Pink hydrangea

Hydrangea tattoo – meanings and most beautiful ideas

Categories Flower TattoosPosted on

Who doesn’t love flowers? Whether we receive them or give them, it’s a joy to smell their aroma and observe their colors. We also love them in our gardens, parks, and interiors. They decorate our furniture, walls, backyards, and other places and things. Flowers are the ultimate symbol of beauty. And many people choose to decorate their bodies with flowers as well. There are thousands of flowers to choose from, and today we are going to talk about one of them and that is hydrangea. Let’s find out the true hydrangea tattoo meaning, and take a look at the most creative tattoo designs of this beautiful flower.

Hydrangea bouquet tattoo
Hydrangea bouquet tattoo by chaehwa
Blue hydrangea
Blue hydrangea by Jennyli

Hydrangea – ‘the water drinker’

The scientific name of this flower is Hydrangea Macrophyla. The name ‘hydrangea’ derived from the Ancient Greek and means ‘water vessel’. This name refers to the shape of the plant’s seed capsules. But despite the name, these cone-shaped flowers do not hold water but require a lot of watering during their growth. The Japanese call it Ajisai (water drinker) because the flower needs a lot of water. There are about 70 known hydrangea species.

A flower with a script
A flower with a script by tattooist Kaya
Another beutiful piece
Another beautiful piece by chronicink

Hydrangea is native to Japan where it was first discovered and cultivated. Later it spread to Asia and finally arrived in Europe and North America. Hydrangea contains a certain amount of a chemical compound called cyanide. Since all parts of the flower contain this chemical, it is moderately toxic for humans. Therefore, they are mainly grown as a decorative plant for gardens or floral arrangements. But there are a few species that are suitable for tea such as Hydrangea Serrata.

Hydrangea tattoo meaning

In Japan, ama-cha is a sweet tea made from the leaves of Hydrangea Serrata. This tea is associated with the Buddha’s birthday that is celebrated every year on April 8th. According to a legend, when Buddha was born, nine dragons came and poured this tea over him. During that day, people attend the ceremony where they drink Ama-Cha and pour it over the Buddha’s statue.

Outline hortensia tattoo
Outline hortensia tattoo by inthemonkeyforest

In Japan, hydrangea historically has been known as a symbol of apology and gratitude. A legend has it, that an emperor gave hydrangeas to a maid as an apology as he was neglecting her. Some florists say that pink hydrangeas look like a beating heart, so they use them in wedding floral arrangements.

Small one on the rib
A small one on the rib by

But in the Victorian era, hydrangea wasn’t a popular flower. The Victorians even considered it as a negative plant. They used to send hydrangeas as a sign of neglected love. During the Middle Ages in Europe, a blue hydrangea was a symbol of frigidity. People believed that a young girl who was growing or just picked this flower would never find a husband.

Blue and pink hydrangeas
Blue and pink hydrangeas by area51tattoowork

So, hydrangea tattoo can symbolize both positive and negative things. Depending on your situation, you should choose the meaning accordingly to your feelings. Maybe you feel remorse for someone you have said something bad but never had a chance to say sorry. A hydrangea tattoo would be a great way to express your apology.

Hydrangea color meanings

As with any other flower, the meaning varies according to the color. Most of Hydrangea species are white, but there’s also blue, pink, red, dark purple or light purple. The appearance of these colors depends on the soil pH. Each color sends a different message. Let’s take a closer look at what these colors symbolize.

Triple-colore hortensia
Triple-colored hortensia by nancyxing_tattoo
  • Pink hydrangea meaning is love. It sends a message: ‘you are the beat of my heart’.
  • Blue hydrangea refers to frigidity. During the Victorian era, it was a symbol of neglected love. It used to carry a message “no, thank you” to a love proposal. But in Japan, the blue hydrangea is a symbol of apology.
  • White hydrangea is a symbol of purity and grace.
  • Purple hydrangea represents wealth and prosperity.
  • Red hydrangea as you could have guessed symbolizes romance, love, or marriage.
Red hortensia bouquet
Red hortensia bouquet by tattooist_rara

A legend about hydrangea

We found one interesting story about this flower that might be interesting to you. And it explains some of the traditional meanings of hydrangea tattoo.

A French king Louis XIV was a flower lover and he wanted new species for decorating his gardens. So he sent a group of men over the seas to search for new plants. When the sailors arrived in South America, an indigenous tribe captured and imprisoned them. Among the group was a very thin man who was mocked by other sailors throughout the whole journey for his weak and fragile appearance.

Black hortensia tattoo on an ankle
Black hortensia tattoo on an ankle by jvckbarrow

But that weak man managed to find a way to escape from the native people’s captivity. When the crew went back to the ship, they realized that the man was actually a strong and brave woman. She disguised herself as a man so she could travel to other worlds.

When the King heard what happened, he decided to call the flowers with the name of the brave woman – Hortense. Hortense was a former name of Hydrangea.

Hydrangea tattoo ideas

Minimalist hydrangea tattoo
Minimalist hydrangea tattoo by mini_tattooer

While we were looking for hydrangea tattoos, we noticed that the most popular colors are white and blue. Minimalist and small designs are dominant, but you can also find traditional ideas. Hydrangea is also a perfect choice for a cover-up tattoo. Due to its small petals, you can cover a large area. So if you have a scar you would like to hide, hydrangea may be a great fit.

Hydrangea tattoo
Hydrangea tattoo by tattooist_banul

Another beautiful category of hydrangeas is hyper-realism. There are lots of beautiful examples of realistic hydrangeas that look really good. As for the placement – we believe this depends on each person individually. Some people prefer a forearm, others place their hydrangeas on the hips or rib cages. We think it looks well on any spot as long as it looks good to you. If you don’t feel like showing your tattoo off, then choose less-visible body parts such as the back, upper arm, belly or thigh. But if you are ready to show your tattoo to the world – ink it on your forearm, calf, chest or ankle.

Hydrangea on the right shoulder
Hydrangea on the right shoulder by vane_tattoo
Blue hortensias on the left thigh
Blue hortensias on the left thigh by dorothytattoo
Blackwork hortensias
Blackwork hortensias by beckyoq
Red hydrangea
Red hydrangea by maiko.only
Hydrangea, daffodil & wild flowers
Hydrangea, daffodil & wildflowers by bryan.gee


As with most of the floral tattoos, they are most popular among women. Although more and more guys break these stereotypes and get flower tattoos as well. We encourage you to be original and find new ways and styles of tattoos. Take a look at our collection of hydrangeas. We hope you’ll find your dream tattoo idea. Best of luck!

Little black Hortensia tattoo
Little black Hortensia tattoo by jvckbarrow
Hydrangea by Nemo
Hydrangea by Nemo
Outline flower
Outline flower by Tesia
Hydrangea and script tattoo
Hydrangea and script tattoo by yshiww
Hydrangea and rosemary
Hydrangea and rosemary bryan.gee
Dark piece
Dark piece by Hannah Graciano
Gorgeous flower
Gorgeous flower by tattooist Banul
Traditional blue hydrangea
Traditional blue hydrangea by elidraughntattoos
Black and grey piece
Black and grey piece by pokiha_lerenardgris
Pink and white hydrangeas
Pink and white hydrangeas by miamelleo_tattoo
Blue Hortensia tattoo
Blue Hortensia tattoo by laurenbolesart
Purple hydrangea cover up tattoo
Purple hydrangea cover up tattoo by xiso_ink
Delicate hydrangea on a forearm
Delicate hydrangea on a forearm by chronicink
Small hydrangea on the left wrist
Small hydrangea on the left wrist by donghwa_tattoo
Grey hortensia tattooed on the right calf
Grey hortensia tattooed on the right calf by mar_negro_estudio
Bouquet of hortensias
Bouquet of hortensias by nachacarotattoo
White and black hydrangea tattoo
White and black hydrangea tattoo by mentesinrecuerdos_

Cover image via firstjing