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Gardenia Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Gardenia Flower Meaning and Symbolism

The Gardenias flower is one of the world’s most popular flowers, with the gardenia meaning being sweetness and purity. With a sweet, rich fragrance and an elegant look, a gardenia flower meaning can also be harmony and goodwill. Keep reading to learn more about this optimistic, positive vibes bloom.

About the Gardenia Flower

There are 140 types of gardenias, with the white gardenia flower being the most symbolic. In the Hebrew Kabbalah, gardenias attract the most love. You’ll find good things with no bitterness or sorrow where gardenias grow.

The name Gardenia comes from an American naturalist botanist named Dr. Alexander Garden. Gardenias belong to the genus of the same name in the Rubiaceae family. 

Nearly 60 species grow wild in Asia and Africa, while Gardenia jasminoides – native to China and Japan – are the only species grown in gardens.

History and Origin

Gardenias flowers originated in subtropical climates in Africa and Asia. And in China, Gardenias floral are symbolic of art and femininity. Gardenia cultivation can be traced back from 960 to 1279 AD.

Ancient Celts believed Gardanias gave off special vibrations that offered protection from negative energies and curses. And they thought the gardanias scent could guide the spirit. 

Therefore, the gardenias’ flowers were often used in ceremonies to talk to their ancestors for guidance and help. They made it to England gardens in the mid-18th century.


Gardenias have bold, glossy dark green to scarlet foliage and vary in color, size, and scent. These evergreen shrubs can grow 1m to 15 meters tall in natural habitats. 

From May through September, the plant forms aromatic white waxy flowers that smell similar to jasmine. Original species have singular flowers, while hybrids form in several layers of double flowers.

Gardenia Flower Care

Gardenia flowers require a lot of attention to achieve their full potential of blooms. These plants need abundant light (avoid direct sunlight) and fairly high humidity. 

Sudden temperature changes can cause your flowers to wilt. So you’ll need to provide adequate watering year-round. 

Provide enough room temperature water in the summer to keep the soil moistened but the upper layer dry and thick. But keep the water off the flowers and buds to avoid causing damage or a color change.

Give the plants acidic fertilized water every two to three weeks from March to September. And in winter, keep the top layer.

Uses Throughout History

Throughout history, gardenias have been used for wedding decor, from wedding bouquets to flowers in the hair or on bridal gowns.

These flowers were used as a yellow dye for food and fabric in China. And the fruits were herbal remedies for infection, anxiety, and depression. 

This plant also reduces swelling, eliminates irritability, soothes tendon and joint injuries, cures infections, and stops bleeding.

Gardenia Flower Symbolism

There are a few different meanings for the gorgeous and elegant-smelling Gardenia flower. First, this plant has sacred implications in Greek mythology, associated with Morpheus, the Greek God of dreams.

Etymological Meaning

The etymological meaning of the Gardenia flower is from Alexander Garden, a physician, and botanist who corresponded with zoologist John Ellis. Botanist Carolus Linnaeus classified the genus and named this flower in his honor.


Gardenia flowers are also symbolic of trust. You can use this flower for someone important to you. For example, it can tell your partner how much you respect and love them and completely trust them.


The gardenia flower is also a symbol of renewal and starting anew. You can give this flower to someone starting a new journey in life and taking a step into the future. 

In a romantic situation, Gardenia flowers symbolize the renewal of love and how it constantly evolves and changes for your partner.

Hopes and Dreams

Hope is also a meaning of Gardenia plants. This is because they represent the belief of a new day and leave behind everything negative. Therefore, flowers that appear in your dreams have a stronger significance.


Gardeninas are gorgeous flowers, making them symbolic of beauty in all forms and shapes. It’s been used for inspiration by many artists throughout history.

Secret Love

In Victorian times, flowers were used to send unspoken messages. For example, it was popular for a red Gardenia fower to be a way to send a secret message of passion, love, or admiration for your lover. 

Gardenia Flower Color Meaning

The flower gardenia meaning can vary based on the gardenia’s color. There are a few different colored gardenias, with the most common being red and white. 

When people wonder what colors gardenias are, they are often shocked to find out that there are no pink or blue gardenia flowers. 


White gardenias represent harmony and purity. A gardenia white unites and brings harmony and peace to the environment and people. 

Seeing a white gardenia flower in dreams can mean that you’re worried about something or have a problem. But it can also mean your unrealistic goals or illusions. And finally, the gardenia white flower can be your sadness manifesting.


A red gardenia meant a secret love in Victorian times. Today, a red gardenia flower symbolizes a silent announcement of love, respect, or admiration. 

Gardenia Flower FAQ

Give these frequently asked questions ago to learn more about the Gardenia flower.

What Does a Gardenia Flower Tattoo Represent?

The gardenia flower tattoo is delicate and beautiful. A gardenia tattoo can represent purity, love, and refinement.

What Does a Gardenia Flower Smell Like?

Gardenia flowers have a similar scent to Jasmine.

Are Gardenia Flowers Toxic?

Some gardenias are non-poisonous, but most should be used with caution around small children and some living creatures. 

When Should You Give Someone a Gardenia Flower?

Gardenias are most likely to mean passionate or secret love. But you can also use them as an elegant touch for wedding ceremonies.  

When are Gardenia Flowers in Season?

Gardenias are in season from late spring to early summer and last until fall.

Are Gardenia Flowers Annuals or Perrenials?

The Gardenia flower is an evergreen shrub.

Final Thoughts

Gardenias are evergreen shrubs that produce elegant white fragrant flowers on bright to dark green glossy foliage. Meanings of the Gardenia include beauty, secret love, dreams and hopes, renewal, and trust.