Plants symbolize solar energy concentrated and made manifest.
Plants suck up the strength of terrestrial fire and draw in solar energy. They amass this power, from which they derive their healing or poisonous properties and which is the basis of their use in magic.
In relation to the male principle of life, plants signify growth, in the words of Psalm 144: 12: 'That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth.'
Plants bear their own seed. Some, the hyssop, for example, are used as purifiers.
Just as the solar spectrum breaks down into different colours, so plants symbolize the manifestation of energy in its different forms. As manifestations of life they are as inseparable from Water as they are from the Sun.
It is easy to understand why the two symbols, plants and water, should be linked. Waters bear seeds, all seeds. Plants - roots, shrubs, lotus blossom -display the manifestation of the cosmos and the appearance of form. What the lotus symbol (or root) expresses, rising from the waters (or from an aquatic emblem), is the cosmic process itself. In this context the waters stand for the non-manifest; the seeds for latency; the floral symbol, manifestation or cosmic creation. Plants, the first stage in life, above all symbolize perpetual birth, the ceaseless flow of life-giving energy.
In Vedic tradition, those plants with medicinal properties were themselves the gift of Heaven and the roots of life; prayers were offered to them as though they were deities.