Dreaming of growing things can be a potent symbol of our own inner growth and how we feel about that. When positive, this can manifest as dreams of flowers, fruits, beautiful trees or healthy gardens. But when the meaning of plants and trees in a dream is more of a warning, the symbols can include dark scary forests, overgrown vines, or dead, wilting plants. (While different flowers, fruits and trees can all have their own unique meanings in dreams, I will address that perspective in a future post. This post is more about the meaning of plants and trees in a dream in more general sense.)
Positive plant dreams can be like other celebration dreams such as running or driving freely, swimming underwater or flying. This is often a healthy sign that we have learnt some important lesson – the growth, beauty and bounty of the plant representing new found feelings of confidence and self mastery. If we dream of nurturing a plant or garden, this can be a sign that we are learning to look after our Self, to nurture our own inner needs, be they emotional, psychological or spiritual. It may also symbolise nurturing a new project or creative endeavour, or even of looking after a child or animal.
To dream of picking flowers or harvesting fruit and vegetables can be a very powerful sign of reaping the rewards for hard-work invested, or of a new sense of abundance that might follow a period in life when you may have felt you weren’t receiving all the support and emotional nourishment you needed. Planting seeds can be the beginning of a new idea, relationship or way of thinking or behaving. These dreams amy appear when we wish to grow an aspect of the Self into something stronger and more prominent. Dreams of beautiful gardens can be almost mystical sometimes, and can create a profound sense of peace, belonging and union with nature. This is a great sign you are likely onto some pretty good inner work, as you discover a place of great beauty within yourself. For some this may even include the heavenly presence of a departed loved one, or be a communion with the divine. Such dreams are to be treasured!
Trees can also be powerful symbols that can represent not only our true Self, but our connection to family, heritage and community – literally a symbol of our “family tree.” Depending on how you interact with the tree, you can look to see whether you feel supported or not. Perhaps you are trying to climb or sit in the tree. Are the branches strong enough to hold you, or do they feel weak and unable to take your weight? This might mean feeling disconnected with family or a particular family member, or that the family literally aren’t supporting you in a project or course of action that is important. Is there a way you can help them see your point of view? We can see how connected with our past and how developed our sense of home and place is by understanding how strong and deep the roots of the tree are. If you have moved recently, it is not unusual to dream of a fallen tree, or one that is somehow out of the ground. This can represent feeling “uprooted,” and that you have yet to adjust to feeling at home in your new place. Roots can also be a source of nourishment – from the ground the tree draws nutrients and strength. I dreams then, tree roots invite us to look at where we gain our nourishment from, both physically and emotionally. Dreams of tree roots invite us to consider if we sufficiently “grounded,” or have we become a bit lost in our imagination with thoughts, fears and insecurities?
Tree Dreams can also symbolise deep spiritual growth and connection with Mother Nature, Gaia or the Divine. The “World Tree” is a symbol in many religions that connects the heavens with the earth and the underworld beneath us. This tree is a source of all knowledge and spiritual wisdom. It is also associated with the “Tree of Life” and represents the centre of the world, and therefore cosmic harmony and divine order. If you dream of a massive tree that elicits very deep feelings, you may be connecting with a profound spiritual awareness.
Plant Dreams as Warnings
When plant dreams go bad, it can be a sign that something in our life is either out of control, which may appear as dreams of overgrown gardens or wild vines; or it may be a clear message that we are neglecting something important, like the pot plant that dies when we forget to water it. These kind of dreams ask us what areas of our own personal life are we forgetting about and not caring for?
Dreaming of dark scary forest or wood can have multiple meanings. Often this symbol is used in fairy tales as the place where the hero or heroine runs away to escape something, only to face a hidden danger. This sense of lurking danger in the darkness carries over to our consciousness even today. But in the fairy tales, the hero or heroine either usually discovers a treasure, meets special helpers or else conquers the danger whilst in the forest. It is important for us to journey into this forest to learn a lesson, win a prize or find a treasure. In these dreams, the forest can be a symbol of the unknown areas of our own mind. It is not unusual to dream of dark forests as we begin dream work or other personal development work, as we bravely (if somewhat nervously!) venture into dark areas of our own mind. But remember, like Snow White found her seven dwarfs, we may find our special helpers, in key messages and symbols to teach us important lessons about our Self. We need not fear what is in our own minds, for once we journey inwards and start to know our way around, we will find it is not so scary after all, but a place of magical wonder and mystery.
Lessons from Plant and Tree Dreams
Our subconscious mind really is like a garden: nurture it with the attention it deserves, shine the sun of your own kindness onto your sadness and guilt, trim out the weeds of anger and fear, prune back the over-zealous emotions and indulgences, and dig the soil to tend the roots of your own sense of belonging – then you shall have a mind of peace and beauty, with a rich bounty to harvest of creative ideas, inspiration and solutions to problems.
You will know a place in your own mind that is untouchable by others, your own sanctuary where you can find peace, draw strength from, and retreat to when you need to contemplate or heal.
Such a garden bears fruits that nourish and flowers that inspire. It provides shelter and supports life.
Such a garden will benefit far more people than just the beautiful mind it exists in!