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The Meaning of Orchid Colors

Woman playing piano in the sunlight with two white orchid flowers

Orchids are among the world’s most beautiful and renowned plants. They’re popular for so many reasons, from their ability to purify the air to their natural tendency to reduce stress levels. Whether that’s due to their beauty or the fact that plant life, in general, tends to conjure feelings of positivity is up for debate, it’s safe to say that orchids make naturally beautiful additions to any home.

While purple is what most people envision when they think of orchids, the truth is that this vibrant plant is available in a wide assortment of beautiful hues. Because so many people choose to give plants as birthday gifts, it’s helpful to learn more about the intention behind each tone. Just as the humble red rose is symbolic of deep, passionate love, various colors convey a strong, distinct message. Orchid colors are a great way to express complex emotions with a simple gift. Here’s what you should know about the meaning of each one.

What Orchid Colors Mean

  1. Symbolism of Orchids
  2. Orchid Meanings by Color

Symbolism of Orchids

There are hundreds of thousands of orchid varieties in the world, with some 25,000 species available. Each orchid color is linked to a specific meaning, but orchids are generally associated with virility and fertility. Their natural elegance alone makes them noteworthy, but the orchid is also associated with a variety of other positive emotions, including love and refinery.

In history, the orchid is so deeply entrenched with fertility that the ancient Greeks associated those orchids with oversized tuberous roots with male children, while those with small tuberous roots were considered symbolic of girls. Throughout history, the plant has been tied to luxury and sophistication. The Victorians are said to have put them on display merely as a show of extravagance and good taste.

Orchid Meanings by Color

It’s true that orchids as a whole are associated with love and fertility. However, if you want to send a specific message because you’re giving a birthday plant or want to express your gratitude or say congratulations, then it’s a good idea to learn about the meaning of each one so you can feel confident that you’re conveying your sentiments appropriately. This guide will help you make sense of the hidden meaning behind each beautiful orchid color.

Purple Orchids

The lush purple orchid needs no introduction. It’s as lovely as you envision—and you can find it in various shades of the hue that’s typically associated with royalty. From soft lilacs to rich eggplants, there are purple orchids of all varieties available for the taking. No matter what you select, though, you can be certain of its ties to regality, respect, admiration, and dignity. While there’s no particular gift associated with a 28th anniversary, orchids are often given on the occasion in the modern world as a reflection of the relationship’s endurance and beauty. One to consider is The Skye, a radiant and elegant beauty with a sleek silhouette and delicate flowers.

Pink Orchids

Just as beguiling is the pink orchid. Symbolic of happiness, purity, joy, innocence, and grace, this resplendent stem is available in varied shades of the bashful hue. Choose from soft blush tones that evoke a certain girlish charm, bolder pinks that are almost fiery in their appearance, and in-between shades that capture the best of all worlds. People may also choose to give pink orchids in honor of a 14th wedding anniversary. Some varieties, like the cattleya orchid, reflect maturity and growth, making it an especially fitting choice for a relationship that has stood the test of time.

Red Orchids

If you suspect the red orchid might have ties to romance, you’re on the right track. This eye-catching plant is just as evocative of that emotion as the red rose. Yet it’s not just love, desire, and passion that make the red orchid such a memorable gift idea for someone special. It also represents courage, strength, and stability, making it a lovely gift “get well” gift or a thoughtful way to express your best wishes to someone who is about to embark on a challenging experience. What a lovely way to share with them that they are on your mind.

Yellow Orchids

Utterly vibrant and undeniably uplifting, the yellow orchid makes a great option if you’re looking for happy birthday plants that would brighten anyone's day. This sunny candidate is traditionally known for its links to emotions like joy and happiness, but the orchid also represents friendship beautifully. Why not give your closest friend a yellow orchid to thank them for their loyalty and commitment to you? Yellow also evokes a congratulatory spirit, making it a lovely gift to give to a new parent or recently promoted co-worker. Try The Lemon Drop for a dash of happiness on your desk.

White Orchids

The crisp white orchid stands apart from the crowd. It’s breathtaking in its beauty, offering a certain serenity and blissful beauty that evokes an innocent and subtly elegant spirit. Symbolic of reverence, grace, and humility, the white orchid makes a thoughtful choice for anyone who plays an important role in your world. Maybe it’s the parent who has always stood by your side, the friend who you love with all your heart, or the person celebrating the birth of a new baby or a christening. The Madonna makes a fantastic option for such occasions—it’s sweetly sentimental and tucked inside a gold pot for a touch of understated yet eye-catching beauty.

Blue Orchids

Rich, true blue orchids are rarities in the botanical world. In fact, that’s precisely why the unexpected plant is reflective of rarity. Along with that, blue orchids are often tied to calming concepts like meditation and spirituality. One of the few known blue orchids is the Vanda, a striking plant that features shapely, papery leaves in a lovely shade of purple-tinged blue. Native to India, they’ve may also be found in countries like China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal.

Send Orchids

Whether you’re hoping to have birthday plants delivered, want to send a congratulatory gift, or are brainstorming a thoughtful surprise for the most special person in your life, an orchid is a genuine gift idea that is sure to bring a smile to their face—no matter what color you choose to give.


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