The lotus flower – or the Flower of Life – is considered to be sacred in many parts of the world. Each different lotus flower color has a different meaning and symbolism attached to it.
Lotus flowers hold a special place in many religions, from Buddhism to Hinduism, and additionally have been important in ancient and contemporary cultures.
Table of Contents
- What Is the White Lotus Flower Meaning?
- What Is the Pink Lotus Flower Meaning?
- What Is the Purple Lotus Flower Meaning?
- What Is the Blue Lotus Flower Meaning?
- What Is the Red Lotus Flower Meaning?
- What Is the Yellow Lotus Flower Meaning?
- What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Buddhism?
- What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Hinduism?
- What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Christianity?
- What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Ancient Cultures?
- What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Other Cultures?
- What Is the Meaning of the Lotus in Yoga Practice?
- How Many Lotus Flower Varieties Are There?
What Is the White Lotus Flower Meaning?
Without a doubt white is the most common lotus flower color.
White lotus flowers signify beauty, grace, peace, fertility and faith. Furthermore, they are also associated with purity of mind and spiritual knowledge.
The white lotus is seen as the “Womb of the World” due to the links between lotus flowers, purity and also creation (as lotus flowers reemerge in the daylight for example).
White flowers often symbolize positive concepts and the white lotus in particular is seen as representing the serenity of human nature, for example.
What Is the Pink Lotus Flower Meaning?
Pink lotus flowers are associated with the spiritual path and with enlightenment.
Due to this link, pink lotus flowers hold a special place in several religions, including Buddhism. Pink lotus flowers are sometimes seen as the Buddha’s earthly symbol for instance.
Often the meaning of a pink lotus flower is linked to the growth stage of their buds. A closed pink bud represents a passing through the spiritual path. A full pink bloom suggests enlightenment has been achieved.
Pink lotus flowers are commonly given as gifts across the world to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, for instance.
What Is the Purple Lotus Flower Meaning?
Purple lotus flowers are more rare than the pink or white varieties.
They are also associated with Buddhism. The Buddha is often presented as sitting serenely on a purple or pink lotus flower, for example.
The purple color represents self-awakening, harmony, faithfulness and balance between the different inner parts of ourselves.
What Is the Blue Lotus Flower Meaning?
Blue lotus flowers are the rarest and hardest to find.
They are thought to represent emotion, the mind, wisdom, knowledge and also worldly aspirations.
Blue lotus flowers specifically symbolize the victory of the spirit over the senses and over knowledge. Therefore these flowers are often depicted as a partially opened bud with a hidden center, symbolizing the perfection of wisdom.
Additionally blue lotus flowers were very common in Ancient Egypt and are sometimes referred to as the Egyptian Dream Flower. This is most likely a reference to the hallucinogenic properties of its leaves.
What Is the Red Lotus Flower Meaning?
Red lotus flowers hold a similar meaning to other red flowers, like roses or carnations.
They signify compassion, sympathy, care, selfless love and romantic affection. They are also thought to represent the heart, passion and generosity.
What Is the Yellow Lotus Flower Meaning?
The bright bloom of the yellow lotus flower suggests joy, creativity, openness and hospitality.
They are additionally thought to symbolize intellectual and spiritual curiosity.
Sometimes called the Golden Lotus, this flower represents the achievement of complete enlightenment in Buddhism. For this reason, Golden Lotus are often depicted at the altars in Buddhist temples.
What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Buddhism?
The way that lotus flowers emerge from muddy waters is heavy with religious symbolism. The act of the lotus rising above, despite challenges, is associated with the spiritual journey towards the light of wisdom.
Additionally, the color of the lotus flower matters in Buddhist symbolism. The pink lotus flower is the most significant in Buddhism as it is seen as the “true lotus” and has strong links with the Buddha.
Blue lotus flowers are seen as a symbol of the spirit’s victory over emotion and knowledge. White lotuses represent peace and purity, while red lotuses are linked to love and compassion. Moreover, rare purple lotuses are thought to represent the important teachings of the Buddha.
What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Hinduism?
Lotus flowers are also important to Hinduism. As lotus flowers grow in water, they are linked to the Hindu belief that life begins in water.
In Hinduism, lotuses represent spiritual enlightenment, growth, purity and birth. Moreover, they symbolize the importance of putting duty before desire, pleasure and gain.
The lotus flower has been associated with several Hindu deities. The white lotus is associated with the creator god Brahma. Whereas the yellow lotus is linked to Saraswati, goddess of knowledge. Finally, the red lotus is associated with Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity.
What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Christianity?
Lotus flowers also have meaning in Christianity and are often linked to the lily (which itself represents purity and innocence).
They represent purity and the creation of the universe. Lotus flowers are linked to resurrection (and sometimes even to the Resurrection of Christ specifically), as their seeds live for a long time and because their beauty emerges from the challenges of muddy waters, for example.
What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Ancient Cultures?
Lotus flowers are extremely old plants (there is evidence that they even survived the Ice Age). Ancient cultures, like those of the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks, found meaning in lotus flowers.
In Ancient Egypt, white and blue lotus flowers were the most common. They were associated with creation, rebirth and the sun, as they disappear at night and re-emerge in the morning. They were linked specifically to the rising sun and the Egyptian sun god Ra.
But lotus flowers also signified death in Ancient Egypt. In the Book of the Dead (an ancient Egyptian text which commemorates the dead), there is a spell to transform someone into a lotus flower, showing the links with the afterlife.
Lotus flowers make frequent appearances in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. They were even seen as one of the symbols of the unification between upper and lower Egypt.
In Ancient Greece, lotus were seen as a symbol of hedonism. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus visits the land of the lotus eaters, where he is fed lotus plants and finally falls into a stupor.
What Is the Meaning of Lotus Flowers in Other Cultures?
Lotus flowers also have many meanings in contemporary global cultures too.
In China, lotus flowers are seen as a symbol of femininity and marital happiness, purity and transcendence.
In Japan however, they are revered as symbols of spirituality and represent the purity of mind and body.
In Vietnam, where the lotus is a national flower in fact, they are seen as a symbol of optimism and hope. Lotus flowers are also the national flower of India (especially the pink ones).
As well as Hinduism and Buddhism, other Eastern spiritual beliefs see the lotus flower as sacred, such as Jainsim and the Baháʼí Faith, who view the lotus as a symbol of purity and devotion.
In Western cultures, lotus flowers are linked to the search for the meaning of life, and symbolize reincarnation and birth.
What Is the Meaning of the Lotus in Yoga Practice?
In yoga, the lotus pose is taken to transform the mind, body and soul. This posture helps to calm the mind, opening it up to greater awareness, calmness and receptivity.
How Many Lotus Flower Varieties Are There?
Lotus flowers are aquatic herbaceous perennials. Most lotuses are native to Asia. There are many different lotus flower varieties, but two are particularly popular:
- Nelumbo nucifera “Sacred Lotus”: Also known as the “Indian Lotus” or “Angel Lotus”, this variety has 8-inch pink or white flowers and green waxy leaves. Sacred Lotus flowers stay open in the daylight and close at night for three days.
- Nelumbo lutea “American Lotus”: This variety has a yellow flower and is sometimes called the “Yellow Lotus”. This lotus originated on the East Coast of North America, unlike most other Asian lotus flowers.
FAQ About Lotus Flower Colors
What colors can Lotus flowers be?
Lotus flowers come in six different colors: white, pink, yellow, red, blue and purple.
Blue and purple are the most rare lotus flowers. Pink and white are the most common.
Where does the Lotus flower come from?
Lotus flowers are some of the oldest plants. Moreover fossils have proven that lotus flowers have existed for millions of years. They probably survived the Ice Age between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago, when many other plants went extinct.
As a result, lotus flowers can be found across the world, including places as widespread as Iran, Japan, India, Australia and Russia. Nevertheless most species originated from southeast Asia and there is even a species native to North America.
How do I care for my potted Lotus flower?
Here are some key care tips for successfully looking after your potted lotus flower:
- First pot your lotus in a deep pot (with no hole) to give it space to grow. Then use a dense soil or clay soil (a potting soil will float off in the water).
- Next submerge the hole-free container in water (there should be at least 2 – 4 inches of water above the soil). Replace the water occasionally to avoid mineral build-up.
- Then give your lotus access to 5 – 6 hours of sunlight per day.
- Keep your lotus in warm and sunny conditions – around 75°f – 87°f is the sweet spot.
- Finally, use an aquatic plant fertilizer in the spring when the standing leaves have started emerging.
How do I care for my cut Lotus flower?
Cut lotus flowers are very short-lived – in fact they will only survive between a few hours and a day once they have been cut. Use these tips to extend the life of your cut lotus flower:
- Hydrate your lotus flower in a clean vase straight after cutting.
- Keep your cut flower in a room with a temperature between 65°f – 72°f.
- Fold the petals of an unopened flower to help it keep its shape longer.
What does the Lotus flower represent?
The lotus flower is best known as the Flower of Life due to its association with the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
However, they also represent spirituality, joy, love, wisdom, peace and enlightenment.
What is the spiritual meaning of the Lotus flower?
This flower is important in the Buddhist and Hinduist religions as a sacred symbol.
The lotus flower’s association with spiritual awakening, purity and faithfulness makes it very significant in many religions and cultures.
Are Lotus flowers lucky?
Lotus flowers are often seen as a symbol of good luck and resilience – perhaps because they thrive in varying growing conditions and emerge from the challenges of muddy waters.
Why do Lotus flowers change color?
Lotus flowers can change color due to several factors:
- the age of the flower (they get paler as they get older),
- the time of day (pink lotus flowers go white at night),
- temperature (a cooler climate usually means more vibrant color),
- soil pH level (alkaline soils encourage lotuses to be more yellow, acidic more pink).
Are Lotus flowers edible?
Different parts of the lotus plants are edible (and some parts even have medicinal properties):
- The plant’s underground stem (the rhizome) is consumed for its starch content.
- The leaves can be used as vegetables and to flavor teas.
- Lotus seeds can be eaten like nuts or dried and ground into flour.
Lotus Flowers are Beautiful and Sacred – Add One to Your Plant Collection
Lotus flowers are not only beautiful plants, they are full of symbolism and hold a sacred place in many religions and cultures.
Caring for a lotus flower – whichever color you choose – can be really rewarding. Find out more about providing excellent lotus flower plant care here.
What Lotus Flower Is Your Favorite?
Let us know your thoughts and feedback – here. We love to talk plants! Ready to start growing your own houseplants?