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The Hibiscus Tattoo Meaning and 55 Blossoming Ideas for You

by Sherri Owens

Hibiscus tattoos can have many different meanings including femininity, beauty, love, lust, happiness, and more. The symbolism of the hibiscus tattoo is usually tied to the color and design.

Growing up in a tropical area myself, the hibiscus was always one of my favorite flowers - and flower tattoos. It always reminded me of home. As I learned more about local art, I realized that there is great significance to this flower.

In this post, I will cover the hibiscus tattoo meaning in all its forms and show you beautiful hibiscus tattoos to draw inspiration from.

What Does the Hibiscus Flower Symbolize?

There isn't just one hibiscus tattoo meaning, there are many.

For one thing, this flower is found in many tropical regions around the world. Although it comes in different colors, this beautiful flower usually has at least five petals. It is sometimes referred to as the rose mallow flower too.

The beauty and vibrancy of the hibiscus flower demand that it is to be noticed. So, it is no surprise that many different countries and cultures have a place of honor for the hibiscus flower. What the hibiscus and the hibiscus tattoo represents depends on the region and culture.

Hibiscus Tattoo and Sensuality

One hibiscus tattoo meaning begins with ancient Egypt. Perhaps due to its vibrant beauty, the hibiscus was associated with lust and passion. It was believed that the petals crushed and used in tea could act as an aphrodisiac and incite lustful feelings.

Hawaiian Hibiscus Tattoo Meaning

Interestingly enough, this isn't the only culture to associate the hibiscus flower - and the hibiscus tattoo meaning - with desire and sensuality. As I will show you, Hawaiians also find the hibiscus and the hibiscus tattoo meaning to be linked to such feelings as well.

Hinduism and the Hibiscus Tattoo Meaning

Now, what a lot of people don't realize is that there is also a hibiscus tattoo meaning associated with Hinduism. Hibiscus flowers - and the hibiscus tattoo - are closely tied to the Hindu goddess Kali. She is considered the representation of the life force and a primordial essence.

More than this, though, Kali is seen as a complex and intricate representation of women. She is considered to be a fierce and incredible warrior. However, at the same time, there is so much more to Kali - many different versions of her.

This includes the mother, the sensual goddess, and more. She is also considered to be a symbol of life and death, creation, and destruction, and everything and nothing. In essence, Kali is the embodiment of all that women can be.

So, if you want to represent the divine feminine energy as well as the enormous capacity that each woman has inside of her, this can be your hibiscus tattoo meaning.

Another hibiscus tattoo meaning could be the balance between masculine and feminine elements. According to one story, Kali was unstoppable in the heat of a battle so her husband Shiva lay down in front of her. It was only when she noticed her beloved laying there that was she able to snap out of her senses.

Your hibiscus tattoo meaning could show how both men and women have a bit of each others' energies to become truly complete. In this way, this hibiscus tattoo meaning works out well for both men as well as women.

Lord Ganesha is also said to be quite fond of the hibiscus as it is associated with divine consciousness. This hibiscus tattoo meaning will work well if you are someone who is quite spiritual and is constantly trying to achieve a higher plane of consciousness.

This can be a particularly great hibiscus tattoo meaning for anyone who does yoga or meditation extensively.

Hibiscus Tattoo Meaning in Polynesian Cultures

If you are interested in Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures, there is a different hibiscus tattoo meaning here. This shouldn't be surprising as most people associate hibiscus flowers and the hibiscus flower tattoo with Hawaiian islands.

In fact, the hibiscus flower is the state flower of Hawaii.

In Hawaii, the hibiscus flower and the hibiscus tattoo indicate hospitality. This is why you will often find it as part of the leis. This is a way to invite people to the island or even their homes. So, if you have a welcoming spirit or enjoy hosting or entertaining, this could be the hibiscus tattoo meaning.

This hibiscus tattoo meaning also works for people who want to invite positive feelings or events into their life. After all, when you open up your mind and your heart, the universe usually provides you with what you are looking for.

Custom Feminine Hibiscus Tribal Tattoo

Image by @electricparadisetattoo via Instagram

In Hawaiian culture, your hibiscus tattoo meaning will depend on the color of the hibiscus flowers inked on your body. I will go into greater detail about this hibiscus tattoo meaning when I reveal the various hibiscus tattoo design ideas you can borrow from.

In Hawaii, the hibiscus tattoo meaning is linked to lust and passion. Some believe that the hibiscus represents true love and luck in relationships. Therefore, your hibiscus tattoo meaning could represent inviting your soulmate or true love to find you.

One hibiscus tattoo meaning could be that you are searching for love. In Polynesian culture, women wear a hibiscus behind their right ear if they are looking for a relationship.

If you are in a happy marriage or long-term relationship, your hibiscus tattoo meaning can be altered, simply by getting the hibiscus tattooed behind your left ear. This hibiscus tattoo means that you are taken.

Colored Hawaiian Flower Tattoo on the Hip

Image by @ghetto.tattoo via Instagram

Another hibiscus tattoo meaning could be linked to the impermanence of everything. Hibiscus flowers only bloom on the vine for a single day.

This is why the hibiscus tattoo meaning was often linked to young women in the Victorian era. The beauty of women is often fleeting as is the innocence associated with childhood. However, these days, people choose to see it as a different hibiscus tattoo meaning.

Most people see this hibiscus tattoo meaning as having to do with how fleeting most things can be. After all, you have only one life to live. If you don't take the opportunities that come your way or take risks now and then, you could be doomed to live a life of regret.

Of course, if you want to stick to the original hibiscus tattoo meaning of childhood and innocence, the hibiscus flower tattoos may be a good option for those who would like to represent their children.

If you are hoping for a more Asian inspired hibiscus tattoo meaning for your floral tattoo, then you will be pleased to know that hibiscus flowers are good omens in China. Here, it is known as China rose as well as rose mallow. These flowers represent individual success, prosperity, and wealth.

Hibiscus Tattoo Meaning in Asian Cultures

Japan has its own hibiscus tattoo meaning - this largely has to do with hospitality, though. So, if you would like to invite good things or people into your life, then this hibiscus tattoo meaning will work well for you.

If you live in Malaysia, then the hibiscus tattoo is a source of national pride. This is because the hibiscus is the national flower of Malay culture. The hibiscus represents the joining of all races as well as courage and life.

One hibiscus tattoo meaning could be to do with healing. When ingested, the hibiscus is believed to have lots of nourishing properties. So, for tattoo placement, you can choose to use it for covering bad scars.

A Note About Blue Hibiscus Tattoo Meaning

You may have seen or heard of the blue hibiscus, also known as the lilac hibiscus. However, this flower isn't a member of the hibiscus family.

Of course, if you want to get a blue hibiscus tattoo, you should get creative with your tattoo design and get one. Blue is considered a peaceful and calm color which can translate to your floral tattoo as well.

Hibiscus Tattoo Designs

Here are the top hibiscus tattoos along with the hibiscus tattoo meanings:

Minimalist Hibiscus Tattoos

Although you may love the hibiscus tattoo meaning, you may not necessarily want to go all out with your hibiscus tattoo. You may also want a small hibiscus tattoo. If so, then a minimalistic hibiscus tattoo will be just the right tattoo for you.

What you need to keep in mind about this kind of floral tattoo is the hibiscus design. While your hibiscus tattoo can be simple, make sure that you get the outline and certain designs right.

Realistic shading can go a long way for your minimalist hibiscus tattoo and hibiscus tattoo meaning. So this is something you may want to look into.

Here is the small hibiscus tattoo or the minimalistic hibiscus tattoos that you should check out for your own flower tattoo:

Three Blackline Hibiscus Flowers Tattoo

Image by @romahtattoos via Instagram

Tiny Hibiscus Flower Arm Tattoo

Image by @cacau_inkkk via Instagram

Tiny Hibiscus Flower Ankle Tattoo

Image by @west4tattoo via Instagram

Black and Grey Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @botanicapokes via Instagram

Hibiscus Flower and Lemon Arm Tattoo

Image by @mysticgarden.ink via Instagram

Red Fineline Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @minimalista.sd via Instagram

Simple Hibiscus Flower Forearm Tattoo

Image by @veight.tattoo via Instagram

Twin Hibiscus Flower Tattoo Behind the Ear

Image by @bihwa_tt via Instagram

Hibiscus Flower with Leaves Forearm Tattoo

Image by @marytattooer via Instagram

Tiny Hibiscus Flower Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @yoursohn via Instagram

Red Hibiscus Tattoos

Red is arguably one of the more popular flowers and hibiscus tattoos. The hibiscus tattoo meaning here has to do with romantic love. The red hibiscus tattoo is all about passion and lust.

You may also find red petals combined with other colors. This can be to add meaning to the red hibiscus tattoo or to simply add authenticity to the tattoo design.

There is an interesting story behind this flower which can add to its hibiscus tattoo meaning. According to Filipino legends, a forest nymph and a mortal man fell in love. However, this kind of love was forbidden by the gods so they sent a demon to kill the human.

The demon stabbed the man through the heart and the nymph found her lover just as he was dying. Although she tried to use her magic to save him she was unsuccessful. So, with a broken heart, she took the same dagger and plunged it through her heart.

The earth then swallowed up the lovers whole, leaving no trace of them behind. Only a hibiscus remained to mark the forbidden love and sacrifice of these two.

In Mandarin culture, red is associated with prosperity and good luck. So, if you want to depict this hibiscus tattoo meaning, you know exactly which color to choose!

Red and Green Hibiscus and Bees Tattoo

Image by @katie.the.chiang via Instagram

Bold Red Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbyayla via Instagram

Twin Red Hibiscus Flowers and Black Leaves Tattoo

Image by @yerae_tt via Instagram

Red and Green Hibiscus Flower Arm Tattoo

Image by @fernando.fernands via Instagram

Hibiscus and Peacock Flower Tattoo

Image by @amiratattooss via Instagram

Water Colored Hibiscus Flower Forearm Tattoo

Image by @sky_coyote via Instagram

Tiny Red Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @zihong_tattoo via Instagram

Twin Red Hibiscus Flowers Tattoo

Image by @seanvellos_art and thegoldenalley_tattoos via Instagram

Pink Hibiscus Tattoos

The dark pink can have its own hibiscus tattoo meaning. This is quite similar to red, where the focus is on romantic and even erotic emotions.

With the light pink hibiscus, though, the hibiscus tattoo meaning is quite different. The hibiscus tattoo meaning behind this shade of pink has to do with platonic love and friendship.

Pink Colored Hibiscus Flower Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @leviedwardstattoos via Instagram

Light Pink Hibiscus Flower Forearm Tattoo

Image by @eso_tattoo via Instagram

Three Hibiscus Flower Tattoo on a Black Background

Image by @myungdo___ via Instagram

Single Pink Hibiscus Flower Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @hideharu_kishimoto via Instagram

Pink Hibiscus Flower with Text Stem Tattoo Piece

Image by @vii_tattoo via Instagram

Art Nouveau Hibiscus Flowers Forearm Tattoo

Image by @dorothytattoo via Instagram

Bunch of Pink Hibiscus Flowers Forearm Tattoo

Image by @myungdo___ via Instagram

Yellow Hibiscus Tattoos

It should come as no surprise to learn that the yellow hibiscus tattoo meaning is associated with happiness. It is also linked to sunshine and good luck.

Overall, the yellow hibiscus tattoo meaning is quite positive. So, if you want to encourage happiness, sunshine, and positive thinking, then a yellow hibiscus tattoo is the way to go.

Here are the hibiscus tattoos that you can draw inspiration from:

Multicolored Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @19texasgal76 via Instagram

Turtle and Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @darylnicholsontattoos via Instagram

Yellow and Purple Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @emblemjoe via Instagram

Yellow Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @briana_ibanez3 via Instagram

White Hibiscus Tattoos

The white hibiscus is a rare beauty - it is quite unusual but still rather stunning. So, it is little wonder that this hibiscus tattoo meaning is about female beauty. This hibiscus tattoo represents feminine energy.

Due to its color, the white hibiscus tattoo meaning is also associated with purity and innocence.

Like the actual beautiful flower, this hibiscus tattoo can be pretty rare - this is despite the powerful hibiscus tattoo meaning. The reason that this hibiscus tattoo isn't a more popular option has to do with the fact that white is a difficult color to tattoo with.

To add to this, this color is also more likely to fade quickly. This means more frequent touch-ups for your hibiscus tattoo.

Now, don't let this information deter your decision to get a hibiscus tattoo in this shade. Instead, you may want to think about some creative ways of getting such a flower tattoo and retaining the hibiscus flower tattoo meaning.

You could ask your artist to use a certain kind of shading to make it look like your hibiscus tattoo is white. Or, you could go the simpler route and get a black outline without any color inside your hibiscus tattoo.

Here are some hibiscus tattoos to help you get ideas for your own tattoo:

Black and Grey Three Hibiscus Flower Back Tattoo

Image by @inkandneedle.main via Instagram

Greyscale Hibiscus Flower Forearm Tattoo

Image by @vondr4e via Instagram

Philippine Sun and Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @marvinrivera.tattoo via Instagram

Three Hibiscus Flowers Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @yulright_tattoo via Instagram

White Hibiscus Flowers Tattoo

Image by @dudutattooist via Instagram

Heart Shaped Hibiscus Flowers Tattoo

Image by @zeetattoo via Instagram

Sketch Style Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @madisonmakestattoos via Instagram

Black and White Hibiscus Flowers and Leaves Tattoo

Image by @fa.ny_tattoo via Instagram

Polynesian Hibiscus Tattoos

As you can tell, the hibiscus tattoo meaning is deeply rooted in Polynesian culture. So, it only makes sense to get a hibiscus tattoo that is linked to it.

So, what do Polynesian hibiscus tattoos actually look like,? Well, this kind of hibiscus tattoo may be more commonly referred to as tribal or black work tattoos. This type of hibiscus tattoo usually has repeating patterns and spirals in it.

If you want to get a tribal tattoo, remember that each design has its own hibiscus tattoo meaning. Although the pattern on the hibiscus tattoo may look random at times, each one tells an individual story about your hibiscus tattoo.

For a proper hibiscus tattoo meaning, I suggest that you do your research beforehand. Figure out what each of the designs behind the hibiscus tattoos means. This will help you decide what your hibiscus tattoo should be.

I would also advise you to work with artists that have done such hibiscus tattoos before. This can make it easier to get a tattoo with a true hibiscus tattoo meaning.

Here are some hibiscus tattoos that can give you ideas for your own piece of ink:

Black and Grey Turtle and Hibiscus Polynesian Tattoo

Image by @tattoo2ney via Instagram

Polynesian Style Hibiscus Tattoo Piece

Image by @tattoo2ney via Instagram

Polynesian Red Hibiscus Leg Tattoo Piece

Image by @kiti_ta_tatau via Instagram

Polynesian Hibiscus Floral Half Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @kiti_ta_tatau via Instagram

Polynesian Style Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @dmbtattoo via Instagram

Hummingbird and Hibiscus Tattoos

You will find quite a few hummingbird and hibiscus tattoos. There is a reason for this. As with the hibiscus tattoo meaning, hummingbirds have their own significance too.

Hummingbirds are often seen as a sign that hard times are over and that good times will begin once more. Some also see them as a symbol of healing. So, if you have faced physical, emotional, or mental trials, the hummingbird is a sign that you are on the mend.

Another reason that these birds are the perfect accompaniment to your hibiscus tattoo is that they are also a symbol of strength, determination, and resilience. This has to do with the fact that hummingbirds have to work rather hard to keep flying continuously.

Here are the hummingbird and hibiscus tattoos you should check out:

Hummingbird Carrying Hibiscus Flower Tattoo Piece

Image by @modoink_calvin via Instagram

Colorful Hummingbird and Hibiscus Flower Tattoo

Image by @gideonshand via Instagram

Hibiscus Flower with a Hummingbird Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @inkgarage_brooklyn via Instagram

Pink Hibiscus Flower with a Green Hummingbird Rib Tattoo

Image by @andi.skuse.tattoos via Instagram

Hibiscus Flower with a Hummingbird Line Work Tattoo

Image by @will_tattoo971 via Instagram

Hibiscus Flower with a Hummingbird Calf Tattoo

Image by @jeanne.noxtattoo via Instagram

Floral Bouquet Hibiscus Tattoos

As with the hibiscus tattoo meaning, many flowers have their own significance. So, if you love flowers, it is only natural to consider getting a hibiscus tattoo with various other blossoms.

This can add more meaning to your hibiscus tattoo - not to mention color. If you want a watercolor hibiscus tattoo, this is a design that will make it easier to accomplish this idea.

Here are the hibiscus tattoo ideas you can check out:

Four National Flowers Bouquet Tattoo Piece

Image by @ink_and_needlestattoostudio via Instagram

Hibiscus Floral Bouquet Arm Tattoo Piece

Image by @tingleink via Instagram

Pink Hibiscus Flowers Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @paintedladyparlour via Instagram

Red and Orange Floral Tattoo Piece

Image by @seyhan_erdem_antalya_tattoo via Instagram

Family Birth Flowers Thigh Tattoo Piece

Image by @yerae_tt via Instagram

Hibiscus and Ceibo Flowers Forearm Tattoo

Image by @bryan.gee via Instagram

Variety of Colorful Floral Tattoo Piece

Image by @yerae_tt via Instagram

There is more than one hibiscus tattoo meaning to consider. Now that you are more aware of what each color and design means, you are better equipped to decide which hibiscus tattoo is right for you.

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