Flower Tattoos – How to Choose One and What is Their Meaning?

by John Griffith

Flowers are among the most prominent decorative motifs in human culture. They accompany us through all the major events in our lives, be it our birth, wedding or passing. The reasons for this are many. To begin with, their attractive fragrance and delicate beauty make them an obvious choice for decoration. They come in a vast variety of shapes and sizes, and can be arranged in numerous different ways. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, flowers represent the fleeting beauty of life and the idea of rebirth. Although their lifespan is short, they bring a lot of joy, and even though they quickly wilt, they sprout again in a year’s time. As a result, floral designs have been a part of our culture since the dawn of time, gracing clothes, furniture and accessories.Unsurprisingly, they have also made their way to the world of body art. Flower tattoos have always enjoyed a fair share of attention but lately their popularity has sky-rocketed to incredible dimensions.

Many people choose them, simply because they are beautiful. After all, what better way to permanently decorate your body than by adding a gorgeous flower? For those familiar with the symbolism of plants, however, botanical tattoos have a deeper significance. According to the so called “language of flowers,” each flower had its own distinct meaning. More than just a simple reference to femininity, flower tattoos can represent concepts such as varied as wisdom, change, passion, vitality and more. As such, they are popular among people of every gender, background and age group.

Matching flower tattoos for him and her – a beautiful idea that will bring you even closer to your partner

lotus flower tattoo, two bare arms, with similar flower tattoos, outlined with black ink

The lotus is one of the most popular flower tattoo symbols. Read on to find out about its significance and meaning

lotus flower tattoo, brunette woman sitting in lotus position, with an open back black top, and blue jeans, with lotus tattoo, outlined with black in on her back

The symbolic meaning of the lotus varies between cultures. In Ancient Egypt, it was perceived as an allusion to the acts of creation and rebirth, signifying the power of the sun god Ra. In Buddhist tradition, it embodies purity, spiritual awakening and beauty – although it grows in murky waters, it always looks immaculate and clean. It also represents the triumph of human spirit over adversity – just like the lotus breaks the muddy surface of the pond and grows into a beautiful flower, so too, the can our spirit overcome the difficult and painful moments in life to achieve happiness. The meaning of the lotus is also effected by its color. Blue flowers are associated with wisdom, white signify purity, while red allude to feelings of love and compassion. The pink lotus is known as the “supreme” lotus, often referred to as the flower of Buddha.

We love this stylish and gorgeous design

flower tattoos, woman with dark blonde curly hair, in burgundy dress with open back, with blue ink flower tattoo, on lower back, sitting on chair, near black leather jacket

Flower tattoos are versatile and look great on their own or combined with other motifs

flower tattoos, woman in black top, with various tattoos on her legs, sitting on a bed, holding a pen, near a piece paper, with an outlined drawing of a rose

Another immensely popular flower, often used in tattoos is the peony. In China, this gorgeous and captivating plant is held in very high regard. It is the official emblem of the country and its local name translates as “most beautiful.” Because of this, it is associated with royalty and signifies honor, wealth, good fortune and prosperity. In western tradition, it was believed that fairies hide among peonies. Due of this fact, the flower symbolizes love and beauty but also stands for bashfulness and shame. Peony tattoos come in a staggering variety of designs. There are lavish, colorful compositions with dragons, birds and other creatures and simple minimalist options done with black ink.

Designs featuring leaves are also very popular

flower tattoos, close up on woman's feet and hand, one bare foot, with black ink leaf tattoos, other one in a white leather sneaker, hand holding other sneaker

Whether large and elaborate or tiny and minimalistic, flower tattoos are always charming

flower tattoos, close up of a hand, with a tiny minimalist tattoo, depicting a simple daisy, made with black ink

Daisies are great for people who want a simple, less garish tattoo. They stand for innocence and purity, but also signify new beginnings and true love. In Scandinavian mythology, daisies were the flowers of Freya, the goddess of love, fertility and beauty. Depending on the color of their petals, these sweet, tiny plants can have different meanings. Here, white is associated with love and seductive beauty, while pink alludes to innocence. Blue petals signify loyalty and devotion. The simple design of the daisy makes it ideal for delicate minimalist tattoos, although they can also be incorporated as into large and intricate patterns.

Beautiful example of a symmetrical peony half-sleeve tattoo, with geometric elements

flower tattoos, hand with half-sleeve tattoo, outlined with black ink, featuring floral motives, and symmetrical buddhist details

The rose tattoo – an enduring and timeless classic

flower tattoos, slim female arm, with soft and small minimalist tattoo, depicting a red rose on a pale green stalk, black leather skirt in background

In western culture, roses are the undisputed king among flowers. Even in ancient times they used to symbolize romantic love, beauty and passion. The Ancient Greeks associated the plant with the goddess of love Aphrodite, the Romans depicted Venus adorned with the lovely flower. And yet, the rose’s meaning is not simple or clear cut. Its shape, its color, the stage of its blossom (whether it is open or still closed) – all have a significant symbolic value. Red roses are traditionally believed to embody passion and love, white roses convey innocence, while the yellow and orange ones allude to friendship and desire, respectively. A single red rose usually signifies endless love that cannot be affected by time or even death.

A delicate, water-color effect tattoo

flower tattoos, close up of a woman's bare back, black hair put up, with a realistic rose tattoo, in dark pink and grey-green

Designs featuring dandelions have surged in popularity in recent years

flower tattoos, brunette with long wavy hair, wearing a black top with open back, looking over her shoulder, a black tattoo of a dispersing dandelion, on her lower back, VII tattooed on her wrist


Symmetrical flower tattoos are a big hit at the moment

traditional flower tattoo, smiling woman with long blonde hair, red lipstick and dark grey top, with a blue flower mandala tattoo, resembling the tudor rose

Beautiful idea for a couple – rose infinity symbols

botanical tattoo, two arms with matching rose tattoos, one blue and one red, with identical stalks, twisted to make the sign for infinity

Poppies are delicate and charming, especially when incorporated in tasteful, minimalist designs

botanical tattoo, a simple online tattoo, of a crossed poppy, and a green leafy plant, done with black ink, on a person's upper arm

A chic and feminine rose tattoo

botanical tattoo, of a realistic rose, with red petals and green stalk and leaves, on a person's side

Adorable pansy wrist tattoos – a great idea for gentle, artistic souls

botanical tattoo, two arms on a white background, with realistic pansy wrist tattoos, in pale violet, purple and yellow

Gorgeous peony tattoo design

flower tattoo designs, hand holding sheet of tracing paper, with a drawing of a flower, and symmetric buddhist elements, more drawings underneath and stationary nearby

flower tattoo designs, male hand with mandala tattoo, leaning against a sketchbook, containing an ink drawing of a hibiscus flower, decorated with swirls and geometric patterns, fineliner pencil and marker nearby

flower tattoo designs, black and white ink drawing of three roses with leaves, pencil and fineliner nearby

Combine different kinds of flowers for a beautiful look, filled with symbolism

botanical tattoo, outstretched female arm, with elaborate floral tattoo, with roses and other plants, with blue outlines and pale coloring, black skirt and top, with white and red in background

shoulder flower tattoos, man in black tank top, with floral mandala tattoo, with petals and leaves, outlined with black ink, and shaded with brown

shoulder flower tattoos, brunette woman, half covered in white duvet, elaborate floral tattoo, of peonies and other small flowers and leaves, done in black ink

traditional flower tattoo, close up of a female lower arm, with an elaborate blue, green and yellow tattoo, with several rows of petals and green leaves, reminiscent of the tudor rose

botanical tattoo, woman in pale blue sweater,with rolled up sleeves, holding her arm, with a tattoo of three pansies, in blue and yellow, with several buds and green leaves

Here are some more jaw-dropping designs to inspire you

botanical tattoo, woman with a large multicolored floral back tattoo, another with a tattoo of two fern leaves, on her side, in green and blue, an ankle tattoo of a small flower wreath, in green yellow and red, tiny floral thumb tattoo

shoulder flower tattoos, with purple, pink and yellow blossoms, green leaves and a butterfly, three-tone fern leaf tattoo near a woman's wrist, water-color effect tattoo, of a poppy and a cornflower, on a person's lower arm

wildflower tattoo, two crossed arms, with identical watercolor-effect poppy tattoos, in red and green, an ankle lavender tattoo in pale violet and green, a tiny ear tattoo, of a pink flower, with thin green stalk

wildflower tattoo, thin and tiny floral tattoo, in red and green, behind a brunette woman's ear, a small rose tattoo, crossed with a yellow plant, near a star, on a person's lower arm, an ankle tattoo of a green and purple plant

lotus flower tattoo, on a female hand's index finger, all-seeing eye tattoo on her middle finger, moon tattoo on her ring finger, small arrows tattoo on her little finger, pink nail polish, and simple golden rings

wildflower tattoo, close up of a female hand, with delicate silver bracelet, a tattoo of a tiny minimalistic flower, in black ink, on t6he side of her middle finger

traditional flower tattoo, small pale tattoo, of a pink rose, with brown stalk, and yellow-green-leaves, on a person's arm, near their wrist

wildflower tattoo, a wrist bracelet-type tattoo, seen from all angles, with many tiny, intertwining flowers and leaves, in pink and purple, blue green and red

traditional flower tattoo, blond woman with hair put up, wearing a white open back top, revealing a large, vertical tattoo of a pink peony, above several violet roses, and a single pink rose, many dark and light green leaves

wildflower tattoo, close up of a bare female back, with a tattoo of a pink and green flower, a hand holding a very similar photo nearby

wildflower tattoo, close up of a stylized flower tattoo, in red and orange, blue and violet, on a person's upper arm

shoulder flower tattoos, woman with open back top, with thin black straps, a multicolored tattoo of several stylized poppies and other plants, with three birds in flight, done on her back, under her shoulder

shoulder flower tattoos, blonde woman with sheer, white embroidered dress, a tattoo of several pink roses, with green leaves and other smaller plants, near her shoulder

flower tattoo designs, tattoo of a rose on a stalk, with red see-through petals and leaves, on someone's lower leg

traditional flower tattoo, round blue tattoo, made up of many, differently sized and shaped blossoms and leaves, on a woman's upper arm

traditional flower tattoo, arm with rolled up, pale blue sleeve, revealing several water-color effect, temporary floral tattoos in pink, red and green, similar still unused tattoos nearby

lotus flower tattoo, close up of a woman's shoulder, with a floral tattoo in pink and yellow, decorated with geometric patterns, on her upper arm

wildflower tattoo, female arm with french manicure and thumb ring, a tiny minimalistic tattoo of a flower, done in thin black ink, near her wrist

minimalist tattoo of a thin, delicate plant with small petals and leaves, done with black ink, on a woman's thigh

traditional flower tattoo, red-haired woman with hair pulled in a bun, wearing an open back, dark blue lace dress, revealing a large tattoo of a flower bouquet, made up of many different plants, in blue ink

two pink cherry blossoms, with two pink buds, and three pale green leaves, surrounded by black calligraphy strokes, tattooed on the side of a person's stomach

wildflower tattoo, three pale pink and purple flowers, with thin green stalks, tattooed on a person's ankle

shoulder flower tattoos, woman in purple strappy top, with elaborate floral shoulder tattoo, made in black ink, going down her arm, and across her collar bone

shoulder flower tattoos, brunette woman with long hair, and pale grey top, with a watercolor effect tattoo of several poppies, in pale red and violet, on her upper arm

traditional flower tattoo, close up of a female hand, with pale pink nail polish, and large silver and black striped ring, a tattoo of a leafy plant going up the arm, and down towards the index finger

lotus flower tattoo, close up of two hands, one has a simple shaded floral tattoo, done with black ink

lotus flower tattoo, close up of unusual, dark floral tattoo, near a person's wrist

close up of an elaborate floral tattoo, with several rows of petals, in white and blue, with yellow details, and several green leaves

flower tattoo designs, several sheets of white paper, with various tattoo designs, four flowers and a leafy plant, a mandala and a crystal, small dried flowers and candles nearby

flower tattoo designs, close up of a person's arm, rolled up grey sleeve, rose tattoo decorated with triangular shape, all outlined in black ink

wildflower tattoo, woman with black cropped top, and blue jeans, with a tattoo of a wild flower, done with black ink, on her arm

close up of a woman's arm, with a dark tattoo near her elbow, depicting various different leaves and blossoms

auburn-haired woman, wearing white t-short, a tiny black tattoo of a flower on her upper hand

black and white image, of an arm with rolled up sleeve, with a tattoo of two thin crossed plants

woman with short, patterned skirt, with an image of two crocuses, inside a dotted diamond-shape, tattooed above her knee

lotus flower tattoo, woman in white tanktop, with two necklaces, holding her arm, with a buddhist lotus tattoo, outlined with black ink

lotus flower tattoo, woman with bare back, and a symmetrical, buddhist lotus tattoo, with swirls and lines, all outlined in black ink

close up of a woman's back, with a water-color effect tattoo of a red poppy, with a thin green stalk and two buds

flower tattoo designs, three minimalist tattoos, two tiny and thin flowers on a woman's collar bone, a small ring finger tattoo, a simple dotted constellation tattoo on a woman's back

minimalistic and tiny, child-like image, of a daisy-like flower, tattooed on a person's lower arm, with black ink

the words be happy, written sideways in a fancy font, tattooed on the side of someone's stomach, with a pink cherry blossom

flower tattoo designs, two arms with matching wrist tattoos, depicting pale red roses, with curled up stalks and no outline

woman with black and white striped t-shirt, tied at the front, holding her arm, which has a colorful pink peony tattoo, with green leaves and blue, smaller flowers

shoulder flower tattoos, simple tattoo of a leafy plant, made with black ink, on a woman's collar bone, near her shoulder

brunette woman wearing a black, open back top, revealing a large tattoo, of two blossoming pink-red peonies, with two buds and lots of green leaves

red and black, watercolor-effect tattoo, of several poppies, with dark bending stalks, on a person's ankle


John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.