The biblical and spiritual symbolism of gardens, plants, and flowers in dreams, what that means in practice, plus real dream examples.
What does a garden mean in a dream?
What do flowers mean, or certain plants?
In this article we will take inspiration from the bible to investigate the spiritual meaning of gardens, flowers, and plants in dreams, and what that means for us in practical terms.
I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.
- Introducing plants in dreams
- Dream symbol: Gardens
- Dream symbol: Flowers
- Specific types of flowers and plants
- More plant-related dream symbols
Firstly, if you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read the following articles: Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and Beginner’s guide to biblical dream interpretation.
Secondly, remember that dreams are personal, so the meanings that I suggest may not apply to your specific dream. But please feel free to use my ideas as a springboard to thinking and praying about dreams yourself. Don’t take my ideas as gospel, but rather let them help you start to think metaphorically.
Introducing plants in dreams
Plants and flowers are all around us in the natural world. There is such a variety of plant life – from delicate flowers to large trees and bushes – and everything in between.
It is no surprise, then, that plant life features symbolically throughout the bible, and also in our dreams.
Trees will be covered more specifically in a future article – so watch out for that (click here to subscribe to emails).
The colour green
The colour green is closely linked to plants in dreams – and we often refer to plant life as ‘greenery’.
Healthy greenery generally symbolises abundant life (John 10:10), which covers many aspects of life and growth, for example:
- Physical health and wellbeing
- Business and finances
- Fruitfulness and fertility
- Spiritual life
The bible tells us that God wants us to fulfil our destiny and the desires in our heart. He wants us to grow and mature in all the different areas of our life, and to come to a place of peace and wholeness.
General greenery and plant health in dreams can reflect the state of our spiritual life, growth and health – plus our health in any of the above-mentioned areas.
Dream symbols: The colour green and what it means
Biblical symbolism of the colour green in dreams, what that means in practice, with real dream examples.
Plant life as a dream symbol
In practical terms, if plant life in a dream is a positive green colour, growing well, and healthy, it usually indicates growth, wellbeing, or fruitfulness in an area of our life. We need to look for clues from the dream to discover which part of our life it refers to.
If the greenery in our dream is in a poor state (e.g. wilting, withered, or dry) or an unhealthy colour (e.g. sickly yellow-green), this would represent lack of life, or an unhealthy area of our life.
- Psalm 52:8, NASB But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.
- Isaiah 15:6, NASB The grass is withered, the new growth has died, there is no greenery.
Plants need sunlight for growth and food production, which could represent God’s light. They also need to be watered regularly, and water is a classic symbol of the Holy Spirit. We need to draw from God’s Spirit, our true source, in order to have life, health, and wholeness.
There are many potential scenarios based on general plant life, and any of them could appear in our dreams.
Dream symbol: Gardens
This general symbolism of plant life also applies to gardens in dreams:
When we are walking with God, and drawing from the Holy Spirit as our source, we are like a well-watered garden: growing healthily, bearing fruit, and blossoming like flowers.
- Isaiah 58:11, NIV And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire… and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
- Isaiah 27:6, NASB In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the whole world with fruit.
The opposite position, when we are not rooted in relationship with God, is compared to being like a dry desert, a neglected garden, or a bush/shrub in the wasteland.
- Jeremiah 17:6, NASB For he will be like a bush in the desert, And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness.
The bible depicts God as a gardener, tending the world (his garden) and his people:
- Isaiah 61:11, NASB As a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
So, a garden could either symbolise an area of our own life, or a group of people we are part of (a business, church, small group, community, nation, the world, etc.).
Gardens as areas of our life
Gardens in dreams can metaphorically represent our own life, and the features and plants in the garden can reflect various areas of our life. For example:
- New plants can be new things (like attitudes, values, character traits, ideas, dreams, projects, people, etc.) in our life that should be nurtured, encouraged, and developed.
- Weeds can be things that get in the way, steal our joy/peace, or hinder us from living life to the full. Weeds are things that need to be removed from our life.
- A fountain, stream, or spring in the garden could be the Holy Spirit as our source.
In his role as our gardener, God uses garden scenarios in dreams to highlight these things so we can cooperate with the work he wants to do in our life – and experience life-giving transformation as a result.
- John 15:1-2, NIV “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Dreaming of our own current garden is likely to symbolise an area of our own life, and could just be a convenient setting rather than about the garden itself. The question to ask is whether the garden is the main point of the dream, or whether it is just a natural setting for the action.
Dreaming of a garden where we have previously lived is also likely to be about our own life. It could link to things that happened or originated during that time, or things that have formed our thinking/identity.
Our heart as a garden
Our heart is sometimes likened to a garden. Our job is to cultivate the good things in our heart – and cooperate with the Holy Spirit to remove the unhelpful things.
What is planted in our ‘garden’ determines what flows out into our life, for example as thoughts, habits, and the choices we make:
- Proverbs 4:23, NIV Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Our mind as a garden
Plants and seeds can symbolise ideas and understanding.
Jesus told a parable about a man sowing seed, where the seed represents God’s words spoken to us. For us, this includes the messages he communicates to us in our dreams. The state of the garden is linked to what we do with that revelation and what we cultivate in our heart and mind.
- Matthew 13:23, NIV “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Gardens as intimacy with God
In dreams, gardens are often about intimacy with God, particularly if flowers are involved: This is reminiscent of the garden of Eden where Adam and Eve enjoyed fellowship with God:
- Genesis 3:8, NASB Now they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
- Mark 6:31, NASB Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while.
Gardens can be place of rest and peace, where we go to walk or sit and enjoy the flowers.
So, in dreams, gardens can reflect aspects of our relationship with God, and be a call to tend to that relationship through quiet times and enjoying his presence. This could be about spending time in the secret place of prayer, or any aspect of cultivating our relationship with him.
Real dream examples: Gardens
|I dreamed I was looking at pot plants in the garden and hadn’t watered them since last year; I’d not been spending much time in the garden. My companion said they needed watering every day.||This was a call to attend to my relationship with God – which meant going through my dreams daily rather than neglecting them and letting them build up.||The garden was my relationship with God; the plants were dreams containing messages from heaven that I needed to review daily with him (water).|
|I dreamed I went away to stay in a place. I had a box of heart shaped chocolates in my room, and could look out of the window over the garden which was lovely and peaceful.||God was expressing his love for me, and calling me to come away with him: As I spent time in his presence I would receive new vision.||The window speaks of vision. The quiet place and garden were a call to the secret place of prayer. I did subsequently take time to wait on God.|
|I dreamed people were bombing back gardens. I was told to sit on the sofa by our front window, and we should be OK there.||I was about to go through something devastating relating to what God has spoken in the past; but I should keep my eyes on God and my future destiny, and I should be OK.||The house represented a coming situation, the back garden was past revelation, and the front garden represented God’s vision for my future.|
Dream symbol: Flowers
Flowers can generally be about gardens, spiritual health, and intimacy with God.
Whether the flowers are growing in a garden, appearing around the place, in a bouquet, or simply in a picture/flower design, I always start by assuming they could link to our relationship with God.
Flowers indicating God as our source
Flowers in dreams are useful for revealing the source of things in our life. The type of plant and the place it is planted will determine what kind of flower develops. In this sense, flowers are similar to fruit.
In a positive context, flowers most often represent things which have resulted (grown/blossomed) from our personal relationship and intimacy with God. These could be thoughts, ideas, values, etc. The point is to affirm that we are truly getting these things from God.
- Hosea 14:5, NASB I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily.
- Isaiah 35:1, NASB The desert will shout for joy and blossom; Like the crocus.
A positive flower represents something that has come from our connection with God.
In a negative context (e.g. a horrible colour flower, a man-made picture of a flower, a flower with an unpleasant smell, or flowers that we don’t like) the flowers can represent things which are not coming from our relationship with God.
- Ezekiel 7:10, NASB The rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed.
Negative flowers in dreams can help us identify things that we think are from God, but are not really. These could be things we have been told by other people, things inherited from culture/upbringing, or religious ideas. In other words, these things seem good or true, but God is not their source – and we did not get them directly from him.
Flowers as gifts
Flowers can also represent gifts in certain contexts, for example:
- Giving flowers as a gift (like a bouquet or roses) can be an expression of love.
- Receiving gifts of flowers could be about receiving something from God. This could be a spiritual gift or something else (depending on the colour and type of flower).
Real dream examples: Flowers
|My friend dreamed that Clint Eastwood was pursuing her with a bunch of flowers. He was relentless and wouldn’t give up chasing her.||God was showing her that he loved her and would never give up on having a closer relationship with her. The dream was encouraging her to receive his love.||Clint Eastwood was a ‘heartthrob’ figure and represented God. The flowers were both an expression of love and a desire for relationship.|
|I dreamed our house was decorated with horrible flowery wallpaper which needed to be stripped off.||This was revealing some basic ideas that were not of God, and I would need to let God renew my mind.||This was a negative context of flowers. Something I believed seemed OK, but was not really of God.|
|I dreamed there were some tacky laminated flowers on tables. We then planted some real purple hyacinth bulbs to come back to later.||I had some wrong ideas about leadership (purple) at the time of dreaming. God was going to change my thinking in the future.||The laminated flowers were ideas not from God. The bulbs were potential new thinking that would develop from my relationship with God.|
|I dreamed my mum showed me some pink alliums were growing by my den in my childhood back garden, from seeds I had previously sown.||This was encouraging me that the time I had spent with God over the years was bearing fruit and I was starting to reflect his heart in some areas.||My mum was the Holy Spirit. The den was time in the ‘secret’ place. Seeds were the investmentment I had made. Pink is the colour of relationship and the heart.|
Specific types of flowers and plants
There are many different varieties of flowers and plants that could appear in dreams, and interpreting a specific one in a dream is not as simple as just looking up the meaning. Also, the meanings and symbolisms of plants listed online may not be what the plant means in your dream.
So, rather than trying to list every type of flower and plant and their symbolism, here are some general clues that can be explored, with the Holy Spirit’s help, for determining what it could represent in a specific dream.
I have previously written 10 clues for interpreting dream symbols which may also help. The following questions are specific to plants and flowers.
Usually, one or two of the following points will stand out it in the dream and seem important. Those things can be researched or followed up, as the Holy Spirit leads.
In addition, consider whether the plant or flower seems positive or negative in your dream.
1. What is the colour of the flower?
Colour is often the most important factor with flowers in dreams. For example, daffodils could be about hope or understanding (from the colour yellow). Poppies might be wisdom or anointing (from the colour red).
See Colours in dreams for more ideas about colours. Here are some examples, linking to the idea of God being our true source, and flowers growing from the place of intimacy:
- Red flowers could be wisdom (or the gift of widsom) developing from our relationship with God (in a positive context), or wrong ideas we have inherited about leadership (in a negative context)
- Yellow flowers could be ideas and understanding that we are hearing from God (in a positive context).
- Blue flowers could be revelation that we are receiving from our relationship with God (in a positive context).
- Pink flowers could be about becoming a person reflecting God’s heart (in a positive context).
- White flowers could be righteousness developing (positive context) or religious ideas (negative context).
- Purple flowers could be God-given authority in Christ (positive context) or false authority (negative context).
2. What is the name of the flower/plant?
The name could be the clue to its meaning, rather than the flower/plant itself. We might need to look this up. Searching for ‘etymology of…’ or ‘meaning of…’ could be helpful.
It could either be a direct/literal meaning of the word, or a wordplay.
For example, marigolds could be a wordplay on the colour gold. A bee orchid in a dream might link to the meaning of a bee. I once dreamed of lettuce which was about prayer (‘let us‘ pray!).
3. Is the flower/plant in the bible?
Some flowers and plants had uses and meanings in the bible, which might be relevant in the dream. For example:
- Almond blossom
These, plus others, can be easily be researched further by doing a search for the flower/plant name at biblegateway.com, or searching for the biblical meaning online.
Here is a helpful summary article I found:
- Flowers in the Bible: Symbolism, Meaning, & References at thinkaboutsuchthings.com
4. What are the characteristics of the flower/plant?
Does the flower/plant have any notable characteristics that seem important? For example:
- Size and shape.
- Growth style or pattern (annual, evergreen, etc.).
- Habitat (does it grow in the desert, in gardens, or in certain countries?).
- Special uses such as medicinal (healing) or culinery (e.g. herbs or fruit/vegetables).
5. Does it have a personal association?
Many flowers have personal and cultural associations unique to the dreamer. For example:
- Roses can be associated with love and romance in some cultures.
- I once dreamed about receiving a magnolia floral toiletries gift set. This was a personal association linked to the magnolia paint colour, which is commonly used as a background colour to paint walls. It symbolised having a rounded set of spiritual gifts to enable me to be a good general support.
- My mum has a special interest in hardy orchids, so they often appear in her dreams for many different reasons. They are usually something precious or to be valued.
If you are an expert or have a particular interest in gardening or plants, then that knowledge can be used in the illustrations in your dreams.
Real dream examples: Plants
|I dreamed our tomato plant was covered in huge red tomatoes (approaching tennis ball size!).Some were even so high they could be seen over the top of the fence.||This was encouraging me to keep writing blog posts, because eventually they would have an impact and get seen by people.||This was soon after I started writing. We were growing tomato plants at the time, so they were a good image to illustrate the ‘fruit’ of my writing efforts.|
|I dreamed someone thought I had killed a big plant in the garden by pruning it too hard. I said I thought it could re-grow even though it didn’t look very alive, so I was watering it.||I had a dream/desire which had been on hold so long that I had nearly let it die. This dream was encouraging me to hold onto that hope.||The big plant represented a long-standing hope/dream. Watering it meant actively rekindling that hope and trusting God for it.|
|I dreamed my friend had a load of plants which were totally blue, leaves and all! She was going to plant them in her garden.||This was soon after I started this blog, and was encouraging me to get on and write the ideas I had for articles, as they were from God.||Blue is the colour of heaven and revelation. This particular friend was known for getting on with things, and often said, ‘just do it’.|
More plant-related dream symbols
Here are some more potential dream elements relating to plants and flowers. These meanings are not set in stone, but rather suggested ideas to help get you thinking metaphorically. They might mean something different in your dream:
Back garden: The back of something can be about the past, so a dream set in the back garden might be about the past.
Bulbs: Bulbs are like seeds and speak of future potential. Investing now will bear fruit (flowers) in the future.
Fences and walls: These might be about boundaries and relationships, rather than the garden aspect.
Front garden: The front of something can be about the future, so a dream set in the front garden, or on the front porch, might be about the future.
Fruit and vegetables: Fruit and other produce growing on plants in our dreams generally represents results and fruitfulness.
Grass: Grass can represent people (Psalm 103:15). A lawn or field can be a group of people, or the world (Matthew 13:38).
New plants: In a positive context, these can be new things (like attitudes, values, character traits, ideas, dreams, projects, people, etc.) in our life that should be nurtured, encouraged, and developed.
Pruning: This can be about areas of our own life (or other situations) that need to be cut back. This could be to promote growth in other areas or make way for new things.
Leaves: The state (and greenness) of the leaves can indicate state of spiritual health or wellbeing.
Mowing the grass: This could be similar to pruning (John 15:1-2).
Roots: Roots are generally about the source or foundation of something. This could be good, or bad – for example if it needs pulling/weeding out in the dream.
Seeds: Seeds speak of future potential. Seeds can be things sown (given/laid down) or invested in faith, with the hope of a future harvest (John 12:24). Seeds can also be the word of God (as in the parable of the sower, Matthew 13). The seeds of God’s words can come through the bible, plus other ways. So, even the messages in our dreams can be seeds!
Trees: Trees are often about leaders or leadership. Or they can be something long established, strong, or reliable.
Weeds: Weeds can be things that get in the way, steal our joy/peace, or hinder us from living life to the full. Weeds are things that need to be removed from our life, or from a situation.
We have seen how plants and greenery can generally represent aspects of our spiritual life, growth, and health. In addition:
- Gardens can represent various areas of our life, our heart, and/or intimacy with God.
- Flowers in a positive context represent things that have resulted from our relationship with God. They can also be gifts and an expression of love.
There are also many different types of flowers and plants that could have specific meanings. We considered five questions to help determine their meaning in a given dream (see infographic below).
Some closing thoughts:
- Plants and flowers in a dream could represent any number of things. The above pointers should give you a good starting point.
- I believe that only God can tell us what a particular plant or flower means in a specific dream, so try praying through the dream.
- Consider the atmosphere of the dream, and whether the plant or flower is being used in a positive or negative sense.
- In addition to the meanings that I have shared, remember that it could mean something personal or culturally significant to you, that isn’t mentioned here.
And finally… have fun investigating the plants and flowers in your dreams! If this article has helped you interpret a dream, please leave a comment!
Infographic: Plants and flowers in dreams
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The purpose of this blog is to provide biblical foundations for interpreting dreams and encourage others to make their own dream journey. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.
It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Jennifer Needham disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.
Biblical meaning of colours in dreams
The spiritual symbolism of red, orange, brown, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, black, white, grey, gold, and silver – in dreams.
Beginner’s guide to biblical dream interpretation
How to get started interpreting your dreams – in the context of a relationship with God.
How dream work can revitalise your morning prayer time
Why dream work is a healthy spiritual discipline, and how to include it in your time alone with God.
- Dream symbols: Sun, wind, rain, storms, and other types of weather
- Why you don’t need a prophetic gift to interpret dreams
- Dream symbols: Gardens, plants, and flowers – and what they mean
- How dreams can help with renewing the mind
- Meeting God in your dreams