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Petunia Meaning: What Makes Petunias So Special

Petunia Meaning: What Makes Petunias So Special

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Petunias adorn flower gardens throughout the entire world. Their funnel-shaped flowers come in various colors and make a great addition to flower beds. They also look amazing when grown in hanging baskets.

There has been a lot of discussion about the true Petunia meaning. If you have been wondering what this plant really represents, you are in the right place.

In this article, I’ll also tell you everything about the etymological meaning of Petunias and their cultural significance and symbolism.

Let’s dive straight in!

Petunia Meaning

multicolor petunia in pot

The real question is: does the Petunia have a positive or negative meaning? The answer is actually both; Petunias have numerous meanings, some of which may conflict with one another.

The most popular meanings of the Petunia include resentment and anger, but also hope, desire, and tranquility. 

If you want to gift a Petunia to someone, you should know that the flower color plays a significant role when it comes to the meaning.

Etymological Meaning

Flowers had great significance for the Romans and Greeks; they used it to convey their feelings and give literature and the arts more depth.

As soon as a certain flower was introduced in a specific country, it received a special meaning. That’s why some flowers have different meanings in different cultures.

For Petunias, everything started a long time ago. It was first discovered in South America by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.

It’s believed that the name Petunia is an Aboriginal term. But in the Tupi-Guarani language the flower was referred to as Petun. Interestingly, the translation for this word is ‘worthless tobacco plant’ or ‘tobacco that does not make a good smoke’. The explorers weren’t amazed by the flower’s appearance, and they didn’t even want to send it to Spain.

But at the beginning of the 19th century, French king Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon’s brother) ordered the explorers to go back to Argentina.

They took a sample of the flower and shipped it to Spain. Soon, botanists accepted the name from the Tupi-Guarani language and classified Petunias to the Solanaceae family (the tobacco family).

Petunias were often used in Victorian weddings as a symbol of good company.

Another interesting thing is that this flower was used in Shamanism to encourage an altered state of consciousness.

Petunia Flower Color Meaning

Petunias in pots on a white bike

Due to their multiple meanings, you shouldn’t give Petunias as gifts until you learn the meaning of each flower color.

The flowers of this tender perennial come in various colors, so make sure to read the meaning of each color of the flower before you gift it.

Purple Petunia Flower Meaning

Let’s start with the purple Petunia flower. It’s definitely not the best gift for Valentine’s Day for your loved one.

The color purple is generally associated with elegance and enchantment, but it could also stand as a symbol of respect.

Therefore, the purple Petunia is an ideal gift for coworkers, friends, or family. In other words, don’t gift it to anyone with whom you want a romantic relationship.

Yellow Petunia Flower

yellow petunia in a hanging pot

If you want to gift a flower to your close friend, the yellow Petunia is perfect.

It represents respect and friendship, so if you want to show your BFF how much you love and respect them, give them a yellow Petunia flower.

Be careful not to give this flower to someone you have feelings for unless you want to get friend-zoned.

White Petunia Flower

Just like all other white flowers, white Petunias are associated with purity and devotion.

These beautiful flowers are often seen on special occasions, such as wedding ceremonies.

If you are a bride-to-be and looking for a perfect flower for your flower wall, the white Petunia is a great choice.

Pink Petunia Flower

If you want a flower to gift on Mother’s Day, the pink Petunia should be your choice.

These flowers stand for kindness, delicacy, and motherly love.

Although snake plants look amazing, the pink Petunia is probably a better choice for your mother-in-law.

You can also gift them for graduations and similar occasions.

Red Petunia Flower

red petunia flowers in a garden

It’s Valentine’s Day and you want to give your girlfriend a bouquet of 100 red roses! Trust me; she won’t be as amazed as she would be if you gifted her red Petunias (not a hundred, of course).

Given that red flowers stand for passion and love, they make an ideal gift for your loved one.

Blue Petunia Flower Meaning

Blue is a color that frequently connotes peaceful energy and trust, so the blue Petunia is a great gift for family, close friends, coworkers, or anyone you admire and respect.

If you don’t want to gift cut flowers, but a potted plant instead, I’m sure blue Petunia plants will leave the recipient speechless!

Black Petunia Flower Meaning

You should be careful when gifting black flowers, regardless of the species.

Different connotations are attached to black petunias. Some see it as a representation of death, bad luck, or depressing thoughts. In contrast, others see it as a representation of bravery and uniqueness.

It has a somewhat enigmatic and defiant appearance, which is one of the reasons you’ll see it on tattoos.

If someone has this tattoo, it could also mean that they suffered a loss or had a big change in their lives.

The black magic Petunia is one of the most common varieties with this flower color; if you are not sure it’s a good gift, I recommend growing it as an ornamental plant. It’ll look amazing in window boxes!

FAQs

 Petunias on a wall

What is the Petunia?

The Petunia is actually a genus that includes wide flowering varieties that produce flowers with various colors.

These South American plants produce large flowers that resemble trumpets. Petunias are quickly-spreading plants and will bloom all summer long if you provide them with ample sunlight, water, and food.

These annual plants only thrive for one growing season in colder climates. They will regrow each year in warmer regions, but will only live for around three years.

These are shallow-rooted plants and look amazing when grown in hanging baskets

What flower symbolizes anger?

Although the meaning of the Petunia has changed to something more positive nowadays, some still consider it to represent anger. Other flowers that may represent anger are Black Dahlias and Orange Lilies.

Many other flowers are related to anger, but their positive meanings prevail.

Wrapping Up

Petunias are absolutely gorgeous plants, and I don’t think there’s another plant that looks so amazing in hanging baskets.

If you weren’t sure of the true Petunia meaning, you’re now equipped to give the perfect color for the perfect gift!

It really has an interesting historical background, and although many people claim it shouldn’t be gifted at all, I think the opposite. Just pay attention to the flower color, and you are good to go!

Until next time!