What Does Hydrangea Symbolize: Uncovering the Meaning Behind this Beautiful Flower

Hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful flowers you can ever lay your eyes on. They come in a variety of colors, including blue, pink, purple, and white, making them a popular choice for gardeners and florists alike. But what does hydrangea symbolize? The answer might surprise you.

According to floral experts, hydrangea symbolizes a range of things. It’s said to represent gratitude, grace, and beauty, making it a popular choice for weddings and special occasions. However, it’s also believed to convey a deeper meaning, particularly in Japanese culture, where it’s been highly prized for centuries. Here, hydrangea is seen as a symbol of perseverance, resilience, and the ability to withstand the test of time. It’s a poignant reminder that even in the midst of challenging circumstances, we can still find beauty and hope.

So the next time you see a hydrangea, take a moment to appreciate its many shades, and remember the message it carries. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone or facing adversity, this graceful flower invites us to pause, reflect, and find the beauty in everything around us.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Different Cultures

Hydrangeas are not just beautiful flowers, but they are also deeply symbolic across many cultures. While it is a common belief that hydrangeas stand for gratitude, apology, and understanding, its meaning varies across different cultures and countries.

Let’s take a closer look at the hydrangea symbolism in different countries:

  • Japan: In Japan, hydrangeas signify gratitude, heartfelt emotions, and apologies. They are commonly used in traditional tea ceremonies and represent the impermanence of life. The color blue hyrangeas are particularly associated with love and the pursuit of enlightenment.
  • Korea: In Korea, the hydrangea symbolizes perseverance, abundance, and prosperity. It is often referenced in traditional Korean poetry and can be seen decorating gardens, temples, and homes.
  • Europe: The hydrangea became popular in Europe during the 18th century and was initially seen as a symbol of vanity and boastfulness. However, as the flower bloomed in popularity, it was soon associated with heartfelt emotions, gratitude, and understanding.
  • China: Hydrangeas have long been associated with feminine grace and beauty in China. The flowers are often given to young girls to wish them a happy and prosperous future. They are also seen as a symbol of apology and understanding.

In addition to the cultural associations, the meaning of hydrangeas can differ depending on their color. White hydrangeas, for example, stand for purity and grace, while pink hydrangeas symbolize love, romance, and heartfelt emotions. Blue hydrangeas represent a deeper understanding and connecting with one’s spiritual self.

So, whether you are giving hydrangeas as a gift or simply admiring their beauty, it’s important to understand the deep symbolism they hold across different cultures and countries.

History and Origin of Hydrangea Symbolism

Hydrangeas are ornamental shrubs that grow in many parts of the world, including Asia and the Americas. They are known for their beautiful and colorful flower clusters, which can be found in various shades of blue, pink, white, and purple. The name “hydrangea” comes from the Greek words for water (“hydra”) and vessel (“angeion”), referring to the plant’s need for plenty of water and its cup-shaped flowers.

Hydrangeas have been cultivated for centuries and have been used for a variety of purposes, from medicinal remedies to decorative arrangements. In Japan, hydrangeas have been popular garden plants since the Edo period (1603-1868) and have been associated with the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence, as their flowers quickly change color and shape with time. Hydrangeas were also used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve fevers, headaches, and other ailments.

Symbolic Meanings of Hydrangeas

  • Gratitude and appreciation: In many cultures, hydrangeas are seen as a symbol of gratitude and appreciation, making them popular gifts for friends, family, and loved ones. They are often given as a way of expressing thanks or admiration for someone’s kindness or support.
  • Heartfelt emotions: Hydrangeas are also associated with deep and heartfelt emotions, such as love, devotion, and sorrow. They have been used in many romantic contexts, from wedding bouquets to Valentine’s Day gifts, and have been seen as a way of expressing one’s true feelings.
  • Abundance and prosperity: In some cultures, hydrangeas are believed to bring abundance and prosperity, particularly in matters of home and family. They are often planted near homes or given as housewarming gifts to help bring good luck and prosperity to the household.

Color Symbolism of Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors, each with its own symbolic meaning:

ColorSymbolic Meaning
BluePeace, serenity, and understanding
PinkLove, romance, and sincere desire
WhitePurity, innocence, and spiritual enlightenment
PurpleRoyalty, luxury, and elegance

Overall, hydrangeas hold a special place in many cultures and have come to symbolize a variety of emotions and concepts. Whether given as a gift or grown in a garden, these beautiful flowers are sure to bring joy and meaning to any occasion.

Religious symbolism of hydrangea

Hydrangeas have been associated with various religious and spiritual beliefs throughout history. Here, we explore the religious symbolism of hydrangea, including their significance in different cultures and religious traditions.

The number 3

The number 3 holds significant religious symbolism in Christianity, as it represents the Holy Trinity. In the case of hydrangeas, the number 3 is represented in the plant’s cluster of delicate flowers, which are often grouped in threes. This is especially true for the lacecap hydrangea variety, which is characterized by its central group of fertile flowers surrounded by a ring of showy, larger sterile flowers. This arrangement of flowers is believed to represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the Christian faith.

  • There are also other instances of the number 3 in Christian symbolism associated with hydrangeas:
  • Hydrangeas are sometimes called “missionary flowers,” as their three-to-a-stem configuration resembles the three-pronged trident used by early Christian missionaries as a symbol of their faith.
  • In some cultures, hydrangeas are also used to symbolize the three stages of spiritual growth: planting, cultivating, and harvesting.

Overall, the number 3 and its representation in the hydrangea has come to symbolize the unity and completeness of the Christian faith.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Literature and Art

Hydrangeas have been the inspiration for various works of art and literature throughout history. These flowers have an ethereal and romantic quality about them, which makes them perfect for inclusion in poetry, paintings, and other creative forms.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Literature

  • One of the most famous references to hydrangeas in literature is in the novel “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Hydrangeas are mentioned several times throughout the book as a symbol of the romance and glamour of Paris, where the story takes place.
  • Another famous literary reference to hydrangeas can be found in the novel “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami. In the book, the main character wears a hydrangea brooch in memory of a young woman he loved who died by suicide.
  • Hydrangeas also make an appearance in the poem “Hydrangeas” by Seamus Heaney. The poem speaks to the transitory nature of life, as the flowers begin to wither and fade over time.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Art

Hydrangeas have been a popular subject for artists throughout history, particularly in the realms of painting and photography. One of the most famous examples of hydrangea art is Claude Monet’s painting “Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge”, which features a stunning blue hydrangea in the foreground of the scene. Other notable artists who have used hydrangeas in their work include Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, and John Singer Sargent.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Japanese Culture

In Japan, hydrangeas are known as ajisai and are a popular motif in traditional art and literature. They are often associated with the rainy season in Japan and are seen as symbols of gratitude, apology, and heartfelt emotion. The color of the hydrangea is also thought to convey different meanings, with blue hydrangeas representing simplicity and serenity, while pink hydrangeas are seen as a symbol of love and commitment.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Christian Art

BlueHumility and devotion
PinkHonesty and love
WhitePurity and grace

In Christian art, hydrangeas are often depicted as a symbol of grace and gratitude. The shape of the hydrangea blossom is seen as being similar to that of a chalice or cup, which represents the blood of Christ. In addition, the color of the hydrangea is thought to convey different meanings, with blue hydrangeas representing humility and devotion, pink hydrangeas symbolizing honesty and love, and white hydrangeas being associated with purity and grace.

Hydrangea color symbolism

Hydrangeas have become increasingly popular due to their beauty and extensive range of colors. The color of hydrangeas often plays a significant role in their symbolic meaning. In this section, we will delve deeper into what each hydrangea color symbolizes.

  • Blue: Blue hydrangeas symbolize sincerity and heartfelt emotions. They are often given as a gift to express gratitude or apology. They also represent steadfastness and loyalty.
  • Pink: Pink hydrangeas symbolize love, romance, and marriage. They are often given as a gift on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or weddings. They also represent femininity and grace.
  • Purple: Purple hydrangeas symbolize royalty, nobility, and spiritual beliefs. They are often used in religious ceremonies or are given as a gift to show appreciation or admiration.
  • White: White hydrangeas symbolize purity, grace, and abundance. They are often used in weddings, baby showers, and other celebratory events. They also represent peace and tranquility.
  • Green: Green hydrangeas symbolize renewal, balance, and harmony. They are often used in floral arrangements or as a gift to wish someone good luck in their endeavors. They also represent health and prosperity.

While the color of hydrangeas plays a significant role in their symbolism, it is worth noting that the specific shade can also alter the meaning. For example, a deep blue hydrangea may represent sadness or melancholy, while a pale pink hydrangea may represent innocence or youthfulness.

To further understand the symbolism of hydrangeas, take a look at the table below:

BlueSincerity, steadfastness, loyalty
PinkLove, romance, femininity
PurpleRoyalty, nobility, spiritual beliefs
WhitePurity, grace, peace
GreenRenewal, balance, harmony

Next time you gift or admire a hydrangea, take a moment to consider its color and the symbolic meaning behind it.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Wedding and Bridal Bouquets

Hydrangeas have long been a popular flower for use in weddings and bridal bouquets. Part of their popularity lies in the symbolism associated with this beautiful bloom. Here we will explore what hydrangea symbolizes in the context of wedding and bridal bouquets.

  • Purity: Hydrangeas are believed to represent purity, making them an ideal choice for bridal bouquets. The pure white color of many hydrangea varieties only reinforces this symbolism.
  • Gratitude: The blooming properties of hydrangeas make them a symbol of gratitude. In the context of weddings, this is especially fitting as the bride and groom are grateful for the love and support of their family and friends.
  • Harmony: Many people believe hydrangeas to be a symbol of harmony. This makes them an especially apt choice for weddings and bridal bouquets where couples are uniting two families into one.

When selecting hydrangeas for use in a wedding or bridal bouquet, it is important to consider the number of blooms. Hydrangeas are often sold in multiples of six, so it is fitting to choose a number that is divisible by six. This will only add to the symbolism of the flower on the big day.

Number of HydrangeasSymbolic Meaning
6Harmony, peace, and love
12Pure and graceful beauty
24Abundance and prosperity

By understanding the symbolism of hydrangeas, you can choose the perfect arrangement for your wedding or bridal bouquet. Whether you’re looking for a flower that represents purity, gratitude, or harmony, there is a hydrangea that will fit the bill perfectly.

Hydrangea Symbolism in Flower Language or Floriography

Flower language or floriography has been used for centuries to convey messages and emotions through the language of flowers. Hydrangea is a popular choice in floriography due to its versatile symbolism that can express various meanings and emotions. One of the most interesting aspects of hydrangea symbolism is its association with the number 7.

The Number 7

  • The number 7 is believed to be a symbol of perfection, completeness, and totality in many cultures and religions around the world.
  • Hydrangea flowers are known to have 7 or 8 petals, which adds to their association with the number 7.
  • In Japanese culture, hydrangeas are often referred to as “nanahenge,” which translates to “seven transformations,” referring to the flower’s ability to change colors throughout its blooming season.

Other Symbolic Meanings of Hydrangea

Aside from its association with the number 7, hydrangea also carries other symbolic meanings and emotions, such as:

  • Gratitude and appreciation
  • Heartfelt emotions and sincerity
  • Understanding and unity
  • Hope and renewal

Hydrangea Symbolism in Different Colors

The color of hydrangea also plays a significant role in its symbolism and meaning. Here are some of the commonly recognized meanings for different hydrangea colors:

BlueSerenity, loyalty, and sincerity
PinkLove, romance, and heartfelt emotions
PurpleGrace, abundance, and deep understanding
WhitePurity, innocence, and spiritual enlightenment

Overall, hydrangea is a beautiful and meaningful flower that can be used to express a wide range of emotions and messages, particularly its association with the number 7, which symbolizes perfection and completeness.

Hydrangea Tattoo Symbolism

Hydrangea flowers have been a popular choice for tattoos for many years. The beautiful petals and delicate colors make them a lovely symbol to adorn one’s body with. But what does a hydrangea tattoo actually symbolize? Let’s explore some of the meanings behind this popular design.

The Number 8

One of the interesting things about hydrangea tattoos is that they often feature eight petals. This is significant because the number 8 has a variety of symbolic meanings. Here are just a few:

  • In numerology, 8 is associated with abundance, success, and achievement.
  • In Chinese culture, 8 is considered lucky because the word for “eight” sounds similar to the word for “prosperity.”
  • In tarot, the number 8 is associated with strength and power.

So if you’re considering a hydrangea tattoo with eight petals, it could be a powerful symbol of abundance, success, and strength.

Healing and Medicinal Properties of Hydrangea

Hydrangea is not just a beautiful flower, but it also possesses medicinal properties that can benefit human health. Its traditional uses have been recorded for centuries and it has been widely used in traditional medicine.

One of the most interesting associations of hydrangea is with the number 9. The number is significant in many cultures and religions, and in the case of hydrangea, it represents longevity and health. Here are some of the healing and medicinal properties of hydrangea that are associated with the number 9:

  • Hydrangea contains 9 types of organic acid, including malic acid, citric acid, and succinic acid, which can help reduce inflammation and lower fever.
  • Hydrangea root has been used for centuries to treat kidney stones, bladder infections, and other urinary tract issues. It is believed that drinking 9 cups of hydrangea tea a day can help alleviate these conditions.
  • The leaves and flowers of hydrangea contain antioxidative compounds such as quercetin and kaempferol, which have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Consuming 9 petals of hydrangea flower or drinking a cup of hydrangea tea regularly can help improve cognitive function and prevent age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Aside from the number 9 association, hydrangea has many other beneficial properties, such as being antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antidiuretic. The roots and bark of hydrangea are also used to treat conditions such as arthritis, gout, and even lupus. It is also believed to have anti-cancer properties due to its ability to suppress tumor growth and prevent metastasis.

However, it is important to note that not all hydrangea species have medicinal properties, and some species can even be toxic. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming any form of hydrangea for medicinal purposes.


Hydrangea symbolizes more than just a beautiful flower. Its medicinal properties have been used for centuries and are associated with the number 9, representing longevity and health. Drinking hydrangea tea or consuming the petals can help alleviate various health conditions and improve cognitive function. However, it is important to exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before using hydrangea for medicinal purposes.

Health Benefits of HydrangeaQuantity Linked with Number 9
Reduces inflammation and fever9 types of organic acids
Treats kidney stones and urinary tract infections9 cups of hydrangea tea
Improves cognitive function and prevents age-related diseases9 petals of hydrangea flower or one cup of hydrangea tea

Source: ‘The Healing Power of Plants: The Hero House Plants that Can add Mind of Body Benefits to Your Life’ by Fran Bailey and Zia Allaway

Folklore and myths related to hydrangea

Hydrangeas are known for their beautiful symbolism and have been a popular flower for centuries. One of the reasons hydrangeas have remained popular is the myths and folklore that surround them. Here are some popular tales and beliefs about hydrangeas:

  • Hydrangeas are associated with rebirth and renewal, making them popular in funeral arrangements and grave sites. Some believe that hydrangeas help to ease grief and bring comfort to those who have lost loved ones.
  • In Japan, hydrangeas are associated with gratitude, and they are often given as gifts to express appreciation and thankfulness. It is believed that giving a hydrangea plant to someone will bring them good luck and protect them from harm.
  • In Celtic folklore, hydrangeas were believed to be a symbol of dishonesty and vanity. According to legend, a woman who wore a hydrangea in her hair was believed to be concealing something or not being truthful.

Another interesting fact about hydrangeas is their association with the number 10. In numerology, the number 10 is believed to represent completion and perfection. This belief is reflected in the hydrangea flower, which typically has 10 petals. Here is a breakdown of the symbolism of the number 10 and its connection to hydrangeas:

Symbolism of the number 10 in numerologyHydrangea symbolism
CompletionHydrangeas are a sign of completion and the end of a journey. They are often given to mark the end of a project or accomplishment.
PerfectionThe 10 petals on a hydrangea flower are a sign of perfection and beauty.
ManifestationHydrangeas are believed to be a sign that your desires and wishes will come true. They are associated with manifestation and bringing your dreams to life.

As you can see, hydrangeas are more than just a pretty flower. Their symbolism and mythology have made them a popular flower for centuries, and they continue to be a favorite among flower enthusiasts. Whether you want to express gratitude, comfort a grieving loved one, or bring beauty and perfection to your home, a bouquet of hydrangeas is always a good choice.

What Does Hydrangea Symbolize FAQs

1. What is the overall meaning of the hydrangea flower?

The hydrangea symbolizes heartfelt emotions and gratitude. It’s a flower that expresses thanks, understanding, and deep emotions that often cannot be expressed with words.

2. Does the color of the hydrangea have any significance?

Yes, the color of the hydrangea is important in its symbolism. Blue hydrangeas represent serenity, peace, and healing, while pink hydrangeas represent romance, love, and sincerity. Purple hydrangeas are a symbol of royalty, gratitude, and elegance.

3. Are hydrangeas associated with any particular occasion?

Hydrangeas are often seen at weddings, as they symbolize enduring love, devotion, and commitment. You can also gift hydrangeas to someone as a gesture of appreciation, gratitude, and understanding.

4. What do white hydrangeas symbolize?

White hydrangeas are a symbol of purity, innocence, and graciousness. They also represent unity, humility, and spiritual awakening.

5. Do hydrangeas have any other cultural significances?

In Japan, hydrangeas are a symbol of gratitude and apology. They are often given to express regret or thanks. In some cultures, hydrangeas are believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

6. Are hydrangeas associated with any particular zodiac sign?

Aquarius is the zodiac sign associated with the hydrangea. It represents the Aquarian’s free-thinking and innovative spirit, as well as their kind, nurturing nature.

7. Can hydrangeas be used in medicinal purposes?

Yes, hydrangeas have been used for medicinal purposes in many cultures. The flower can be used to alleviate fever, inflammation, and pain. The root is also used to treat kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has helped you understand the symbolism of the hydrangea flower. Whether you’re giving them as a gift or planting them in your garden, hydrangeas are a beautiful way to express your emotions. Don’t forget to come back and visit for more informative articles on flowers and their meanings. Thanks for reading!