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Meanings of Potted Flower Plants

By Sarah Lariviere ; Updated September 21, 2017
Potted tulips are associated with a range of meanings depending on their color.

The meanings of potted flower plants vary depending on their context. Possible interpretations for the meanings of flowers include Victorian symbolism, birth months, state flowers, herbs and religion. Potted flower plants that include an explanation of the flower's meaning can be a gift with emotional resonance for the recipient.

Historical

Yellow mums mean

Many commonly potted flower plants have historical meanings. The practice of assigning meanings to flowers is strongly associated with the Victorian era. The tall stalk and large bloom of an amaryllis represents drama. Shade-loving begonias symbolize deep thoughts. Mums vary by color, ranging from excitement (bronze) to secret admirer (yellow). Tulips range from forgiveness (white) to declaration of love (red), while violets represent faithfulness.

Birth Month

Potted daffodils are the perfect symbol for a March birthday.

Birth months offer another method of assigning meaning to flowers. Usually, flowers are assigned to the months in which they begin to bloom. Many birth month flowers can be potted. Daffodils are early spring bloomers, making them a natural birth flower for March. Lilies are profuse in May, while roses come alive in June. August's dahlias and September's asters make lovely late-summer gifts. December's birth flowers include poinsettias and paperwhites, as both bloom indoors in winter.

State Flowers

Give a potted sunflower to a homesick Kansan to provide instant comfort.

State flowers are often those that grow wild outdoors, leaving fewer options for potted flowers. But there are a few exceptions, including Hawaii's Hawaiian hibiscus, Idaho's mock orange, the purple violet of Illinois, Kansas's sunflower and New York's rose. State flowers in pots can be an apt decoration for sports events and political occasions.

Herbs

When parsley blooms its symbolic meaning of

Herbs are not usually known for their flowers, but most bloom. Additionally, they are frequently potted. Herbs offer an added element of meaning based on their healing properties. Some commonly potted flowering herbs and their meanings include basil for love, chamomile for wisdom, chives for usefulness, parsley for merriment, dill for survival and mint for refreshment.

Religious

Pansies are a Christian symbol of rememberance.

Religions also assign meaning to flowers. To some commonly potted flowers, Christians attribute specific meanings including sorrow and death to anemone, prudence and peace of mind to hyacinth, and purity to lily. In some Chinese religions, white flowers are a symbol of death, used only for funerals, while orchids, a commonly potted flower, symbolize fertility. In Buddhism, narcissus flowers represent change.

 

About the Author

 

Sarah Lariviere's debut novel The Bad Kid (Simon & Schuster) is a 2017 Edgar Award finalist. She has taken college courses in landscape design and permaculture, and is an avid gardener.