The meaning of plants in Florida

The Orange Tree

Orange trees symbolize eternal love, fruitfulness, and marriage.

After reading the new book, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, I started looking at my landscaping in a new way. The book speaks about the meaning of plants (flowers, herbs, and trees included) and the way they are used in our life. For example, the main character brings a wayward couple back together by presenting them with jonquil, a flower similar to the daffodil. According to the Victorian meaning, the jonquil means “love me” or “affection returned.” If you’ll pardon the pun, the marriage blossoms as a result.

I know it seems sentimental, in the same sense as reading the newspaper’s daily horoscope, but in times of such a tough economy, a less-than-trusting humanity, and a world where we interact through text message more than face to face, I thought perhaps making sure the plants around my house are sending a good message isn’t such a bad idea.

I started with my beautiful trees and the namesake of our friendly company, the Palm Tree. There is possibly no plant or tree more symbolic than the Palm. In Victorian times, the Palm Tree was considered a symbol of victory and success (think of being fanned with palm fronds). In addition to victory, it can also symbolize a welcoming and a rise above conflict. The Bible speaks of palm fronds being laid at Jesus’ feet as he entered Jerusalem. Similarly, fronds were laid as Romans returned from war. A wonderful symbol of strength for our company I think!

Fruit trees are also great symbols, and often their meanings are well known. The olive tree symbolizes forgiveness and peace, Orange Blossom represents eternal love, marriage, fruitfulness and Lemon Blossom is fidelity in love; I promise to be true

Next, our most common flowers. The Bougainvillea plant, with its gorgeous bright pinks and purples represents passion, which

Meaning of Hibiscus

The hibiscus represents delicate beauty and means "consumed with love"

makes sense considering the effect they can have, bringing a property to life and representing warmer climates. The Hibiscus, with its bright, open, and delicate flowers represents delicate beauty and means “consumed by love.”  Jasmine, especially in yellow, represents modesty, grace, and elegance, while Magnolia (two species do well in south Florida) means “nobility and perseverance”. These seem perfect for planting around your home to keep loving relationships alive.

The Petunia, a common staple of Florida front beds, means “your presence soothes me.” This seems so perfect for welcoming guests to your home, while the Crocus, a beautiful little flower, means “cheerfulness and gladness”.  These would be nice to plant around your door, while good choices for flowers planted around the home, or within a vase could be Orchids (love, beauty,


Petunias are welcoming guests with the message "your presence soothes me."

refinement), Gardenia (you’re lovely, secret love, purity) and Peonies (humility, happy marriage, compassion, bashfulness).

While these are flowers with wonderful meaning, there are certain flowers and specific colors of flowers to avoid. For example, while the tea rose means “I’ll always remember,” and red roses means “love,” yellow roses means “infidelity and jealousy.” Likewise, yellow carnations means “disappointment and rejection.”

Yes, it might be silly to believe that flowers can change your life, but perhaps a magnolia planted around your door, or a money tree growing strong in your home  will simply brighten your day and bring you wealth in spirit.

What do you think? Would you plan your garden around the meaning of plants?


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