Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 11:37 pm

Petunia flowers originate from South America and comprise 20 species in their genus. These flowers are mostly perennial. Most of the garden varieties of the plant are hybrids, scientifically known as Petunia x atkinsiana.

The plant belongs to the Solanaceae family and shares its taxonomic category with tobacco, tomato, cape, gooseberry, potato, and chili pepper. Some popular species in the genus include Petunia alpicola, Petunia exserta, Petunia inflata, Petunia interior, Petunia littoralis, and Petunia saxicola.

Petunias depend on insects for their pollination process. An exception to this tendency is Petunia exserta. Hummingbirds are responsible for pollination in this species. This species is quite rare, and its flowers are red. Most petunias can breed with other species of the same genus.

Petunia flower’s meaning has its origins in the word ‘Petun.’ This word is of aboriginal origins. It denotes a variant of tobacco plant that is not suitable for smoking. The ancient cultures were quick to realize the similarities between the two plants. This similarity certainly influenced the nomenclature of the petunia plant.

The petunia flower’s meaning is incomplete without its historical connotations. There was a time when they were not very likable. However, they are extremely popular in the modern era and can be seen as houseplants in changing pots and planter boxes.

What does the Petunia flower symbolize?

Petunia flower’s meaning and symbolism derive from their relatability to fundamental human emotions. These flowers have several symbolic meanings attached to them. However, they are mostly connected to the human emotions of anger, resentment, and comfort.

Petunia flowers may symbolize anger and resentment, but they are also a source of comfort and convey the emotion of a feel-good factor. When given to an enemy or a disagreeable person, these flowers convey the emotion of anger and resentment to the person without any need for verbal communication. At the same time, these flowers can also remind the recipient that there still lies a feeling of disappointment or anger between the two parties. 

Petunia flower’s meaning and symbolism also have a deep historical context. Numerous cultures influenced the construction of this meaning. These cultures witness the magnificence and beauty of these flowers in their daily lives. Indeed, a lot of imagination and storytelling were crucial to come up with the symbolic meaning of these flowers.

All in all, the petunia flower symbolic meanings are:

  • desire
  • hope
  • calmness
  • comfort
  • resentment
  • anger

Meaning of the Petunia flower colors

White color

The white color of the petunia flowers symbolizes purity, spirituality, and innocence. This color is considered neutral and is often used in wedding ceremonies. White petunias have deep spiritual significance, and they have been used in the past to honor divinity.

Purple color

Purple symbolizes unique human ideas like fantasy, grace, enchantment, and mystery. Purple petunias are extremely beautiful and should be gifted to those who embody the above qualities. These petunias are offered to colleagues or friends who are not necessarily in the romance circle.

Yellow color

Yellow petunias symbolize sympathy, friendship, and respect. These flowers can be gifted to friends and close relatives with rough patches. They are excellent symbols of support and emotional guidance.

Blue color

Blue Petunias symbolize intimacy, trust, and peace. These flowers appear unique and quite stunning. They can be gifted as a symbol of trust to near and dear ones.

Pink color

The pink color symbolizes compassion, maternal love, feminine energy, and gentleness. More often than not, pink petunias are gifted to women as a symbol of love and care.

Red color

The red color universally symbolizes ideas of love and passion. Red petunias can be used as an expression of love and sympathy. Often enough, they are incredible substitutes for red roses.

Interesting facts about the Petunia flowers

  • Petunias can grow up to four feet in height, and their size depends on the variety.
  • The plant leaves are covered with hair and a gooey sap, making them sticky. They are ovate-shaped and resemble a heart in appearance.
  • The flowers of the plant bloom from spring right up to autumn.
  • Insects and hummingbirds are the prominent agents of pollination for these plants.
  • Petunias can be eaten, and their flowers typically have a spicy taste.

How to grow Petunia flowers

Petunia flowers provide long-lasting beauty in the summer landscape and can improve drab borders with attractive pastel tones. Petunia maintenance is basic and straightforward. You may incorporate petunias into your flower bed and container garden after learning how to grow them.

  1. Plant the petunias in light, fertile soil that provides good drainage.
  2. Place them in a spot with full sun, where they can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days.
  3. Soak plant beds weekly with 1 to 2 inches of water when there’s no rainfall.
  4. Feed the plant at the time of planting with a balanced fertilizer.

How to care for Petunia flowers

  1. Do not let the soil dry out more than 2 inches down.
  2. Fertilize the soil every two to three weeks with a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants.
  3. Pinch back the stems to promote more branching and a fuller plant.
  4. Deadhead blooms to continue blooming at their best throughout the summer.
  5. Leave the spent blooms on the plant if you want the petunia to self-seed.

Best time to gift Petunia flowers

Petunia flowers can be a perfect gift for Mother’s Day as they symbolize maternal love and affection. This can be a great time to show your mother how much you love her. Apart from that, they can also be gifted during a housewarming event or as a graduation gift.

Various colors of petunias can be used on different occasions to symbolize different emotions. Red petunias are a great gift for Valentine’s Day. They can also be gifted during anniversaries and weddings. White petunia flowers can be gifted as a symbol of peace to acknowledge a person’s peaceful effect on your life.


Petunia flowers have influenced how different cultures perceive and associate with them in many civilizations throughout the world.

Its meaning and connotation have shifted from negative to positive over time.

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