Petunia Flower: Its Meanings & Symbolism


Petunias are a popular flowering plant typically seen in hanging baskets or cascading from window boxes and containers. These hardly flowers are generally grown as annuals in the United States, but they are actually a tender perennial, which means they will live for years if they are protected from a hard frost. These flowers are generally not used in floral bouquets and arrangements, but may be presented as a potted plant that can be grown outside.

What Does the Petunia Flower Mean?

The meaning of petunias can be contradictory, leading to some confusion – but remember the meaning of any flower depends on the circumstances and the relationship between the giver and the recipient. Petunia flower meaning is also affected by the color of the flowers. Some commonly accepted meanings for petunia flowers include:

  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Being with you is soothing

Etymological Meaning of the Petunia Flower

Petunias are a genus of flowers in the Solanaceae family that originated in South America. The solanaceae family also includes tomatoes, chili peppers and tobacco. In fact, it is the petunia’s resemblance to tobacco that earned it its name. The name petunia comes from the Aboriginal name petun which means “a tobacco that does not make a good smoke”.

Symbolism of the Petunia Flower

The petunia flower symbolizes anger and resentment especially when they are presented by someone with whom you have recently had a heated disagreement. They can also symbolize your desire to spend time with someone because you find their company soothing and peaceful. According to some sources, petunias are also a symbol of not losing hope.

Petunia Flower Color Meanings

There are no specific meanings assigned to the color of petunia flowers, but you can use the color meaning assigned to all flowers to tailor the meaning of your petunias.

  • Red – Passion & Love
  • Purple – Enchantment, Fantasy, Charm, Grace, Mystery
  • Pink – Motherly Love, , Femininity, Gentleness, Compassion
  • Yellow – Respect, Friendship, Sympathy
  • Blue – Deep Trust , Peacefulness, Intimacy
  • White – Innocence, Trust, Truth, Dignity


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Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Petunia Flower

Petunias are an ornamental flower grown during the summer months to brighten the landscape. In Victorian weddings they symbolize “your company suits me”. Historically, petunias have been used in Shamanism to promote altered states of perception.

Special Occasions for the Petunia Flowers

Potted petunias are appropriate for housewarmings or as hostess gifts. They are often presented at Mother’s Day or other spring celebrations. They are appropriate for promotions, graduations and other achievements, and make an excellent gift for gardeners as the plants will produce abundant flowers from spring until frost.

The Petunia Flower’s Message Is…

The petunia flower’s message depends on the circumstances. They make a thoughtful gift for those who enjoy outside flowers, but are not practical for an inside display for more than a few days. Consider potted petunias as hostess gifts or present them to someone who has just moved into the neighborhood.

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