Gardenia Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings and More

Gardenia Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings and More

Gardenia flowers, which are beloved for their beautiful white coloring and amazing fragrance, are often chosen to be part of wedding bouquets. This makes sense, since these flowers are often associated with love and trust. However, gardenias have many other meanings and a long, rich history of symbolism across the world. Because of this, getting a gardenia tattooed is a beautiful way to showcase a variety of meanings.

The rest of this article will go into detail about the history and symbolism of the gardenia tattoo, what is unique about gardenias, and more, such as where gardenia tattoos are usually placed and what they mean.

What is the History of Gardenia Tattoos?

The gardenia was originally discovered all across Asia, in countries like China, Japan, and Taiwan. There are about 200 different varieties of these flowers all across Asia and Africa, though the flower of course grows other places as well.


For over 300 years these flowers have been grown and cultivated for various purposes, from its usefulness as a dye to its medical uses. It could be used to treat anxiety, depression, and even various kinds of infections.

In the 1700s, the gardenia found its way to Europe, where it became associated with secret love, among other meanings. It is also considered the national flower of Pakistan.

Floral tattoos have existed for a very long time, since the origin of tattooing in the tribal era. Tribe members would get the local flora and fauna tattooed on their skin as a reminder of their origins and a symbol of their tribe’s roots.

Gardenia tattoos have evolved in much the same way. People often like to get these tattoos to showcase a specific meaning of the gardenia, or to symbolize their own roots.


What Do Gardenia Symbolize?

The gardenia has a lot of different meanings associated with it. Like we mentioned before, it is often used as a wedding flower, due to its association with love and trust. However, the meanings are much broader than that. These flowers can also symbolize:

  • Secret love: In Victorian times, giving someone a gardenia was a symbol of an especially passionate secret love.
  • Purity: Unlike many other flowers, gardenias only come in white colorings. Their beauty and delicacy leads to them representing purity and innocence, and contributes to their popularity as a wedding flower.
  • Health and happiness: Due to its history as a plant used to treat anxiety and depression alongside various infections, this flower can be a good choice to represent good mental and physical health.
  • Renewal and new beginnings.
  • Hope
  • Beauty
  • Dreams

What Do Gardenia Tattoos Mean?

The gardenia tattoo can mean a large variety of things. Of course, getting this tattoo can be a way of symbolizing any of the traditional meanings associated with the gardenia flower.

For example, a gardenia would be an excellent choice to commemorate a wedding anniversary or a relationship with secret, passionate beginnings. They are also symbols of trust, so this tattoo could be shared between best friends or close siblings.

If you are a person who has struggled with anxiety and depression, a gardenia tattoo can be a way to show that you are on the path to a happier life, working to heal your mental health and bring clarity to your mind.

If you are a fan of traditional tribal tattoos, you may wish to get a gardenia tattooed to represent your history or culture. If you are from one of the countries where these flowers originated from, this could be a good way to show off your roots.

Finally, a gardenia tattoo may represent good luck. In Europe, the gardenia has long been viewed as a sign of good luck, especially when given to a man.

As you can see, there are a huge range of things that gardenia tattoos may mean, and any of them may be customized to your individual personality and stylistic choices.


Where Do Gardenia Tattoos Usually Go?

The good thing about floral tattoos is that they look good almost anywhere. Since the gardenia is such a fine, delicate flower, you may consider getting it tattooed on a more delicate part of your body: for example, the inside of your forearm or wrist, your collarbone, or the side of your rib cage.

However, these tattoos look excellent no matter where you decide to get them. Placement may also depend on the style that you choose to get the tattoo done in. Larger, more complex tattoos will look better on a larger surface area, such as your back, shoulders, or thighs.


Characteristics and Styles of Gardenia Tattoos

Just like there are many different ways to place a gardenia tattoo, there is also a near-infinite number of styles and characteristics you may choose to incorporate into your piece.

Unlike many other floral tattoos, where the style may change depending on which color of flower you want to get tattooed, gardenias are always white. This means that it is very popular to get this tattoo in a classic black and white style. The black ink next to the blank petals is quite striking, and is a good way to emphasize the purity of the petals.

It is also common to get very fine, delicate linework done when getting floral tattoos, especially gardenias. This is because the flowers are so delicate that it is an excellent way to bring their natural beauty through in the form of ink.

To accomplish this style, you may want to seek out an artist who performs single-needle tattoos. This way, they will really be able to bring out the delicate detail of the gardenia.



The gardenia is a flower with a long, rich history and a wide variety of meanings. Getting this flower tattooed can symbolize a number of things, from secret love to trust to a cure for anxiety and depression.

There is really no way to go wrong with a gardenia tattoo, as it is a great way to showcase a part of your identity with a beautiful piece of art inspired by the natural world.


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