What is the meaning and symbolism of lavenders

What is the meaning and symbolism of lavenders?

Lavender flowers can mean love, purity, grace, quietness, devotion, calmness, and virtue. One can say that lavender is a noble flower, similar to chamomiles and lotuses.

Some of its meanings were acquired from its calming and therapeutic effects. Used as an essential oil, it can help treat mild to severe anxiety, depression, and insomnia, among other things.

Also, its bright purple hue suggests royalty, luxury, and spirituality. The crown or spiritual chakra of a person is actually depicted as purple in India.

Now, we’ll further discuss the wonderful lavender flower in this simple, full guide. That includes its characteristics, meanings, cultural significance, uses and benefits, and more!

Quick Lavender Facts

Quick Lavender Facts

Lavender is an attractive flowering plant that’s native to the mountainous regions of Western Europe.

Its genus name is Lavandula, which is currently made up of 47 species in the mint family. Its most common types are the Spanish, French, English, and Lavandin lavenders.

They grow at different times during the summer and fall. Most people grow them in borders and beddings due to their amazingly enchanting sweep of colors when planted together or at intervals.

Others, though, are content to plant them in potted containers among other flowers and shrubs in their home garden.

How do you describe a lavender flower?

How do you describe a lavender flower

Like snapdragons and gladioluses, lavenders grow in an upright formation. They produce beautiful, vibrant flower spikes and small oblong leaves and are supported by sturdy silvery-green stems.

Another thing that distinguishes this flower from others is its recognizable, earthy, and floral scent. Many people love it because the fragrance isn’t only heavenly and pleasing but also relaxing.

Taking the flowers into account, lavenders grow to be 20 to 24 inches tall and wide when they mature. But some varieties can even reach an incredible 3 feet!

And lavender comes in a carnival of colors with varying shades of purple in addition to white, blue-violet, and pink.

Different Types of Lavender to Grow in Your Garden

Different Types of Lavender to Grow in Your Garden

There are 40+ types of lavender flowers or herbs you can plant in your house. Let’s go over some popular ones below:

  • English Lavender

English lavender (L. angustifolia) is known for its strong aroma, cold-hardiness, and relatively long lifespan compared to the other types. 

These flowers are a great choice as rock garden, border, ornamental hedge, and container plants. They have been widely cultivated as a low ornamental hedge since the Renaissance period (14th to 17th century).

  • French Lavender

Its botanical name is L. dentata. French Lavender bears large and abundant flowers that are incredibly wonderful.

Its brilliant flower show lasts for a longer time than the previous variety mentioned. You can expect this throughout spring and autumn, and also, the plant can grow between 1 and 3 feet high.

  • Spanish Lavender

Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) is a unique lavender in that it shifts color as it grows. At first, it has white flowers with long petals, but it then changes to pink and hot purple when maturing.

A key difference with this flower is only the leaves have a fragrant scent. The flowers themselves have none. 

It’s ideal to grow them in 18 to 24-inch mounds in the garden, but they also grow well in vessels and mass plantings. Its flowering season goes from mid-spring to late summer.

  • Portuguese Lavender

Concerning scent, Portuguese lavender (L. latifolia) is stronger than English lavender. It stands on a green, study, and long stem, showing off its upright sets of deep-violet blooms.

It grows from late spring to late summer and can be up to 3 feet tall. The oil that can be extracted from this flower is special because it is used to fight bacteria, viruses, and infections.

Given its charm and sweet aroma, Portuguese lavender is also excellent to be planted as bedding, border, rock garden, and container plants. Plus, it can surely attract butterflies and bees to your abode.

  • Lavandin

Lavandin (Lavandula hybrida) is a hybrid lavender plant resulting from breeding English and Portuguese lavenders. The majestic plant is most loved for its sharply fragrant leaves and flowers.

It grows in mounds up to 3 inches high, which makes it an amazing spectacle to behold. However, it produces flowers from mid-to-late summer only.

Though it’s widely used to make perfumes and potpourris, it isn’t used to flavor food because of its strong taste.

What is Latin for lavender?

What is Latin for lavender

Lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, meaning “to wash.” Accurately enough, Ancient Romans used the aromatic oil of lavender when they bathed.

That practice has lived on in modern times. Today, lavender is used as an ingredient in many products like soaps, perfumes, potpourris, shampoos, and room and toilet deodorizers.

Lavender Meaning and Symbolism

Lavender Meaning and Symbolism

The common meanings attributed to this flower are gentleness, beauty, and love of life or for someone. Furthermore, grace, serenity, and peace are other qualities you can associate with them.

What does the Bible say about lavender?

In the Christian faith, lavender is also taken to mean devotion, purity, and love. The flower is used to represent the Virgin Mary who is the perfect example of the said virtues.

The Bible also mentions an expensive, fragrant perfume or oil called spikenard or nard, and it’s believed to be made from lavender. These days, however, it’s more accurate to use the word nard to refer to a different aromatic plant.

Because the two plants have pleasant smells, it’s easy to confuse them.

Lavender in Ancient Rome and Greece

In ancient Rome, people often bathed in lavender-scented water, which calmed their nerves. Plus, it also served as a status symbol because of its costly price.

On the other hand, in ancient Greece, the flowers were sacred and offered to the gods in temples and shrines. Besides that, they also used lavender oil in their baths for cleansing and relaxation.

Lavender Colors and Their Meanings

Lavender Colors and Their Meanings

We mentioned that lavender has many colors and these enhance or change the spin of its meaning a bit.

Let’s take a look at each one of them:

  • Purple – This is the standard color of lavender flowers. Purple is associated with wisdom, royalty, elegance, and spirituality.

Kings and queens have worn purple robes. Julius Caesar most notably wore a purple toga as a sign of power.

Also, interestingly, purple is linked to magic. Medieval legends sometimes depict the greatest wizard of all, Merlin, and evil sorceresses in purple robes.

In real life, the lavender flower is actually pretty magical too given its curative, therapeutic, and hypnotic properties.

  • Pink – The lavender flower also comes in pink, which traditionally means, fondness, attraction, care, and femininity.

Besides that, it’s a unique color, as it can symbolize two opposing characteristics, innocence and pure passion.

  • White – White lavenders fully express peace, tranquility, purity, and innocence.

It can even be a symbol of platonic love, which makes it a fitting gift for a close friend.

White lavenders are popular as flower hedges and give gardens a certain grace and calm.

  • Blue-Violet – Blue is a symbol of hope, desire, and love, and violet suggests modesty, creativity, and spirituality.

Besides the pleasant qualities it represents, the blue-violet lavender can effortlessly complement other flowers and plants you are growing in your garden.

What are the benefits of using lavender?

What are the benefits of using lavender
  • Pest and Deer-Repellent

Is there a horde of mosquitoes coming in through your window? A deer or rabbit eating your flowers and plants? 

One of the things you can do to solve this in a safe, natural way is to grow lavenders.

Lavenders emit a strong scent that can repel mosquitoes, flies, moths, and fleas. You can also hang dried lavenders around your house or place a stem in your shirt or pants pocket.

Apart from that, deers and rabbits also don’t like their fragrance and prefer to just avoid them. This should keep your flower and herb garden safe from them.

  • Light Floral Flavor

Different kinds of lavender flowers and leaves are edible and are therefore used in preparing and making food.

But to flavor food, we highly recommend using the Lavandula angustfolia variety. It gives a light floral flavor to food such as soup, salad, or cake. 

Other varieties may be too strong or piquant.

  • Essential Oil

Dating back to ancient times, lavenders have been widely used as an aromatic essential oil to lift one’s mood, reduce depression and anxiety, and encourage relaxation.

According to WebMD, inhaling lavender oil can be safe for use for up to 12 weeks. If you have a humidifier at the house, you can diffuse the scent with it.

  • Garden Ornamental

And, of course, lavenders are excellent for adorning your garden, whether in pot vessels, garden beds, or border plants. 

Also, if you own a large estate, you can plant lavenders en masse to make a breathtaking field.

Is a lavender plant a good gift?

Is a lavender plant a good gift

Yes, you can gift someone you love lavender flowers on many occasions, such as a birthday, bridal shower, baby shower, anniversary, or wedding event. 

It can be placed in a bouquet alone or mixed with other flowers like lilies or roses.

Because of its relaxing and strong scent, lavender can be great as a housewarming or workplace gift along with a food basket.

Lavender flowers are even more beneficial in toxic homes and offices, as they can help a stressed person calm down.

If you’re creative, you can dry the lavender flower and glue it on a photo album or scrapbook for someone. You can also preserve them and place them inside a lovely photo frame.

And if you’re saying sorry for a loved one you have wronged, lavender can also make a fantastic peace offering gift. Add a handwritten note for that special, sincere touch!

Caring for Lavender Flowers

Caring for Lavender Flowers

Lavender flowers can be grown from seeds, but since their germination process is slow, it might be better to just get a plant from your nearest garden center or nursery.

But before you do so, check whether the plants are suitable in your location with respect to its USDA winter hardiness zone.

Put them in basic, rich, and well-draining soil (with a pH of 6.7 to 7.3) because they thrive in this kind of soil. 

In addition to this, they need at least eight hours of bright, direct sunlight every day.

Remember that their needs change throughout the seasons.

Remove wilted and dead flowers and overgrown branches in autumn to foster new growth. During winter, transfer potted lavenders indoors and set them by a sunny window. 

How often should lavender be watered?

Watering them can be a bit tricky because their needs change as they grow. Anyhow, the advice below can help you with this part.

After you plant them, water them once or twice a week to help them establish roots. When they mature, water them every two to three weeks until the buds develop.

Go back to watering once or twice a week before harvesting them.

Now, keep in mind to water them deeply every time so the roots can “drink” well. The soil must also be dry before watering.

More Flower Meaning Guides

Leave a Comment