Plant tattoos are gaining popularity – this could be because during the pandemic, we all seemed to start an indoor (or outdoor) plant collection of some sort! I know that my partner and I became somewhat of a plant-obsessed household. We have spent a small fortune gathering rare and wonderful plants of all varieties, shapes, and colors.
Plant tattoos will age well and never lose their meaning. Plants are a versatile subject matter for all genders and age groups. They can be placed anywhere on the body, as we can always manipulate their design to match the shape of our client’s bodies.
Plant tattoos are not just beautiful – they can come packed with a lot of meaning for the wearer. It could be anything from commemorating a lost loved one through their favorite plant (like our daisy tattoo list), to symbolizing personal growth, strength, and survival. Let’s have a look at some of the best ones I could find:
1. Colourful Monstera
This tattoo caught my eye because of all of the different shades of green that the artist used. You can see that he understands how the colors are placed on the Monstera leaves and how they naturally fall. I especially like the geometric additions, as they add a uniqueness to this tattoo
2. Blackwork Tulip
This tattoo is a perfect example of how plant tattoos can curve and flow with the body. The artist understands how to beautifully accentuate this part of the body, and has executed a very clean and bold design.
In my experience, the hip is particularly difficult to tattoo and the artist achieved clean line work with no blow-outs.
3. Half sleeve
This artist knows how to work with positive and negative space very well. I love this “tree sleeve” take – it is feminine, flowing, and just plain gorgeous! I like the use of different textures, and leaving the negative space makes the tattoo breathe.
4. Monstera in a Vase
This is an incredibly striking take on an American Traditional vase tattoo. I like how the artist used dot work shading as opposed to the more common whip shading seen in traditional tattoos.
The artist chose a very heavy line weight which works beautifully for this design. Overall a well-executed and striking tattoo!
5. Neo-Traditional Lady Head Vase
Using a lady’s head as a vase is quite a common thing in plant tattoos. But this artist took the liberty to put their own spin on it.
I really enjoy the facial features, added details such as the freckles and eyebrow hairs, and the use of white highlights.
I also love the color palette – Monstera leaves are usually just done in green, but this artist chose to add splashes of pink where the highlights would normally fall. A beautiful and striking tattoo!
6. Flaming Fern
I am completely obsessed with this tattoo. The artist took a traditional Japanese flame and morphed it into a beautiful, flowing fern.
The line work is executed perfectly, and the black is solid. I am a huge fan of how it flows with the body and fits into the gap on the client’s leg
7. The Last of Us
This is a tattoo that has gained popularity. It is from a game called The Last of Us where you play as a smuggler escorting Ellie across the post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie has this exact tattoo in the game and it holds a specific meaning to her.
Fans of the game have changed the meaning for themselves, and I love how this artist put a bit of a spin of their own on this classic tattoo. They added soft shading and beautiful curls on the fern leaves and really made it flow with the arm.
8. Soft Fern
This is something I’ve been wanting to tattoo myself for a long time! It’s such a unique way to receive a completely custom tattoo. You will bring in a leaf, and the artist will cover it in carbon and place the stencil directly onto your body – think of it as if you’re doing a dog’s paw print but with a plant!
I love that this artist only used color for the tattoo and didn’t give it a solid black outline. It’s very soft and gentle and flows perfectly with the side of the body. I am unsure of the longevity of tattoos in this style, but it gives a beautiful result when fresh.
9. Hand holding a plant
This is such a simple tattoo, and yet it is so stunning! I often see tattoos that look like claw hands, but this one is drawn perfectly. I love the use of simple line work for the hand, dotted texture for the soil, and soft shading for the plant. The movement created in the soil is a lovely extra touch
I really enjoy the spooky feel that the artist gave to this tattoo. The spider webs go perfectly with the thorns from the brambles and the flowers, leaves, and berries soften it up nicely to make it more feminine.
I especially love the tiny spider and bee additions! Technically it is also a well-executed tattoo with clean line work and strong shading
11. Trailing Plant
This hanging plant tattoo instantly caught my eye because of the bright and powerful green. Green is a notoriously difficult color to work with, and this artist has created beautiful gradients from dark to light green in the leaves.
I also really like the pot that the plant is in – it makes me think that the artist drew inspiration from a pot in their personal collection. I like how the leaves trail down the arm and curl at the end.
12. Gloriosum Prop
I loved this tattoo from the moment I saw it, especially as a rare plant collector myself. I’m sure a Philodendron Gloriosum is on every plant-head’s wish list! The artist really captured the white veins on the leaves and included the notorious red growth point.
I especially love the placement of the tattoo and the inclusion of the chopped end of this propagation. The little folded-up new leaf is a nice touch
13. X-Ray Leaf
I like how this leaf has been divided right in half, with the top part showing what the leaf skeleton looks like and the bottom showing it when it’s fresh. I especially like the juxtaposing style of tattooing, with strong line work on top and soft shading on the bottom. The size is also perfect for the placement of this tattoo
14. Potato Eyes
This is not the best tattoo I have seen in terms of technical application, but I just had to include it for its extremely unique idea! In the plant world, we call the little growth shoots that grow off of potatoes the “eyes”.
This artist has taken the liberty to literally draw eyes onto the potato, and I have to give credit for that imagination. I especially like that they also included a few small stalks with leaves on them. A very creative tattoo!
15. Carnivorous Plant
This tattoo especially stood out to me not only because of its rich and bold color but also because I desperately want a Pitcher plant for my own collection! I love that the artist gave this carnivorous plant a mouth and had it chewing bubblegum. I love the texture on the opening of the plant, and the very simplistic leaves. Props to the artist for the beautiful color palette as well!
16. Perfect Placement
I cannot get enough of this artist’s work. She had such a brilliant idea to incorporate her client’s natural curves into her tattoo designs and now people from all over the world go to her for these beautiful designs.
It’s rare to see designs created specifically for bigger bodies, and it is so refreshing to see work like this in our industry. Not only is her idea brilliant, but her execution on such a tricky spot to tattoo is nearly perfect.
17. Whimsical Plant
I am so drawn to this tattoo because of its simplicity and fun nature. I really appreciate the tones of green that the artist chose and the little berry-like additions. The placement is perfect for this design, and I appreciate that the artist took a photo of their tattoo with plants all around it!
18. Jurassic Plants
Plant tattoos are often paired with other imagery, and I really love that they decided to do a jungle-themed dinosaur tattoo, with a beautiful lady face!
The artist chose a stunning color palette with greens, pinks, and splashes of yellow all working well together. I like the tiny details of the freckles, the light source on the leaves, and the spines on the dinosaur. The strong line work and well saturated color makes this an almost perfect tattoo
19. Skull Planter
Another carnivorous plant I would love to add to my collection is the Venus Flytrap.
The shading in this tattoo is executed beautifully. I love how the artist left a lot of open skin in the skull and fully saturated color in the plants, thus letting the tattoo breathe. I also enjoy the small details, like the cracks in the skull and the gorgeous fly!
My passion for plants started with some heirloom tomato seeds given to me by my grandmother, so this vine plant tattoo really speaks to me.
I absolutely adore how the artist captured the different stages of ripening of the tomatoes and the lovely flow created with the stylized leaves. The color palette, line work, and textured shading are spot-on!
21. Realistic Plant Sleeve
The calathea on this tattoo is what caught my eye first. This artist has perfectly executed the bright coloring that is present in these plants in real life.
I like how they placed the different plants, with the leaves overlapping and flowing along the arm. I believe this is a healed tattoo and the colors healed bright and bold. A plant parent’s dream tattoo!
I adore this gentle take on a realistic tattoo.
The artist used a beautiful texture for the glass, and added a drip effect to the leaves to make it slightly surrealistic. I like the small details like the shadow of the jar and the warping of the stem behind the glass. A perfectly placed, soft tattoo.
23. Tiny cactus
We wanted to help out those looking for minimalist plant tattoo ideas, and this little cactus seemed perfect!
The subtle pop of the yellow sun overlaid across the blank outline of the tattoo gives it just enough to feel special.
I love these little plants because of their unique look, and somewhat easy ability to keep alive. This blue agave plant tattoo shows off the spiny ends of the plant, and the forearm placement matches the shape perfectly.
This is a very special tattoo I did recently for a client who is moving to the Netherlands. She had pincushion flowers at her wedding and her partner bought her a pincushion plant as an apology for a little tiff they had. A little token for her to take with her from her hometown to the Netherlands! “Blom” means “flower” in her native language and we decided to do a botanical sketch using only color ink.