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Orchid Colors: Symbolism and Shades of Meaning

August 24, 2023

For centuries, orchids have enchanted the human world with their exquisite beauty, exotic blooms and vibrant colors. Each orchid color can convey emotions, cultural significance and even hidden messages.

Let’s delve into the world of orchid color symbolism, enabling you to choose an orchid color that is meaningful to you or the person you’re giving it to!

A Little Orchid History

Color aside, orchids have been thought to have certain powers by various cultures, including the Aztecs, the Greeks and the Chinese. 

While Aztecs used orchids to make powerful elixirs, ancient Greeks believed orchids had the power to determine a baby’s gender. Fathers would eat a large tuber if they desired a male child, whereas mothers would eat a smaller tuber in hopes of a daughter. 

According to Smithsonian Magazine, “orchidelirium,” or orchid mania, developed in Victorian times in response to a growing fascination with these rare flowers. During this time, orchids were displayed as a status symbol.

The Emotional, Cultural and Mythical Meanings of Orchid Colors

Color meanings vary across cultures, so we’ve used a broad brush to paint a well-rounded picture of what various orchid colors can mean to different people.

White Orchids: Innocence and Elegance

Wedding Decor

White orchids are often associated with purity, innocence and elegance. Their pristine petals evoke a sense of simple elegance. 

In some cultures, white orchids symbolize spirituality and new beginnings, which is why they are frequently used in wedding bouquets and decorations. 

In some cultures, white is also associated with funerals, so be sure to research the specific cultural implications before giving this gift to someone outside of your culture or religion.

Yellow Orchids: Friendship and Joy

Yellow orchids radiate warmth and positivity, symbolizing friendship and joy. These cheerful blooms are the perfect way to show appreciation for friends or for adding a cheerful vibe to indoor decor.

In ancient Chinese culture, yellow orchids were believed to bring good fortune and happiness to households, making it a great companion to the money tree plant.

Pink Orchids: Grace and Femininity


Pink orchids embody grace, femininity, and affection, making them perfect gifts at baby showers and great decorations for events supporting causes such as breast cancer awareness.

Pink orchids are often associated with romantic gestures and expressions of love, so they are a popular choice for gifts to convey appreciation and admiration.

Purple Orchids: Royalty and Higher Consciousness

Purple orchids exude an air of luxury, opulence, and regality. Their rich tones are reminiscent of nobility and luxury. In Victorian times, purple orchids were considered rare and were highly sought after. 

Purple or violet is also associated with higher consciousness in some traditions. Want to vibrate higher? A purple watercolor orchid may be the perfect plant for you!

Red Orchids: Passion and Creativity

Like red roses, red orchids (or any plant) can symbolize passion and romantic love. While we don’t sell red orchids, we do offer long-lasting anthuriums. These plants have red, heart-shaped leaves, making them popular on Valentine's Day as well as the winter holidays.

Red is also a popular color for those celebrating the Chinese New Year. During this time, people wear red and give each other red envelopes containing cash or lottery tickets for good luck and fortune in the upcoming year.

Blue Orchids: Enchantment and Intrigue

Blue Watercolor Orchid_Orchid Color Blog

Blue represents tranquility and calmness and is associated with water and emotions. Like purple, blue is a royal color, (especially royal blue!) Instead of a diamond, royal members often wore sapphire engagement rings.

While blue orchids do not occur naturally, we do offer blue watercolor orchids. These plants are perfect for Hanukkah, as winter decor or simply as a gift for anyone who loves the color blue.

Orange Orchids: Energy and Enthusiasm

Orange orchids exude energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Their vibrant shades mirror the warmth of the sun as it sets in the evening sky or the glow of a fireplace in winter. 

Orange orchids are great gifts for those needing some encouragement and warmth. They look great in rooms with blue or green decor and can add a touch of autumn to Thanksgiving dinner tables.

Green Orchids: Renewal and Nature

Green orchids, with their connection to nature, symbolize renewal, growth and good health. They evoke feelings of harmony and balance, reflecting the rejuvenating power of the natural world. 

Green watercolor orchids are great for the winter holidays, but they are particularly popular as St. Patrick’s Day decorations.

Orchids for Everyone

While orchids and their colors have traditional symbolism associated with them, always keep the individual in mind when purchasing a gift. A pink orchid may be perfect for a male or female wanting to embrace femininity. (Or perhaps they’re just fans of the Barbie movie or love pink).

And luckily, orchids are no longer for the wealthy elite. Just Add Ice specializes in Phalaenopsis orchids, which are easy to care for and can be purchased for as little as $30, depending on the size of the orchid.

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