Wishing on Dandelions & Other Flower Fluff Traditions

A dandelion wish is a dream your heart makes and with one blow, it'll come true. Join us on our deep dive into this unique folk tradition.

Published February 29, 2024

When you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are — and dandelion fluff is just as indiscriminate. Wishing on a dandelion is one of those childhood touchstones that creeps its way into adulthood. But knowing how to make a dandelion wish doesn’t reveal anything about where it came from and why we do it. So, put on your walking boots and get ready to investigate this wish flower’s origins and what makes this simple flower so special.

Unique Dandelion Traditions That Have Stood the Test of Time


Dandelions are such a common plant that it’s no wonder they feature prominently in folklore around the world. While each region and community has its own interpretation of these traditions, we all can agree that dandelions must be a little bit magic.

Blowing on Dandelion Fluff Will Make Your Wish Come True


One tradition that stretches far beyond childhood has to do with dandelions in their dying phase. You wouldn’t bat an eyelash if you saw an adult pick up a fluffy dandelion, close their eyes, and blow the seeds into the wind. Why wait for your birthday candles when you can pluck a wish out of thin air?

Dandelion Shadows Can Predict if You Like Butter


As a kid, you probably plucked a bright yellow dandelion off the ground, held it under your chin, and asked someone to see if it cast a yellow shadow. If so, then either you liked butter or were going to have a kind disposition. Incredibly, one of your great-grandparents would have stood in your shoes and done the same thing in the 18th century.

Dandelion Fluff Can Predict How Many Children You'll Have


Before ultrasounds took the guessing game out of having kids, some people used dandelions to figure out how many children they’d have. Not quite the same as ultrasounds, but this floral folklore was probably as accurate as the results from a childhood game of M.A.S.H were. 

How it worked was that someone would pluck a fluffy dandelion, blow the seeds with one breath, and the number of fluffs remaining was how many kids you’d have in your lifetime.

Where Did the Wish Flower Tradition Start?


While there’s no documented source for the wishing on dandelion fluff tradition, we speculate that it started somewhere between the 18th and 19th centuries. Much of modern Western folklore stems from this timeframe. Couple that with the increased focus on florals for their sociocultural meanings (the language of flowers, anyone?) in the Victorian period, and it’s safe to say that, at the very least, the practice found its footing by the turn of the 20th century.

What Makes Dandelions So Special?


There are far too many dandelion superstitions for this sunshine-yellow flower not to be made of pure magic. And while we’re sorry to disappoint, there are far too many interesting things about the dandelion to write it off completely.

Related: 8 Flower Color Meanings and the Perfect Occasions to Gift Them

They're a Nutritional & Medicinal Powerhouse


Indigenous to Eurasia, these extremely successful perennials that made their way to the Americas aren’t only beautiful but jam-packed with nutrients. Before commercial grocers, dandelions were used in salads, teas, and more.

Similarly, some cultures have used dandelions for various medicinal purposes for centuries — ranging from heart conditions to helping with kidney function. 

They Symbolize Resilience & Joy


Once given to loved ones as a flirtatious gesture, this hearty flower has come to represent resilience and joy. No matter how hard some people might try, these flowers will continue to thrive in the most dismal conditions.

Anyone Can Grow Them


If you’ve got the opposite of a green thumb and can’t even seem to keep succulents alive, then dandelions are the plant baby for you. These perennials may be short-lived but tolerate just about every soil condition and growing zone. Neither frost nor freeze nor heat can keep these babies from shining.

How to Make Your Dandelion Dreams Come True


If you’ve never had the pleasure of wishing on dandelion fluff, let us be your guide.

  1. Look for dandelions that are at the end of their lifecycle. You’ll see their seeds are connected to white bristly fluff, which creates a halo around the area that once was the flower.
  2. Pluck the fluffy flower — being mindful of the fluff while trying to stay downwind — and hold it in front of you.
  3. Close your eyes and think of a wish.
  4. Open your eyes, lean forward, and blow into the dandelion fluff ball.
  5. Now, the dandelion fluff will carry your wish into the world for you!

Who Needs a Star When You've Got Dandelion Fluff?


Who needs to wish on a star when dandelion fluff is right there? Take a page from your ancestors' books and make your dreams come true, one dandelion fluffball at a time.

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Wishing on Dandelions & Other Flower Fluff Traditions