The Meanings Of Flowers: The Gardenia

What does the gardenia “mean?” That's a good question! In general, the gardenia represents hospitality, grace and secret love.

Originally from China, the gardenia is also known as “cape jasmine.” Gardenias are believed to be named after Alexander Garden, a Charleston, South Carolina, physician.

In England during the 19th century, men often wore the blooms on their lapels of their formal evening wear. It was believed to be good luck to give a gardenia to a man.

The fragrance of the gardenia makes them a popular ingredient in many expensive perfumes.

The blooms have lost their popularity, but in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, the gardenia was used frequently for wedding work. Why have they become less popular? The gardenia blooms have a very “finicky nature” – you have to be very careful with the care and handling of these blooms. If the bloom is handled too much the petals will turn black.

A fellow florist advised me years ago that if you use lemon oil on your hands when doing arrangements, it will lessen the damage to the blooms. Although I’m sure this may help, I have not yet had an opportunity to try this.

If you like to enjoy the fragrance and “look” of the gardenia, I would recommend purchasing it in the “plant form”. The gardenia is readily available in the spring and early summer months and is easily spotted by its very shiny leaves and pure white blooms.

Learn How To Plant, Grow And Care For Gardenias!

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