Hydrangea Flower: Meaning & Symbolism
Origin and culture of hydrangeas
Hydrangea is native to Asia and South America. It is said that the flower was brought back to Europe on the first Dutch East India Company ship.
The word hydrangea is derived from the Greek words hydros meaning water and angos meaning pot. The plant was given this name because its shape resembled an ancient water bottle.
The symbolism of this flower varies greatly from culture to culture. In Japan, this flower is associated with sincere feelings, understanding and apology. This meaning comes from a very ancient time. It is said that the emperor of Japan once gifted hydrangeas to the family of a girl whom he loved so much but neglected because he was too busy. Hydrangeas are said to have been associated with heartfelt feelings, appreciation for understanding, and apologies after the Japanese emperor gifted them to the family of a girl he loved. In modern Japan, hydrangeas also have a symbolic meaning of harmony and coexistence.
In Buddhist tradition, the leaves of hydrangeas are dried and used to brew a ceremonial tea called Heavenly Tea.
In contrast, hydrangeas have negative sentiments in Europe, where they are used to declare arrogance and pride. This association is based on the plant’s ability to produce many flowers but few seeds. It is said that they gave these flowers to those who refused interest in love as a sign of their coldness.
The meaning and symbol of hydrangea by color
Hydrangeas are commonly known for their pink, blue, purple and white colors. All the colors of hydrangeas are beautiful, but the symbolic meaning of the flowers does the same. Depending on the color of the hydrangea, the symbolic meaning of the flower can vary greatly.
When gifting a hydrangea, you need to be careful and choose the right hydrangea flower color for the recipient to avoid symbolically awkward situations. The meaning and symbolism of each color of hydrangea is as follows:
Pink hydrangea (Red hydrangea): symbolizes sincere feelings.
This red flower means sincere feelings, romance, true feelings. Choosing a pink hydrangea for Valentine’s Day makes it a special alternative to roses or carnations.
Also, the pink hydrangea symbolizes true emotions, so it is perfect for wedding bouquets. Pink hydrangeas are said to contain the meaning and sincerity of love. If you look closely at this flower, you will notice that it resembles a heart shape.
Blue hydrangea: symbolizes regret and apology.
Blue hydrangea symbolizes regret and apology. It also shows feelings of understanding and deep appreciation. It’s a good gift to present to someone you’ve done wrong or to someone who may have overlooked importance in your life in the past.
The meaning of the blue hydrangea comes from the legendary story that the Japanese emperor apologized to his girlfriend. Whether you are in Japan or elsewhere in the world, the blue hydrangea symbolizes appreciation and understanding for others and has the meaning of acknowledging that you are sorry.
White hydrangea: symbolizes arrogance, vanity, pride.
In general, white flowers can be a symbol of purity and grace. But the white hydrangea flower is also associated with pride, vanity and pride. Also, white is a traditional symbol of compassion. This meaning is said to have originated in the Victorian era.
Purple hydrangea: symbolizes the desire to deeply understand someone.
Purple hydrangea flowers symbolize deep understanding. Purple hydrangea is also used as a wonderful flower for friendship or lasting relationships, as it also means gratitude. Purple is traditionally a majestic shade. Purple hydrangea can also symbolize pride, royalty and leadership.
Purple hydrangeas also express deep understanding, making them a popular choice for 4th wedding anniversary gifts. Presenting these flowers is a beautiful way to show appreciation to your partner.
Green hydrangea: symbolizes regeneration.
In general, green flowers symbolize regeneration. Also, green hydrangea can represent prosperity, good luck, health and youth. This is a great gift for someone who is just starting out or needs to inject positive energy into their life.
4 Circumstances When Giving Hydrangea Flowers As A Gift
- Handing over blue hydrangeas is a good idea when you need to give someone a sincere apology. It is known that hydrangeas were once used by emperors to help them obtain forgiveness.
- Purple hydrangeas convey deep understanding, making them a good choice for friends going through difficult times. It can show that you understand the situation they are going through.
- Hydrangea, a flower of sincere sensibility and deep understanding, is a great gift for a close friend. In particular, green hydrangeas can express gratitude for a deep bond by wishing for health and prosperity in a friend.
- Hydrangea is sometimes associated with the fourth wedding anniversary. Although hydrangeas are not officially an anniversary flower, pink hydrangeas can make a wonderful and special gift for a romantic partner.
Features of hydrangea
It is a deciduous shrub with a height of 1 to 1.5 m. Several stems emerge from one stem, and the young branches are green and thick. The leaves are long oval, 8~15cm long, with a sharp tip and sharp serrations on the edge.
What looks like a petal is a sepal, some have serrated edges, and the petals are small. Stamens and pistils are degenerated and small and fruitless. Thus, in the old days, the hydrangea flower also meant a fruitless woman.
Flowers are relatively long-lasting and can last two to three months if properly cared for. Flowers of various colors such as white, pink, red, purple, and blue are gathered together to make it colorful and attractive.
Hydrangea has the characteristic of blooming in different colors depending on the soil and fertilizer even in the same variety.
Most hydrangeas contain toxins, but some plants have a history of medicinal use. For example, hydrangea rhizomes and roots are known to treat urinary tract problems. Hydrangea root extract can improve the body’s ability to clear infections of the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract by increasing urination. It may also help prevent kidney stones.
However, there are many parts that have not been medically verified, so you should always consult with your doctor. Be aware of possible side effects or interactions with other medications.
The flowers of most hydrangeas are white. However, some species may have flowers in a wider range of colors.
Colors vary from blue, pink, dark purple, light purple and red. Soil pH levels and the presence of aluminum ions that plants can absorb play a large role in the color of flowers in these species.
A higher acidity of a soil characterized by a pH of less than 7 indicates a greater amount of aluminum ions to be absorbed. The result is blue to dark purple flowers.
On the other hand, more alkaline soils (pH level above 7 and lacking aluminum ions) will result in pink to red hydrangea flowers.
To get purple hydrangeas, the soil must have a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to find the perfect purple hydrangea without a blue, pink or red tint.
Also, not all hydrangeas are affected by color change through soil acidity. For example, white flowers do not change color.
Changes in the color of hydrangea flowers are also related to the heredity of certain hydrangea varieties.
Other factors can affect color change, such as weather conditions (hot or cold, wet or dry), plant health, and other natural factors.
Fertilizing hydrangeas once or twice a year may improve the health of the plants, so the color may be a little darker.
To get blue hydrangeas, you need aluminum in the soil. Therefore, aluminum sulfate is recommended to be added to the soil around the hydrangea as it helps to lower the pH of the soil.
If the soil naturally contains aluminum and is acidic, the color of the hydrangea automatically approaches shades of blue and purple.
Next, the choice of fertilizer also affects the color change. Fertilizers that are low in phosphorus and high in potassium help to achieve a good blue color.
Pink hydrangea should not absorb aluminum from the soil, so the soil must be alkaline.
Hydrangea flower tattoo
Hydrangea flowers usually symbolize feelings of gratitude. This flower can symbolize gratitude for a particular person. A hydrangea tattoo is a good way to express your feelings for your loved one based on the symbolic meaning of flowers with deep understanding and sincere emotions.