6 Rose Color Meanings

The experts at proflowers.com know when it's appropriate to send red roses over white. But we guessed who might really like to get a bouquet of each bloom.

Adapted by Brandon Spektor from Proflowers.com
  • Loading

    Red: Love and Romance

    One of the most universal of all symbols, the red rose represents true love. It has also appeared throughout history and across cultures as both a political and religious symbol.

    Perfect for: Freaking out your first date; covering beer stains; wooing a hunky bishop.

    Yellow: Friendship, Joy, Get Well

    Throughout history, yellow has been closely associated with the sun, making these roses excellent for cheering people up. Yellow roses send a message of appreciation and platonic love without the romantic subtext of other colors. The color represents feelings of joy and delight.

    Perfect for: Tormenting your ex; worshiping Sekhmet or your solar deity of choice; picnics in the 1930s.

    Lavender: Enchantment, Majesty, Love at First Sight

    The color purple has a traditional association with royalty. In this regard, shades of lavender roses suggest an air of regal majesty and splendor.

    Perfect for: Encouraging crazy bosses; patronizing The Queen; dinner with Kanye.

    Pink: Love, Gratitude, Appreciation

    Pink carries with it the connotation of grace and elegance, as well as sweetness and poetic romance. Dark pink roses are symbolic of gratitude and appreciation, and are a traditional way to say thanks. Light pink roses are associated with gentleness and admiration, and can also be used as an expression of sympathy.

    Perfect for: Sick secretaries; the platinum blonde in your life; this well-mannered horse.

    White: Purity, Innocence, Sympathy, Spirituality

    Early tradition used white roses as a symbol for true love, an association which would later become the hallmark of the red rose. Also known as the bridal rose, the white rose is a traditional wedding flower. In this sense, white represents unity, virtue, and the pureness of a new love. White roses are also associated with honor and reverence, which makes them a fitting memorial for a departed loved one.

    Perfect for: Your wife (first day of marriage); that weird neighborhood kid who always wears a cummerbund; your wife (last day of marriage.)

    Orange: Desire, Enthusiasm and Passion

    A literal mixture of yellow and red, orange roses were seen as a bridge between friendship symbolized by yellow roses and love represented by red roses. They can be an expression of fascination, or a gift to say 'I'm proud of you.'

    Perfect for: Halloween honeymoons; minor academic achievements (first A-, graduation from butcher academy, etc.); subtly hitting on married people.


    Keep the laughs coming every week!

    Get our hilarious Funny Reads newsletter

    Sending Message
    how we use your e-mail

    Your Comments

    • http://ocalundan.info/ Lee Calundan

      I’ll send her pink! :)

    • Valcour

      Well, you must not forget that in a relationship, yellow roses can also express,betrayal, infidelity or break; even a sort of beg to be forgiven. Beware misunderstandings!

    • Nancy Nolan

      I LOVE white and yellow roses! Don’t care what they stand for. Red is my least favorite.

    • rosa

      eww i hate the color yellow :p

    • Maris

      It’s incarnadine (blood red) roses for me. Next to that color are the pale pink ones.

    • jennifer

      Just got some yellow roses from my bf bc I cut his toe nails last night. ….awwwww

    • kotoc

      Perfect for: Freaking out your first date; covering beer stains; wooing a hunky bishop.
      Who was it that thought up these stupid “perfect for” sayings? Dumb, dumb, dumb!

    • tian

      why yellow? neither white?

    • tian

      why yellow?

    • mimi

      wow my bf gave me red roses with a few of other flowers in white and purple…i believe his love for me is purely gold :)..