Flower Facts

Language of Flowers: Plant Symbolism in Asia

Plant Symbolism Asia

Plant symbolism has been the deciding factor when it comes to choosing the perfect gift for a loved one. Because let’s face it, it’s not always the best idea to send red roses to someone you’re exclusively “just friends” with, or a festive mix of blooms and greens for occasions that are a bit more somber and serious.

Especially if you find yourself interacting with someone who might have been raised with a different cultural upbringing, you don’t want to give off the wrong message when it comes to gifting plants and flowers. That’s why we’re here to give you the breakdown on plant symbolism in Asia to help you avoid any potential awkward moments.

Without further ado, here’s what different plants mean for different countries in Asia:



In China, every branch and leaf is counted to see if it maintains the “irregularities” of life; this is why odd numbers are preferred when it comes to quantity of the plant because they convey the spontaneity and odd force in our everyday lives!

With that said, bamboos are a popular choice when it comes to plant gifting because they symbolize youth, strength, endurance, and longevity. Pine trees also represent longevity, and the two plants are commonly associated with one another due to their similar meaning. For those who want to convey a message of strength, the willow branch is your best bet. It represents the ability to bend or adapt but not break – go endurance!


In India, plants are heavily represented in different religions, most especially in Hinduism. For example, sandalwood is considered the epitome of excellence, which is why people burn pieces of the wood to purify holy places. You’ll find these branches commonly featured in religious ceremonies due to their significance!

Tulsi is another purifying gem, especially when it comes to dispelling any negative energy coming from others.


Hanakotoba is Japan’s very own language of flowers, and certain plants are given codes or “passwords” to deliver specific messages. This is what makes flower-gifting a popular exchange in Japan!

Just like the U.S., a four-leaf clover symbolizes luck, and giving it to someone else wishes them good fortune. On the other hand, singles can rejoice because there’s a plant for them as well! Mistletoe or holly means that one is searching for a partner, giving off the message that they’re single and ready to mingle.

South Korea

In Korea, there’s something called the “Four Noble Plants,” which are the Japanese apricot tree, the orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo. The apricot tree symbolizes purity, integrity, and longevity. It’s best known for its ability to survive during winter, which people traditionally associated with those of the upper social class. The bamboo represents elegance and the ability to expel ghosts and bad luck. This is because a bamboo plant never changes color throughout the year regardless of the season, and this characteristic represents the elegant class of men who show signs of virtue and fidelity.

Outside of the Four Noble Plants, a pine tree also similarly represents integrity and longevity while the willow represents expelling evil and negative energy!


Wherever you are in the world, plants make a great gift for those who want to send along some sort of message. Whether you’re encouraging someone to power through hard times or commending someone for their accomplishments, there’s always a plant for the occasion!

The Bouqs is all for being there with you every step of the way when it comes to spreading some positivity. Our sustainable blooms and greens are sure to help you express your sincerity. So don’t wait to impress – shop our collection today!

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