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Orchid Colors and Their Meanings

Orchid Colors and Their Meanings

Orchids have long captivated the world with their versatility, vibrant colors and intricate forms, but there’s more to this flower than meets the eye. 

Human experience, culture and history have given each orchid color its unique meaning through the years. 

So, whether you’re looking for a romantic gift for your significant other, or a thoughtful gesture to brighten someone’s day, there’s a perfect orchid color for your every need. 

1. Pink Orchids: Romance and Femininity

Pink Orchids: Romance and Femininity
Image: All About Gardening

Pink orchids are the most common orchid species you see in flower shops. They symbolize romance, affection, femininity, admiration, love for family, and joy. 

Because of these hidden meanings, pink orchids are best gifted to brides. Pink orchids are also known as 14th and 28th wedding anniversary flowers.

2. Purple Orchids: Power and Respect

Purple Orchids: Power and Respect
Image: Country Living

Purple orchids are used to show respect and admiration for other people. They symbolize royalty, power, dignity and perfection. 

Others also gift purple orchids to express intense emotions – like love at first sight!

3. White Orchids: Purity and Sympathy

White Orchids: Purity and Sympathy
Image: Blue Diamond

White orchids are usually associated with spiritual meanings. They stand for purity, harmony, hope, enlightenment, sympathy, sincerity and elegance. 

These white orchids are commonly used for weddings and other events with spiritual importance. Small potted white moth orchids are a common gift to newlyweds.

During the Victorian era in England, white orchids were a sign of wealth, while in Japan, they represented royalty. 

4. Yellow Orchids: Warmth and Friendship

Yellow Orchids: Warmth and Friendship
Image: Brittanica

Because of their vibrant color, yellow orchids are used to send positive vibes to their recipients. They symbolize happiness, optimism, warmth, appreciation, devotion, and friendship. 

Yellow orchids are usually given to someone as a peace offering in the hope of reconciliation or a new beginning. 

5. Green Orchids: Growth and Prosperity

Green Orchids: Growth and Prosperity
Image: Anthurium Hawaii

Green orchids mean good fortune, prosperity, growth and rebirth. 

Others use it as a get-well-soon gift since it symbolizes good health, longevity, freshness, fertility and youthfulness.

6. Red Orchids: Love and Passion

Red Orchids: Love and Passion
Image: Adobe

Red is an intense color, so red orchids express love, passion, romance and desire for a significant other.

It is also the color of blood, so others use it to symbolize courage, sacrifice and life. 

7. Orange Orchids: Enthusiasm and Determination

Orange Orchids: Enthusiasm and Determination
Image: Unique Flora

Orange orchids also possess a vibrant color commonly gifted to convey messages of encouragement and congratulations. It evokes feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, joy, and vitality.

You can give orange orchids to a recent graduate or someone who recently succeeded in a competition or presentation.

8. Blue Orchids: Peace and Wisdom

Blue Orchids: Peace and Wisdom
Image: The Spruce

Blue orchids are hard to find and closely related to rarity, wisdom, peace, sensitivity, imagination and freedom.

During the Victorian era, blue orchids show the rareness and depth of love for their significant others.

What did orchids mean throughout human history?

Orchids symbolize different things depending on the country, religion or culture. Check out the table below to know what they mean in different parts of the world. 

Country/ReligionOrchid Meaning
GreeceMale virility
China• Love
• Beauty
• Fertility
• Noble culture
Mexico (Aztecs)Strength
PhilippinesProtector of forests
IndonesiaFairy cloaks
ChristianityBlood of Christ
What did orchids mean throughout human history
Image: Rhodes Guide

The name “orchid” was derived from the Greek word “orchis,” which means testicles. Quite fittingly, ancient Greeks saw orchids as a symbol of male virility. 

Their tradition involves Greek women giving the plants’ bulbs to their husbands so they can conceive a male child.

In ancient China, on the other hand, orchids symbolized love, beauty and fertility, making them a common gift to newlyweds or married couples. 

The renowned Chinese philosopher Confucius even likened honest and virtuous individuals to orchids because they represent noble culture.

What did orchids mean throughout human history
Image: The Spruce

For Aztecs, orchids were a symbol of strength; they even created a strength potion out of vanilla orchids. 

In southeast Asia, orchids are seen as the protector of forests in the Philippines, while jewel orchids are believed to be fairy cloaks in Indonesia. 

What did orchids mean throughout human history
Image: DIYS

Finally, Christian theology relates orchids flowers to the blood of Christ, which is why they’re commonly found during the Easter and Christmas flower arrangements in churches.

FAQs on Orchids

What is the meaning behind orchid flowers?

Orchid flowers symbolize pure love, beauty, and toughness. In Feng Shui, orchids bring positive energy to homes.

What star sign has an orchid as its official flower?

The star sign Aquarius has orchid as its official Zodiac flower.

What type of orchid can I give as a housewarming gift?

A dendrobium orchid is an excellent housewarming gift since it is a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate low moisture and changing temperatures.

Are orchids good luck?

Orchids symbolize good luck and are considered one of the luckiest houseplants in Feng Shui. They are commonly gifted for housewarming and new spaces for good fortune.

How long do orchids last?

Potted orchid plants last about 2 to 3 months, while garden orchid plants can live for decades.

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