petunia flower meaning

Petunia Flower Meaning and Tattoo Symbolism

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A delicate, hardy flower, the petunia is often seen gracing hanging baskets or cascading from window boxes and other containers.

Generally grown as an annual, the petunia is actually a perennial in some areas – usually, as long as it is protected from a hard frost.

Typically given as a gift as a potted plant, the petunia can be grown outside as well as indoors. It is not the most common choice when it comes to bouquets and formal arrangements, but when given as a potted plant, the petunia is a flower that holds deep symbolism for the recipient. 

Here is what you need to know about the petunia flower meaning.

What is the Petunia Flower Meaning?

petunia meaning

Petunias are flowers in the Solanaceae family. They originated in South America. This family is large and is home to other plants that might surprise you – including tomatoes, tobacco, and chili peppers. Petunias bear a close resemblance to tobacco, which is how the plant got its common name.

When it comes to the etymological meaning, the name for this ornamental plant is derived from the Aboriginal name “petun,” which loosely translates to “tobacco that does not make a good smoke.”

You may hear the name “worthless tobacco plant” used to describe this tender perennial as well, though this is verbiage that was more common in ancient cultures and in Victorian times.

There are many popular petunia varieties, all with different meanings, including Grandiflora petunias and others.

garden petunia

What Do Petunias Symbolize?

petunia flower meaning

The petunia has multiple meanings, several of which can be contradictory. As you might expect, this often leads to confusion among recipients! 

However, the flower’s meaning depends largely on the occasion as well as on the relationship between the gift recipient and the giver. The flower’s meaning can also be affected by the flower color, too.

Some of the most common meanings for the petunia are a soothing nature, resentment, and anger. 

Anger and resentment are common themes for this flower when it is given to someone with whom you have recently had an argument. However, the flowers can also be given to someone with whom you want to spend more time – you find their company calming and peaceful. 

In some circles, petunia flowers can also symbolize the desire to never lose hope. Again, the meaning of this flower depends primarily on its color. With so many petunia varieties and different meanings, breaking down the symbolism by petunia flower color can be helpful!

petunia flowers

What Does a Red Petunia Mean?

As is the case with many types of red flowers, a red petunia is usually meant to symbolize passionate love. Red petunias are the ideal gift to show deep love in a romantic relationship. They almost always have positive meanings.

What Does a Pink Petunia Represent?

Pink petunias normally symbolize things like femininity, along with related themes like motherly love, gentleness, and compassion. They’re great for Valentine’s Day!

What Does a Yellow Petunia Symbolize?

Yellow petunias represent friendship, trust, and sympathy, they can also represent the deep respect you have for someone. A yellow petunia flower is the perfect color for a new relationship, typically a friendly or platonic one.

These blooms can also be used to symbolize good company and serve as a symbol of trust.

What Does a Purple Petunia Flower Mean?

Purple petunias symbolize fantasy, charm, and mystery, as is the case with other flowers in the color purple.

This flower has mysterious, whimsical connotations, and it can also be used to represent grace and eloquence, too. 

What Does a Blue Petunia Represent?

A blue petunia usually symbolizes peacefulness and intimacy.

However, blue petunias can also represent deep trust that is shared between two or more people, as is the case with other flowers that are the color blue.

What Does a White Petunia Symbolize?

White petunias symbolize innocence and truth. However, they can also represent dignity and trust, as is the case with other white flowers. Often used in wedding ceremonies and other religious ceremonies, these beautiful flowers give off a sweet fragrance and feminine energy.

What is the Black Petunia Flower Meaning?

Black petunias have a bit more of a dark meaning and are perhaps the most dramatic petunias!

They can be used to symbolize anger and resentment. Ancient colors viewed black petunias as symbolic of a disagreeable person and negative energy.

Today, however, the black petunia is viewed as the perfect color for any setting, even without the negative symbolism. Sure, black petunias can be viewed as symbolic of evil spirits, but most people prefer to give these flowers to showcase more positive human emotions like curiosity and a strong desire to learn and grow.

What is the Cultural Significance of a Petunia?

petunia flower meaning

The petunia is an ornamental flower that is typically used to add a pop of color to a landscape. They were often given and used as decorations in Victorian weddings, where they symbolized the idea of suitable company. They were used in Shamanism, too, to promote an altered state of perception!

What is the Symbolism of a Petunia Tattoo?

Petunia tattoos have multiple meanings, depending on the wearer. In most cases, this flower is used to symbolize resentment and anger when chosen as a tattoo. This is especially true when it is used to represent someone with whom you have had a disagreement. 

However, more often than that, the petunia is used to symbolize a desire to spend time with another person. When used as imagery in a tattoo, the petunia can have soothing, peaceful connotations. 

When Should You Give Someone Petunia Flowers?

When it comes to giving someone a petunia flower, the relationship between the giver and the recipient is very important. This relationship will impact the symbolic meaning of the flower and can help you choose the right color.

In general, there are very few occasions in which it is not appropriate to give someone a petunia plant. Often grown during the summer months along with other popular hanging basket flowers, these flowers are great gifts to give at housewarming parties or as gifts to a hostess. 

They are often gifted on Mother’s Day along with other springtime celebrations, like graduations. They are thoughtful gifts for anybody regardless of the occasion. 

Now that you know the petunia flower meaning, you’re ready to give a great gift to anyone who might be on your list!

Learn more about meanings of different flowers on our blog.

See more: What to grow with petunias

*Photo by ivusakzkrabice/depositphotos

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