Lotus Flower - The Special Meaning, Symbolism, and Influence Over the Years

There are many ways to bring the wisdom of the natural world to your outdoor spaces and your life, starting with the beautiful presence of the lotus flower.

By: THURSD. | 06-04-2024 | 5 min read
Lotus flower for outdoor spaces header on Thursd

There are many ways to interpret the symbolism of the lotus flower, which nowadays has different significances throughout cultures worldwide. Learn more about the lotus flower's importance, meaning, aesthetic appeal, and great impact on our world and daily lives.

Let’s Talk About the Lotus Flower

Yes, we're going to get into a real, deep talk about lotus flowers and we're just as excited as you are! The lotus plant is an aquatic perennial that thrives in murky, nutrient-rich environments. Its interesting origin goes all the way to India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and East Africa, having an intriguing and dynamic daily life cycle. Lotuses bury themselves in the mud, their long stalks reaching up to the water's surface. There, the opulent blossoms grow and unfold one by one as the lotus blooms.


Pond full of Lotus flowers on Thursd
Photo: Matthaei Botanical Center


Due to an outer layer of defense that keeps out water and debris, each one emerges clean from the murky water, petal by petal. These day-blooming plants cover up at night, submerge, and then emerge above the water the next morning. The lotus flower has petals that only last a few days before dropping off.

Lotus Flower Different Meanings Around the World

The significance of the lotus flower differs amongst cultures. But generally speaking, the lotus flower is revered as a symbol of strength, rebirth, and purity. The fact that lotuses emerge from the dirt unblemished makes them a popular representation of purity.


Nelumbo Lutea Lotus Flower pink on Thursd
Photo: Charisma


Lotus flowers are also a representation of power, tenacity, and rebirth because they emerge from the dark water each evening and bloom at dawn. Another meaning of the lotus flower is transcendence. Because it emerges from the underworld into the light, the lotus symbolizes the triumph of the human spirit over material things.

Two Types of Lotus

The Nelumbonaceae family includes two species of lotus: Nelumbo nucifera and Nelumbo lutea.


Nelumbo Nucifera Lotus Flower on Thursd
Photo: Wikimedia Commons



Nelumbo Lutea Lotus Flower white on Thursd
Photo: Mellow Marsh Farm


Lotus in the Flower Industry

Lotus as a cut flower in the floral industry is often used by folding the outer petals, as the monks do in Asia. Once cut, the outer petals turn dark quickly, and the flower doesn't open itself. It needs some help.


Lotus flowers folded
Folded Lotus flowers


Floral designer Yuji Kobayashi uses the to create geometric designs with this graphic flower.


Lotus flower
Lotus flower design by Yuji Kobayashi


Lotus Flowers Will Enhance Peaceful Outdoor Spaces

As our lives become busier and more technology-focused, many of us are looking for ways to connect to nature in our homes. The lotus is a popular symbol that evokes peace, harmony, and compassion. As lotus flowers cannot be placed inside the house, they are a great option to have outdoors, especially if you have a little pond space outdoors or in spaces that have relatively still water.


Lotus pink flower on Thursd
Photo: The Spruce


How to Care for Lotus

Make sure your lotus flower gets enough sunlight—at least four hours, but ideally six hours or more. Some lotus will not flower unless they get six hours of sunlight daily. Always use topsoil (the top layer of soil in any garden or yard) that is free from herbicides and pesticides. Do not use potting soil, which has elements that will float.

Water for Lotus Flowers

Strike a balance between plants and the surface area of the pond. Lotus flowering plants should cover approximately 65 percent of the surface area. Also, pay attention to depth when you are planting your aquatic plants.


Water properties for Lotus Flowers on Thursd
Photo: Unsplash


With new plantings, initially place the pot just below the surface and gradually lower it as the plant grows. Once the plant is established, the pot can remain at the desired depth. Lotus should be between 6 and 18 inches below the surface.

Pruning Lotus

When pruning or trimming, never cut flower or leaf stems below the water level, as roots and tubers use stems (even dead ones) to help provide oxygen. When lowering the lotus plant to get it prepared for the winter season, make sure to prune it after lowering.

Unique Properties of the Lotus Flower

On a biological level, lotus flowers possess characteristics that set them apart from other plant species in addition to those that are typical of water plants. These characteristics include flower thermoregulation, leaf ultra hydrophobicity (difficulty to get wet), and seed lifespan.


Pruning the Lotus Flower on Thursd
Photo: Gardening Tips


The lifespan of the lotus fruit is well known. In the northeast of China, it was claimed that lotus fruits that had been buried underground for more than 1,300 years could still germinate.

Positive Medicinal Effects and Benefits of the Lotus Flower

In Asia, people have consumed lotus as food for at least 7,000 years. Although its leaves, petals, and seeds are also used in cooking, its stem and roots are frequently used in soups and stir-fries. Additionally, traditional medicinal preparations have traditionally used its stems, seeds, leaves, and blossoms. Numerous conditions, including diarrhea, infections, coughs, high blood pressure, and fevers, were treated with lotus.


Lotus flowers have amazing benefits and medicinal properties on Thursd
Photo: Midwest Herbaria


Lotus Flower - A Very Popular Tattoo Idea

The lotus flower tattoo is particularly popular and very well-liked among flower aficionados. In Buddhism and Hinduism, it represents the realization of life's spiritual reality. Although the significance differs slightly between religions, both traditions value it.


Lotus flowers small tattoo ideas on Thursd
Photo: Pinterest


They are highly well-liked by those who have gone through difficult moments in their lives and are now finally emerging from them. The lotus flower will not only bring peace and harmony to outdoor spaces but has a very beautiful significance when tattooed. Read the article 'Inked Flowers - The Best Black Flower Tattoos' to see other amazing flower tattoo ideas.


Lotus flower tattoo design on Thursd
Photo: Pinterest


All in all, we can say with great confidence that peaceful and harmonious feelings are what the lotus flower will bring into your life!



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