Home » Guide to Flower Tattoos, Meaning, Design Ideas & Placements

Guide to Flower Tattoos, Meaning, Design Ideas & Placements

Flower tattoos look good on just about every area of your body. A tiny daisy tattoo on wrist or ankle, a bursting bouquet tattoo on shoulder or upper arm, or maybe just a rose over your heart. Wear them where you want, as nothing beats a beautiful flower tattoo.

flower botanical rose tattoo on Sternum - Fine Line style by arona_tattoo
Tattoo by arona_tattoo

Beautiful Blooms: Choosing Your Flower Tattoo

Tattoos can be one of the most personal forms of artistic expression. When you choose a piece of art that you want to keep with you for the rest of your life, it can be a very meaningful decision. Many people choose tattoos that represent important life events, pay homage to loved ones, or express very personal feelings. Although you can get a tattoo of just about anything, some of the most common images you find in tattoos are flowers.

Rose tattoo Color style by Dziary u Barbary
Tattoo by Dziary u Barbary

Flowers are great tattoo design elements because not only are flowers elegant and beautiful, they can also be used to convey thoughts and feelings without using words. In this article, we are going to give you a little insight on flowery tattoos, hopefully give you some inspiration for what you should include in your floral tattoo, and where you should put it. So pull up your tattoo parlor’s number because you’re going to need an appointment.

Floriography: The Language of Flowers

You may have heard of floriography, the language of flowers, but just in case you haven’t, here is a quick rundown. Assigning meaning to flowers dates back as far as written history, even the Hebrew Bible makes mention of flowers being symbolic. There are records of floriography in Asia, the Middleeast, Europe, and more. It comes up again and again throughout history.

peony tattoo on Thigh - Japanese style by anhayung
A peony flower can symbolize romance, wealth, good luck, a happy marriage, honor, and compassion.
Japanese Style Peony Tattoo

Each flower represents an idea or feeling. When you choose flowers based on the language of flowers, you are adding thousands of years of history to your tattoo idea.

Personal History

Even if you’re not into deep historical meanings, a flower tattoo can still hold a lot of personal relevance. They can represent beauty, peace, happiness, and much more. You could choose a flower that represents an important moment for you, such as the first flower your spouse ever gave you.

flower botanical poppy tattoo Fine Line style by tattooist_flower
A poppy tattoo hidden behind the ear can have a lot of meaning.
Tattoo by tattooist_flower

Maybe the flowers could represent a person, such as choosing your mother’s favorite flower. Of course, you can always choose beautiful flowers just because you like them, but sometimes a little extra personal history can enhance your design.

Feminine Flower Tattoos

The Benefit of Blooms

Flowers are also a very versatile design element. Obviously, they can be very feminine, with fine line and delicate colors, but they can also be masculine and powerful. The bold outline and rich vibrancy of traditional Japanese flower designs can make quite a statement. And no one can argue with the power and beauty of the classic rose. The benefit of flowers is that they look just as natural and interesting woven through a skull as they do in a bouquet. Floral tattoos can also incorporate fun accents like honey bees, butterflies, and dragonflies, details that add interest and whimsy.

Flowers and bees

Best Placement for a Flower Tattoo

Perfecting your flower tattoo can be challenging. Sometimes you start out knowing exactly where you want your tattoo and design it based on that. Sometimes you find a design that you love, but can’t decide where you want it. Another wonderful thing about floral tattoos is that they can look good on just about every area of your body. A tiny daisy tattoo on wrist or ankle, a bursting bouquet tattoo on shoulder or upper arm, or maybe just a rose over your heart. Getting an elaborate floral tattoo on thigh or sternum, also stunning.

flower botanical tattoo on Arm (upper) - Illustrative style by Lidia la rose
Flowery tattoo designs can be placed almost anywhere, but they should always complement the body
Tattoo by Lidia la rose

These are all beautiful options that can be modified to fit your style. If you really aren’t sure, ask your tattoo artist. They can help you with your design and give you some tips about what works best.

Flower Tattoos on Men

Pretty Petals

Floral tattoos are popular for a reason; they are bold, beautiful, and look good on just about anyone, anywhere. They can also be designed to be completely unique, particularly expressing you and your feelings.

flower petals tattoo on Neck - Color style by tattooist_color.b
Tattoo by tattooist_color.b

You can choose flowers based on ancient floriography or choose them based on your own history. You can have bright bold flowers or soft watercolor petals, color or black and white, whatever expresses you. Deciding where to put your tattoo is also important, it can affect the size and shape of your design.

Your tattoo artist knows what design styles work best in which areas and can offer tattoo ideas which will help you finalize your decision. So go ahead and make that call to the parlor because it is time for you to get your stunning floral tattoo.

Flowers, Tattoos and Meanings

Rose Tattoos

flower botanical rose tattoo Color style by Malibu Budd
Tattoo by Malibu Budd


Comprised of delicate and overlapping petals, roses are one of the most popular tattoo subjects in the world. Roses can symbolize everything ranging from love to hope, vitality, and promise. Unlike other flower tattoos, the color has a profound effect on meaning: while yellow roses represent protection, deep red roses often denote romantic passion.

Rose tattoo on Arm (inner) by dareum
Tattoo by dareum

Placement & Design

Luckily, roses look good on nearly every part of the body. We recommend small, single roses for the ankle, inner wrist, or collarbone. Large rose bushes can work as either upper back pieces or even full sleeves.

Rose Tattoos – Symbolism, Designs and Placement

Daisy Tattoos

Daisy tattoo by Jacob Ditchmen
Tattoo by Jacob Ditchmen


Daises are a type of perennial whose small leaves form a small flower bud. It should be no surprise why these unassuming flowers are featured in wedding arrangements: daises represent innocence, loyalty, joy, and purity.

Daisy tattoo on Back (upper) by Dad'
Tattoo by Dad’

Placement & Design

Daisies work excellently as fine-lined blackwork or full color tattoos. These versatile flowers feature slim petals and leaves that help emphasize more feminine parts of the body, such as the forearms and ankles.

Sunflower Tattoos

Sunflower tattoo on Arm (inner) by Vanessa
Tattoo by Vanessa


Sunflowers are nature’s portent of spring. Representing new beginnings, these bright yellow flowers are deeply connected to meanings of joy, happiness, and longevity. Though sunflowers are native to North America, they’ve since spread throughout the world and been adopted as an icon of spiritual connection.

Sunflower tattoo on Ankle by Sasha Vorobiova
Tattoo by Sasha Vorobiova

Placement & Design

Sunflowers can be depicted in so many stylistically unique ways. Some prefer large, thorny sunflowers with expertly rendered petals, while others prefer a more fragile and stylized depiction. They’d look excellent on the upper arm, back, or tops of the feet to show a deeper connection to nature.

Tulip Tattoos

Tulip tattoo on Shoulder by Lianna
Tattoo by Lianna


Tulips are loved by tattoo artists and women worldwide. With no end to the vibrant varieties, it’s hard to chock this bell-shaped flower up into one category. Often, tulips are used to represent beauty, humility, and opportunity. Deep blue tulips may demonstrate the wearer’s naturally introspective nature, while red tulips are clear symbols of love.

flower botanical tulip tattoo Watercolor style by Klára Marečková
Tattoo by Klára Marečková

Placement & Design

We recommend small, gently rendered tulips above the elbow and the middle of the upper back. There’s no limit to the shades you can select, though tulips often look most striking in an impressionistic style.

Lavender Flower Tattoos

Lavender tattoo on Shoulder by Sasha Unisex
Tattoo by Sasha Unisex


Like roses, lavender flowers are almost immediately recognizable due to their unique structure and striking purple shade. Lavender flowers are loved for their calming scent and ability to heal ecologically devastated areas. Over the ages, lavender has been known to symbolize silence, devotion, grace, and stillness.

flower botanical lavender tattoo on Wrist (top) - Color style by Ewa Czub
Tattoo by Ewa Czub

Placement & Design

Whether you’re naturally calm or just want to channel more stillness in your life, lavender flowers are adaptable enough to look good on any part of the body. We recommended the long, vine-like shape for longer areas of the body: the forearm, legs, and parallel to the ribs.

Pansy Tattoos

Pansy tattoo on Forearm (inner) by Noemesys
Tattoo by Noemesys


The word pansy derives from the French term ‘pensie’, meaning thoughtfulness and remembrance. Just like their etymology suggests, the distinctive looking purple pansy is thought to symbolize unconditional love, thoughtfulness, and wisdom through trial.

Pansy tattoo on Shoulder by Rita
Tattoo by Rita

Placement & Design

Pansies have large, blooming petals that are best rendered on larger parts of the body. The upper back or high point of the calf make great canvases for groups of pansies.

Poppy Flower Tattoos

flower botanical poppy tattoo Fine Line style by tattooist_flower
Tattoo by tattooist_flower


Poppies are offbeat and eye-catching little flowers with deep red petals. During World War I, poppies became the international symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers. Now, these flowers are used to represent to prosperity, beauty, and honor.

Poppy tattoo on Breast (under) by Lianna
Tattoo by Lianna

Placement & Design

We think poppies tattoos look best with multiple flowering buds, looping vines, and paired with small leaves. Deep red, full color poppies are suitable for the upper back, while fine-lined poppies look great on just about any area of the body.

Dandelion Tattoos

Dandelion tattoo on Arm (inner) by Noemesys
Tattoo by Noemesys


We all remember blowing on dandelions as a kid. Though adults usually see them as a pesky weed, these flowering plants blow in the wind as a wish for good luck. Dandelions feature delicate, wispy seeds that quickly dominate entire neighborhoods.

Placement & Design

Dandelion tattoos that depict spreading seeds may represent freedom, wishes, or even the brevity of life. Large dandelions look best on larger expanses of the back, while small ones work well on the forearm.

Jasmine Tattoos

Jasmine tattoo on Arm by winigreeni
Tattoo by winigreeni


Featuring soft, purple petals, the Jasmine flower symbolizes everything related to femininity: beauty, grace, purity, and an element of mystery. These delicate flowers boast a powerful fragrance that can travel for miles.

Flower tattoo by Laura Martinez
Tattoo by Laura Martinez

Placement & Design

Just as the flowers’ meaning suggest, jasmine looks best in an elegant and fragile style. We suggest a fine-lined and limited color palette approach to rendering the flower, which is best suited for the inner forearm or ankle.

Magnolia Flower Tattoos

Magnolia tattoo on Shoulder by roryriot
Tattoo by roryriot


Magnolias are associated with endurance, nobility, and a deep love of nature. With a subtle color yet distinctive petal characteristics, magnolias are hardy enough to survive the coldest points of an early spring.

Magnolia tattoo on Collarbone by Sasha Vorobiova
Tattoo by Sasha Vorobiova

Placement & Design

We suggest depicting the magnolia flower itself in conjunction with the thick, durable stem. The light flower is a great fit for the middle of the back or collarbone.

Sweet Pea Tattoos

Sweet pea tattoo on Ankle by Banul
Tattoo by Banul


Though its name may not suggest it, sweet peas are one the most enduring flowers that survive deep into the recesses of Autumn. Known as the birth flower for April, they’re commonly used to represent sensual pleasure, farewells, and departure.

Sweet pea tattoo on Arm (inner) by Suki
Tattoo by Suki

Placement & Design

Sweet peas can come in a huge variety of shades. The curled, small petals look best on more feminine curves of the body, like the slimmest part of the ankle or the lower forearm.

Lily Tattoos

Lily tattoo on Rib by Miriam
Tattoo by Miriam


Lilies are chock full of so many positive meanings that it’s difficult for us to limit to just a few. Among the most common symbolic meaning are hope, faith, purity, chastity, and transitioning.

Lily tattoo on Arm (upper) by Poem
Tattoo by Poem

Placement & Design

With curled, waxy petals, lilies are great paired with other flowers to create dual meaning. Lilies tattoos look excellent rendered with full bouquets or on their own.

Petunia Tattoos

Petunia tattoo on Rib by xingalmond
Tattoo by xingalmond


Comprised of a single, billowy petal, petunias are seasonal flowers used to symbolize bitterness. Though anger and resentment are the predominant meanings, these flowers also show a desire to spend time in those whose company is soothing. White petunias are often used to show religious, spiritual, or compassionate advancements.

Placement & Design

Petunias feature a large flower bud that looks best on larger expanses of the body, such as the upper back or high point of the calf. Make sure to choose a specific shade to demonstrate more specific meaning.

Buttercup Flower Tattoos

Buttercup tattoo on by conniegabbert
Tattoo by conniegabbert


Buttercups are often used to represent tidiness, childishness, and a sweet disposition. The deep yellow flower appears like a tight ball, flowering for only a brief period of time during the middle of spring. The buttercup looks best depicted in its full, brilliant yellow hue.

Lotus Tattoos

Lotus Flower tattoo on Thigh by Andrés Acosta
Tattoo by Andrés Acosta


The lotus is one of the most spiritually codified and well-known flowers in the world. Comprised of overlapping petals, some religious stories speak of the Buddha walking on lotus petals the moment he was born in the beautiful Lumbini grove. Lotuses are symbols of enlightenment, rebirth, and spiritual purification.

Lotus tattoo on Wrist (inner) by Thành Te Te
Tattoo by Thành Te Te

Placement & Design

The lotus looks excellent in a full-color, richly detailed style. We recommend placing a full lotus on the upper arm or middle of the back to represent tranquility.

Cherry Blossom Tattoos

Cherry blossom tattoo on Rib by eiji fujisawa
Tattoo by eiji fujisawa


Cherry blossoms are the gentle pink, soft flowers that form on a tree. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms are thought to symbolize beauty and the brevity of life: after all, these flowers only appear for a short time before decaying.

Cherry blossom tattoo on Shoulder by Carin Silver
Tattoo by Carin Silver

Placement & Design

The pink petals look great perched on a deep black branch, which makes it excellent for a large back tattoo or on the upper arm.

Water Lily Tattoos

Water lily tattoo on Rib by comotattoo
Tattoo by comotattoo


Water lilies are thought to represent purity, divine inspiration, beauty, and eternal joy. Similarly to the lotus, water lilies emerge from muddy depths in lakes: they are the ultimate representation of growth through trial.

Water lily tattoo on Arm (upper) by como
Tattoo by como

Placement & Design

We love the look of water lilies paired with other wetland creatures, such as dragon flies, insects, or frogs.

Carnation Tattoos

Carnation tattoo on Arm (inner) by Aino Holopainen
Tattoo by Aino Holopainen


Carnations refer to a huge variety of colorful, ball-like flowers that bloom best during the late spring. Generally, carnations are associated with deep love, affection, and strong feelings.

Carnation tattoo on Arm by Vanessa
Tattoo by Vanessa

Placement & Design

These small flowers with thin stems are often inked along the collarbone, forearm, or ribs.

Daffodil Tattoos

Daffodil tattoo on Forearm (back) by LIANNA
Tattoo by LIANNA


Daffodils feature a bell-like shape supported by bright, curled petals. Depending on the culture of origin, daffodils are associated with diverse meanings. The ancient Greeks thought they symbolized death, while Western cultures use them to show friendship, vitality, and honesty.

Hibiscus Flower Tattoos

Hibiscus tattoo on Hip by Lianna
Tattoo by Lianna


Hibiscus plants are known for their distinctive appearance and strong, wafting fragrance. While red hibiscus is used for desire and passion, yellow hibiscus is most often used for friendship.

Hibiscus tattoo by Anitta D'Andrea
Tattoo by Anitta D’Andrea

Placement & Design

Blooming hibiscus plants look great on the upper back, shoulder, or upper arm, due to their large and oblong shape.

Hyacinth Tattoos

Grape hyacinth tattoo on Forearm (back) by Olga Nekrasova
Tattoo by Olga Nekrasova


Over the years, the hyacinth flower has been spoken about in many legends. The Greek dedicated this flower to the god Apollo, naming it after the blood that sprouted from Hyakinthos’ body.

Placement & Design

Hyacinth flowers are excellent candidates for either full color or fine line tattoos, especially since the petals feature very delicate central veins.

Lilac Tattoos

Lilac tattoo on Collarbone by Sasha Vorobiova
Tattoo by Sasha Vorobiova


Lilacs are one of the most meaningful plants in the Western world. In the Victorian age, lilacs were associated with old loves, death, and graceful departure. Now, they’re often thought to symbolize purity, spiritual love, and tranquility.

Placement & Design

Since the lilac flower is so delicate, we recommend the tattoo for small areas of the body, like the ankle, forearm, or wrist.

Peony Tattoos

Peony tattoo on Shoulder by maggie paletta
Tattoo by maggie paletta


Peony flowers are powerful symbols of fragility, beauty, grace, and the ability to adapt to change. These waxy and wavy-petaled flowers have long been the subject of Renaissance oil paintings, owing to their extremely distinctive appearance.

Peony tattoo on Rib by Astana
Tattoo by Astana

Placement & Design

Peony tattoos are recommended for the upper back, especially since the flower head is so bulbous.

Calla Lily Tattoos

Calla Lily Flower tattoo on Back by Ляна Sunlight
Tattoo by Ляна Sunlight


Calla, also known as Calla Lily, flowers are often used to express love, gentleness, and faithful affection. With a broad, yellow stamen and long white petal, the calla lily is perfect for longer and thinner portions of the body, like the ribs, arms, or ankles.

Violet Flower Tattoos

Violet tattoo on Rib by Lianna
Tattoo by Lianna


Ranging in shades from deep purple to ruby red, violets symbolize truthfulness, trust, and sincerity in relationships. However, it’s also used in funerary processes to symbolize death. Whether you’ve lost a loved one or just love the flower itself, we love how small violets look on the back of the leg or behind the ear.

Foxglove Flower Tattoos

Foxglove tattoo on Chest by Alvaro Groznyy
Tattoo by Alvaro Groznyy


Foxgloves hold a diverse number of meanings, some of which are negative. According to different folklore, foxglove is said to be a mischievous plant associated with infidelity. That said, they’re also believed to cure past ills.

Baby’s Breath Tattoos

Baby’s breath tattoo on Arm (inner) by Vivien Szincsak
Tattoo by Vivien Szincsak


Like the name suggests, Baby’s Breath are some of the most delicate and pure white flowers that you can find. Often used as a filler material in wedding flower arrangements, Baby’s Breath is symbolic of everlasting love, joy, and lost loved ones.

Freesia Flower Tattoos

Freesia tattoo on Forearm (inner) by Vivien Szincsak
Tattoo by Vivien Szincsak


Freesia refers to a small flower with a refreshing citrus scent, bearing the meaning of innocence, friendship, and perseverance through difficult situations. Arguably, freesia flowers are best rendered in full color on more delicate parts of the body.

Orchid Tattoos

Orchid tattoo on Arm (upper) by Lianna
Tattoo by Lianna


Orchids are often meant to convey confidence, elegance, and strength. Since orchids can survive and bloom in unpredictable weather conditions, these flowers are used to represent perseverance. Vibrant orchid tattoos have a striking effect when placed on the ribs, upper back, or along the arm.

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