What Do Orchids Symbolize?

Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 10:54 pm

The name orchid has been derived from Greek origins. The Greek word “orkhis.” The first orchid was named by a Greek botanist of ancient times by the name of Theophrastus. Theophrastus thought that the fleshy tubers of the plant, which were underground, resembled the anatomy of a male.

Orchids are all members of the Orchidaceae botanical family, which contains thousands of species and variants. The largest known plant family is Orchidaceae, followed by Asteraceae

Globally, orchids are known to be of various types. There are, in total, around 20,000 known species of orchid. Some stories regarding the names of orchids were rather interesting reads. One particular orchid called the Moth was believed to be a moth by Peter Osbeck, who discovered them.

What does the Orchid flower symbolize?

Orchids have carried a variety of symbolism over the years. The ancients of the Greeks believed orchids were a symbol of human masculinity. These flower’s symbolism was so profound in their beliefs that they thought the larger tuberous roots resembled the male children and the smaller tubers symbolized female children.

The Aztec civilization in the Americas used to mix vanilla orchids with chocolate to create a concoction. This was said to improve power and give great strength. The Victorian-era orchids were more of a display of elegance and luxury over power and strength.

The Vanilla type of orchid is native to the Mesoamerican region where the tribes of Totonac Indian would cultivate them. According to various ancient legends of the Totonac Indians, the vanilla type of orchid would spring out from the blood of a certain Princess Xanat. This was when the princess and her lover got amputated for dishonoring her father’s wishes.

Confucious often admired the beauty of orchids and wrote several poems and quotes regarding them. One such highly popular saying by Confucious is:

 “The orchids grow in the woods and they let out their fragrance even if there is no one around to appreciate it. Likewise, men of noble character will not let poverty deter their will to be guided by high principles and morals.” –Confucius.

All in all, the orchid flower symbolic meanings are:

  • love
  • beauty
  • refinement
  • fertility
  • thoughtfulness
  • mature charm

Meaning of the Orchid flower colors

White color

White orchids symbolize purity, innocence, reverence, and elegance.

Pink color

Pink orchids symbolize joy, grace, and femininity.

Yellow color

The yellow color of orchids would symbolize new forms of beginnings and friendships. They are ideal choices for gifts for your friend or for celebrating some accomplishment.

Purple color

The purple color of the orchid symbolizes the admiration of subjects and royalty. They are traditionally presented as a sign of respect.

Orange color

The orange color of the orchid symbolizes boldness, pride, and enthusiasm.

Interesting facts about the Orchid flowers

  • The pink color of the orchid is the ultimate traditional flower for couples celebrating the 14th or 28th anniversary of their wedding.
  • Orchids mostly rely upon the symbiotic relationship between fungi to survive. This makes them very adaptable to a wide form of ecosystem.
  • Most of the Orchids originate in almost every continent except for Antarctica.
  • The slipper type of orchid has a unique form of method for pollination. It lures several pollinators, such as insects, into the slippery pouch. To escape, the victim must crawl through a tiny little narrow crevice in the plant. That forces the insect to rub against all the attached forms of pollen. If the insect has fallen victim to another type of slipper orchid, it promotes cross-pollination through a similar process.
  • One of the most popular orchids is the famous Paphiopedilum. The popular orchid name derives from the Greek word “Paphos.” The term Paphos meant the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
  • During most of the Victorian age, the orchids were only found around the subtropics and used to be extremely rare. This led the Victorians on quests to collect all the exotic orchids. They would represent a sign of elegance, luxury, and refined taste. An orchid as a gift, the rarest of the kind, meant the deep passion and love one had for the receiver.

How to grow Orchid flowers

Orchids can live for many years and rebloom several times yearly if properly cared for. These magnificent blooms are often simple to care for, but that doesn’t imply they don’t require any maintenance.

  1. Plant in a potting mix made especially for orchids instead of soil.
  2. Keep in bright, indirect light from a south- or east-facing window, where they can get 12 to 14 hours daily.
  3. Water sparingly once a week.
  4. Apply orchid-specific fertilizer when plants are in active growth.

How to care for Orchid flowers

  1. Allow the growing orchids to dry out between waterings to prevent rot.
  2. Water twice a week in the warmer months when the plant is actively growing and only once a week in the colder months.
  3. Use a liquid fertilizer; dilute it more than you would for other plants to sustain healthy growth.
  4. Mist the plant with fish emulsion or seaweed extracts to provide micronutrients.
  5. Remove faded orchid blooms to keep the plant from spending energy on old growth. 
  6. Cut off the flower spike after flowering is complete.

Best time to gift Orchid flowers

Orchid flowers make excellent gifts since they grow with the recipient. Orchids are unique gifts since they are thought to bring good luck to every home they visit. It warms everyone’s heart, and orchid plants help ease tension and bring life and happiness to people.

These flowers are a perfect gift that will bloom not once but several times for many years.


Orchids are some of the most beautiful-smelling flowers. They are the epitome of beauty and grace in presence. Orchid flowers have been associated with different symbolism since ancient times. 

Whether you’re looking for orchids to give as a gift or to use as your house decor, there’s one for practically every event and celebration. You have many options because of the large range of orchid colors.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!