grace, making them a popular gift for women.

Hydrangeas are also believed to have medicinal properties and are used in traditional Korean medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

United States

In the United States, hydrangeas are a popular flower in gardens across the country.

They are often associated with grace, beauty, and abundance, and their large, showy blooms make them a favorite of gardeners and florists alike.

JapanGratitude, apology, growth, transformation
ChinaPeace, harmony, unity, long life
FranceCharm, elegance, showiness
South KoreaFemininity, grace, medicinal properties
United StatesGrace, beauty, abundance

From Japan to the United States, hydrangeas have a rich cultural significance across the globe. Whether you’re looking for a gift to express gratitude, a symbol of peace and harmony, or simply a beautiful addition to your garden, hydrangeas are sure to make a statement wherever they are.

Hydrangea colors and their meanings

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular and versatile flowers, and they come in a variety of colors. In addition to their beauty, these flowers also have symbolic meanings that can be attributed to their colors. Here are the various colors of hydrangeas and what they represent:

  • Blue: This is the most common color of hydrangeas and symbolizes serenity, sincerity, and a sense of tranquility. Blue hydrangeas are also thought to be auspicious and are often associated with good fortune.
  • Pink: Pink hydrangeas symbolize love, romance, and grace. They are often given as a gift to a loved one or as a token of appreciation.
  • Purple: Purple hydrangeas are associated with royalty, opulence, and elegance. They are often given as a symbol of respect and admiration.
  • White: White hydrangeas represent purity, grace, and innocence. They are often used in wedding bouquets and are associated with new beginnings and fresh starts.
  • Green: Green hydrangeas symbolize renewal, rebirth, and fertility. They are often given as a gift to celebrate the birth of a new baby or to mark a new beginning.
  • Red: Red hydrangeas symbolize passion, love, and romance. They are often given as a gift to a significant other or to express strong emotions.

It’s important to note that the color of a hydrangea can also be influenced by the soil it’s grown in. This means that the same hydrangea plant can produce flowers of different colors depending on the soil acidity. Additionally, the meaning of a hydrangea’s color can also vary depending on the culture and traditions of the giver or recipient.

Hydrangea ColorSymbolic Meaning
BlueSerenity, sincerity, good fortune
PinkLove, romance, grace
PurpleRoyalty, opulence, elegance
WhitePurity, grace, innocence
GreenRenewal, rebirth, fertility
RedPassion, love, romance

Overall, the color of a hydrangea can add an extra layer of meaning to an already beautiful and thoughtful gift. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to brighten someone’s day, consider the symbolism behind the color of the hydrangea you choose.

How to Incorporate Hydrangeas into Symbolic Arrangements

Hydrangeas have been known to represent a variety of symbols, such as love, grace, beauty, and abundance. These gorgeous flowers are so versatile that they can be used in any type of floral arrangement to add a touch of elegance and grace. Here are some ways to incorporate hydrangeas into your symbolic arrangements:

  • Pair Them With Roses: One popular way to use hydrangeas in floral arrangements is to pair them with roses. This combination is an excellent choice for weddings or romantic occasions and is sure to add beauty and elegance to any event.
  • Use Different Colors: Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors, such as blue, pink, and white, and each color has its own symbolic meaning. Mixing different colors of hydrangeas in your arrangement can create a beautiful and meaningful display.
  • Spruce Up Your Centerpieces: For those looking to enhance their home decor, using hydrangeas in centerpieces is a great option. Simply place the flowers in a beautiful vase or pair them with other complementary flowers to create a stunning centerpiece that captures attention.

The Symbolic Meaning of Number 4 in Hydrangeas:

When it comes to hydrangeas, the number 4 is particularly significant. In Japanese culture, hydrangeas are associated with the number 4, which is considered an unlucky number. Accordingly, giving someone a bouquet of four hydrangeas should be avoided as it is thought to bring bad luck.

Number of HydrangeasSymbolic Meaning
2Love and marriage
5Fulfillment of one’s wishes
9Appreciation and acknowledgement

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still incorporate hydrangeas into your arrangements. Instead, consider using a different number of hydrangeas to infuse meaning into your bouquet. For example, giving someone a bouquet of five hydrangeas represents the fulfillment of one’s wishes, while nine hydrangeas signify appreciation and acknowledgement. These numbers can convey a much more powerful message than an ordinary flower arrangement ever could.

The Language of Flowers and Hydrangeas

Flowers have been used throughout history to send messages and convey emotions. In Victorian times, a complex system of flower symbolism emerged, known as the language of flowers or floriography. Each flower was assigned a specific meaning, allowing people to communicate sentiments through the arrangement of flowers.

Hydrangeas are one of the flowers that have a rich symbolic history. These lush blooms have captivated people for centuries with their vibrant colors and impressive size. But what do hydrangeas symbolize?

  • Gratitude: Hydrangeas are often associated with gratitude, making them a popular choice for expressing thanks and appreciation.
  • Understanding: Hydrangeas are also said to symbolize understanding and heartfelt emotions. They can be given as a representation of deep understanding and care for someone.
  • Heartfelt emotion: These flowers are often connected to heartfelt emotion and genuine expressions of love. They can represent a sincere desire to connect with someone on a deeper level.

In addition to these general meanings, hydrangeas are also connected to specific colors. For example, blue hydrangeas are often associated with loyalty and devotion. Pink hydrangeas, on the other hand, can represent love and romance.

Depending on the message you want to convey, you can choose a bouquet of hydrangeas in a particular color or mix and match them to create a unique message.

PinkLove, Romance
WhiteSincerity, Purity
BlueLoyalty, Devotion
PurpleForgiveness, Understanding
GreenRenewal, Life

Hydrangeas are truly one of the most versatile flowers when it comes to symbolism, making them a great choice for all kinds of occasions, from weddings to funerals. Whether as a single bloom or a large bouquet, hydrangeas can convey a message of gratitude, understanding, and sincere emotion.

The Significance of Hydrangeas in Literature and Art

Hydrangeas have been a popular motif in literature and art for centuries. Their lush bloom clusters and wide color range make them a versatile symbol for many different emotions and themes.

The Number 6

In Victorian times, the language of flowers – also known as floriography – was a popular way to communicate sentiments and emotions that the strict social norms of the era forbade. Hydrangeas held a special significance in floriography, where their meaning depended on the number of flowers in the bloom cluster.

  • A single hydrangea symbolized vanity and boastfulness, as it was seen as an overstatement of beauty
  • A bouquet of hydrangeas represented gratitude and grace
  • A cluster of six hydrangeas stood for a message of heartfelt compassion, sincerity, and understanding
  • A bouquet of seven hydrangeas stood for a wish for the recipient to remain as happy and lively as they were at the moment of receiving the flowers, and
  • A cluster of eight hydrangeas meant a wish for abundance and prosperity

The significance of the number six in regards to hydrangeas goes beyond Victorian floriography, however. In Japan, the number six is considered lucky, because it can be read in two ways – roku (六) and mu (夢) – meaning both “six” and “dream”. This dual meaning ties naturally into the gentle and dreamy quality of hydrangeas, making the number six a particularly meaningful symbol for many artists and writers.

ArtistArtworkSignificance of the Number 6
Ellen C. BabbittThe Story of the HydrangeaThe protagonist meets six fairies who grant her six wishes
Tsuguharu FoujitaHydrangeas and Cats in a CaféThe painting features six cats enjoying the flowers, which symbolize the transience of life and the fleeting nature of happiness
Haruki MurakamiKafka on the ShoreThe protagonist is called Kafka Tamura, which in Japanese can be translated into “crow village son”, as “kawa” means both “river” and “crow”. “Kawauso” means otter, which Kafka encounters several times. The word also sounds like “ka wa roku” (6th of June) and “Kafka” is also the German word for “crow.”

As seen in these examples, the number six and hydrangeas often go together as symbols of hope, good fortune, and a peaceful state of mind.

The role of hydrangeas in wedding bouquets and centerpieces

Hydrangeas are a popular choice for wedding bouquets and centerpieces. They are known for their romantic, whimsical, and elegant appeal. If you’re wondering what do hydrangeas symbolize in weddings, read on to understand the various meanings and messages they convey.

The meaning of hydrangeas in weddings

  • Love and devotion: Hydrangeas signify love and devotion, making them a perfect choice for weddings.
  • Gratitude and appreciation: These flowers are associated with gratitude and appreciation, expressing a heartfelt thanks to the guests who have come to celebrate the big day.
  • Emotional balance: Hydrangeas are believed to bring emotional balance, creating a peaceful and soothing environment for the ceremony.

The number 7: Hydrangeas in wedding bouquets and centerpieces

The number 7 holds special significance in the world of weddings, and it is no different when it comes to hydrangeas. Including seven hydrangea blooms or stems in wedding bouquets or centerpieces is a popular choice, and it has various meanings attached to it.

The number 7 is associated with perfection, completeness, and divine protection. Including seven hydrangeas in a bouquet or centerpiece symbolizes the perfection and completeness of the union between two individuals and the divine blessings bestowed upon them.

Incorporating the number 7 can also signify the seven chakras and the idea of balance and harmony. As previously mentioned, hydrangeas are believed to promote emotional balance, making them a perfect option for boosting the positive energy of the wedding ceremony.

Number of HydrangeasMeaning
1A symbol of heartfelt emotions and a perfect expression of love.
2Represents the union of two individuals and the love shared between them.
3Celebrates the past, present, and future of a relationship.
4Signifies stability, security, and a strong foundation.
5Represents the five senses and the power of attraction.
6Believed to bring happiness, luck, and a sense of balance.
7Symbols of perfection, completeness, and divine grace.

In conclusion, hydrangeas have a special place in weddings, particularly in bouquets and centerpieces. Understanding the various meanings associated with this beautiful flower can help couples choose and arrange the perfect flowers for their big day.

Hydrangeas in Religious Ceremonies and Traditions

Throughout history, hydrangeas have played a prominent role in religious ceremonies and traditions. In many cultures, these beautiful flowers are believed to symbolize a range of emotions and concepts, including gratitude, perseverance, and forgiveness.

One of the most fascinating aspects of hydrangeas is their association with the number 8. In numerology, the number 8 is considered to be a powerful and auspicious number that signifies abundance, prosperity, and success. It is believed that the presence of hydrangeas in religious ceremonies and traditions brings good luck and fortune to those who interact with these beautiful flowers.

  • In Japan, hydrangeas are often used in Shinto and Buddhist temples, where they are known as ajisai. These flowers are believed to represent gratitude and can be found in many Japanese gardens as a symbol of the country’s cultural heritage.
  • In Korea, hydrangeas are associated with honesty and are frequently given as gifts to express respect and admiration. These flowers are also used in traditional Buddhist ceremonies as a symbol of purification and renewal.
  • In Victorian England, hydrangeas were a popular flower to give to show gratitude and appreciation. In this context, the flowers were seen as a symbol of enduring love and understanding.

Aside from their symbolism, hydrangeas also have practical uses in religious ceremonies and traditions. For example, the leaves of the hydrangea plant can be boiled to create a medicinal tea that is used in some cultures to treat inflammation and to promote relaxation.

Victorian EnglandEnduring love and understanding

Overall, hydrangeas have a rich and fascinating history in religious ceremonies and traditions. Whether used as a symbol of gratitude, honesty, or enduring love, these beautiful flowers continue to captivate and inspire people of all cultures and backgrounds around the world.

The Use of Hydrangeas in Home Décor and Landscaping

Hydrangeas are versatile flowers that can be used in various ways in home décor and landscaping. They add a pop of color to any space and are popular for their voluminous clusters of flowers. In this article, we will explore the use of hydrangeas in home décor and landscaping, with a focus on their symbolism and meaning.

The Symbolism of Hydrangeas

  • Hydrangeas are associated with gratitude, abundance, and prosperity.
  • They are also believed to represent heartfelt emotions and sincerity.
  • The color of hydrangeas can also affect their symbolism, with pink hydrangeas representing love, romance, and sincere emotion, while blue hydrangeas represent serenity, peace, and tranquility.
  • White hydrangeas represent purity and innocence.

Using Hydrangeas in Home Décor

Hydrangeas are a popular choice for home décor as they add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. Here are some creative ways to use hydrangeas in your home:

  • As a centerpiece: A beautiful vase of hydrangeas can serve as a stunning centerpiece for your dining table, adding a vibrant pop of color to your entertaining space.
  • As wall art: Framed pressed hydrangeas can serve as a unique and chic way to decorate your walls.
  • In a bouquet: A bouquet of hydrangeas in various colors can add vibrancy and life to your living room, bedroom or entryway.

Using Hydrangeas in Landscaping

Hydrangeas are popular in landscaping as they thrive in both sun and shade, making them versatile for any garden. They are also great for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Here are some ideas to incorporate hydrangeas into your landscaping:

  • As a hedge: A row of hydrangeas can serve as a natural-looking hedge, providing both beauty and privacy for your garden.
  • As a focal point: Plant a large hydrangea bush as a focal point in the center of your garden or as a backdrop for smaller shrubs and flowers.
  • As a container plant: Hydrangeas are excellent container plants, perfect for adding color to your patio or balcony.

Hydrangeas are beautiful, versatile flowers that can add style and personality to any space. Whether you choose to add them to your home décor or incorporate them into your landscaping, they are sure to make a statement and bring joy to all those who see them.

Historical uses of hydrangeas for medicinal or practical purposes

Hydrangeas are not just beautiful ornamental flowers; they have been used for practical and medicinal purposes for centuries. Here are some historical uses of hydrangeas:

  • Hydrangea roots were used by Native Americans to treat kidney problems, bladder infections, and even arthritis.
  • The leaves of the hydrangea plant can be steeped in hot water to make tea, which has been used to treat colds, fever, and stomach ailments.
  • During the Edo period in Japan, hydrangeas were used to make blue dye for fabrics and paper.

In addition to their medicinal and practical uses, hydrangeas have also played a significant role in various cultures and traditions throughout history. For example, in the Victorian era, the language of flowers was used to communicate messages and emotions without words. Hydrangeas were often given as gifts and symbolized heartfelt emotions such as gratitude, appreciation, and sincere apology.

To delve further into the historical uses of hydrangeas, here is a table showcasing some of the notable medicinal properties of different parts of the hydrangea plant:

Part of the plantMedicinal properties
RootsTreats kidney problems and bladder infections
LeavesMakes tea that helps with colds, fever, and stomach ailments
FlowersUsed in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever, swelling, and pain

It is fascinating to see how hydrangeas have not only been prized for their beauty but also for their practical and medicinal purposes. Next time you admire a hydrangea, think of the rich cultural history that surrounds this beautiful flower.

What Do Hydrangeas Symbolize FAQs

1. What do white hydrangeas symbolize?

White hydrangeas symbolize purity, humility, and grace. They are often used in weddings to represent a love that is true and genuine.

2. What do blue hydrangeas symbolize?

Blue hydrangeas symbolize sincerity, loyalty, and trust. They are often given as a gift to someone who is trustworthy and reliable.

3. What do pink hydrangeas symbolize?

Pink hydrangeas symbolize love, romance, and compassion. They are often given as a gift to someone who is special to you.

4. What do purple hydrangeas symbolize?

Purple hydrangeas symbolize royalty, dignity, and respect. They are often given as a gift to someone who deserves honor and admiration.

5. What do hydrangeas symbolize in Japan?

In Japan, hydrangeas symbolize gratitude, understanding, and apology. They are often given as a gift to express gratitude or to ask for forgiveness.

6. What do hydrangea colors mean in flower language?

In flower language, blue hydrangeas represent understanding and apology, white hydrangeas represent purity and humility, pink hydrangeas represent love and compassion, and purple hydrangeas represent respect and admiration.

7. Can hydrangeas symbolize different things in different cultures?

Yes, the symbolic meaning of hydrangeas can vary depending on the culture. For example, in Japan, hydrangeas are a symbol of gratitude and understanding, while in Western cultures, they are often used as a symbol of love and romance.

About Hydrangeas Symbolism

Thanks for reading about the symbolism of hydrangeas! Whether you’re giving or receiving hydrangeas, their meaning can add a special significance to your relationship. Remember, in Japan, hydrangeas represent gratitude and apology, while in Western cultures, they are often associated with love and romance. Make sure to visit us again for more fun and interesting articles!