Flowers with negative meanings

Flowers with negative meanings

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We all know that flowers are harbingers of happiness, joy, and love and we use them as such to convey these emotions to loved ones. However, did you know that there are flowers with negative meanings – flowers that can mean depression, flowers of regret or hatred and even flowers that represent evil. Oh yes, check any flower symbolism chart and you will be surprised, in between the symbols of romance, virtue, and affection, to find flowers with dark meanings.

This history of the negative symbolism of plants goes back centuries, however it became particularly popular in the 1800s. During this Victorian era, when strict social etiquette made it difficult to speak openly about emotions, flowers became codified, carrying messages that couldn’t be uttered aloud. Alongside the Bible, many Victorian homes equally had guidebooks and floral symbolism charts to decipher the many positive and negative meanings of flowers.

So, to help you choose a special bouquet for a loved one or prepare your garden beds with nothing but the happiest and brightest blooms, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most negative plant symbols. Let’s take a look at some of the negative meanings associated with some blooms so you know what to avoid (or perhaps what to give your arch enemy!)

Flowers that represent evil

Not only is there such a thing as bad luck flowers, there are even plants that are so negative they are synonymous with evil. Unsurprisingly, these flowers are typically dark in color, like the black dahlia. Black dahlias, with their rich, dark burgundy hues, are inherently negative.

Despite their beauty – or perhaps because of it – black dahlias epitomize evil. Every negative action is symbolized by this flower, including betrayal, dishonesty, doom and other negative feelings or behaviors.

Similarly, a black rose – though roses are typically considered the flower of love and goodness – has equally negative connotations. Its thorns are considered a universal symbol of evil while its dark blooms hold hidden negative associations with revenge and hatred. It can also represent the end of a career or a relationship – both negative things we hope to avoid!

Flowers that mean heartbreak

Speaking of the end of relationships and, indeed, roses, are there any plants that represent the negative energy and sheer misery of heartbreak?

Interestingly, while red roses are the flower of romance and romantic love, roses can equally carry a deeper, more negative meaning according to the darkness of their petals. The darker the red of the rose, the more negative its symbolism. A burgundy, or maroon colored rose, for example, means unrequited love. In other words, a certain kind of heartbreak.

Meanwhile, cyclamens are considered to symbolize a bad break up – something we all hope never to experience! Luckily, you can customize your regular flower deliveries with a subscription service like MonthlyClubs or BloomsyBox to ensure floral arrangements that steer clear from these negative blooms!

Heartbreak and bad break ups usually stem from a form of betrayal. Therefore, is there a flower that means betrayal? 

In relationships, most betrayals come from deception, jealousy and infidelity. Yellow flowers are usually associated with jealousy, with yellow hyacinths said to best symbolize this negative emotion. Interestingly, yellow roses are also associated with not only jealousy but infidelity – so perhaps it is best to avoid these negative symbols in a wedding bouquet.

In a similar vein, there are some flowers that represent anxiety. Red columbine, for example, epitomizes anxiousness and a state of trembling, whereas mint relates to suspicion – a classic negative trait of anxiety.

Flowers that represent anger

Hatred and anger are two of the most common negative emotions we experience and so there are many flowers that represent these two passionate emotions. Flowers that represent anger include petunias and red tulips.

Petunias, despite their dazzling beauty, surprisingly represent many deeply negative emotions including resentment, anger, and trouble. However, similar to roses, these negative connotations are specific to petunias’ coloring so be sure to choose wisely when picking petunias.

Meanwhile tulips, considered such a bright and happy flower, can symbolize wrath, aggression, anger and even death in their red variety. Be careful if these come into your life as they could stir up trouble! Find the perfect tulip bouquet at 1800 Flowers or SendFlowers - yellow and pink are particularly good for happiness and confidence!

More than anger, there are some flowers that mean hate. Orange lilies can symbolize hatred, contempt, and disdain so make sure to avoid them!

Flowers with sad meanings

Lilies are also a flower meaning sadness and carrying negative symbolism, which is why they are so often used in funeral floral arrangements. Lilies of the Valley in particular, being highly poisonous, are generally regarded as plants that mean depression, pain, loss, sadness and death.

However, conversely, they can also be associated with good luck and happiness, while other lilies can represent a sense of rebirth, renewal and the restoration of a soul.

Cypress, similarly, is tied to negative emotions such as sadness and despair as it symbolizes death, mourning, and sorrow.

What flower represents loneliness?

Mentioning the sorrow of loss and absence, loneliness – as a negative feeling many of us can relate to – also has some floral counterparts. For loneliness caused by the absence or loss of someone, wormwood is considered symbolic as it means bitter sorrow or negative absence.

Zinnia is also connected to negative feelings such as loneliness through its representation of sentimentality and remembering friends. It symbolizes thinking of someone and those absent.

Who could have guessed that the very things we buy, plant, and pick to bring cheerful color and hope into our lives could be bursting with such intense and negative meanings? It shows the endless symbolism of flowers and how they can not only reflect our emotions but even heighten and create them.

With this in mind, it is important to remember that, for every plant with a negative meaning, there is one with an equally positive one. So get out your floral symbolism charts and start rooting for some joyful and exuberant blooms to keep the pesky signs of negative anger, jealousy, hatred, and loneliness away! 

Find your happy place with a bouquet from FromYouFlowers or Enjoy Flowers or plant loveliness with some shrubs from Plants.com.


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