17 Rose Color Meanings to Help You Pick the Perfect Bloom Every Time
Knowing rose color meanings will help you pick the best rose color for your loved one—on Valentine's Day and any day of the year
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Every rose color has a distinct meaning
We all know that roses are red and violets are blue—but actually, roses can also be blue, pink, orange and even black. And that’s just the beginning. These beautiful flowers come in many different colors, both naturally and with the help of dye. So which rose color should you choose?
Whether you’re buying roses for Valentine’s Day or just because, it isn’t simply about picking the rose color that your love, well, loves. You should also take into consideration what each hue signifies, as rose color meanings can range from love and admiration to friendship and even mourning.
“Roses are the perfect embodiment of love, but their colors have different meanings, which can help customers choose the perfect arrangement for their valentine,” explains Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at 1-800Flowers.com. Interesting piece of Valentine’s Day trivia, right?
Below, you’ll find the various meanings for the popular colors, including the white rose meaning, the red rose meaning and more! Just in time for the most romantic and rose-centric day of the year, here’s what you need to know about rose color meanings so you can send the perfect Valentine’s Day flowers to the people you love.
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Red roses: Love and admiration
Red roses are popular for Valentine’s Day, so it should come as zero surprise that this rose color symbolizes love and admiration. “Red roses are the most popular and quintessential Valentine’s Day gift,” says Palomares. However, if you are in a newish relationship, you might want to stay away from this distinctive color. “Because they convey a message of deep romantic feelings, they are the perfect gift for your wife or long-term partner.”
Yellow roses: Friendship
A bright and cheery color, yellow is one of the happiest hues when it comes to rose color meanings. “Yellow roses are great for celebrating Galentine’s Day,” says Palomares. “This cheerful hue declares, ‘You’re a great friend.'” You might want to stay away from yellow if you’re in a romantic relationship, though, as some people claim they represent jealousy and infidelity.
Lavender roses: Unique love
Lavender is a less common color than pink or red, making it perfect for expressing your special love. Considered exquisite and rare, lavender implies that you think the world of the person who’s getting these beauties. “Expressing enchantment, majesty and splendor, lavender roses (as well as other hues of purple) will delight the queen in your life,” adds Palomares. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to book a room at a romantic hotel for Valentine’s Day, where you sprinkle lavender roses on the beds and floors for a luxe aesthetic.
Deep pink roses: Gratitude
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends by gifting them deep pink roses. When it comes to pink roses, all the shades have something in common: Pink roses have a rose color meaning that symbolizes gratitude, grace and joy, and they’re a much gentler option than red. For example, while red signifies passionate love, think of pink as more of a token of admiration. In terms of which pink to choose, Palomares explains that when you want to tell your best friend how thankful you are for the bond you share, deep pink roses are a fantastic choice, “as they indicate happiness and gratitude.”
Medium pink roses: Gratitude, grieving and congratulations
You may have seen medium pink roses given to loved ones in romantic films. Experts say that medium pink is the most versatile of all the feminine shades, making these roses appropriate for a wide variety of occasions. For example, they may be given as a token of gratitude, but they’re also a good option to give someone who is grieving. They’re even a good way to say congratulations or to acknowledge a first love. Basically, you can’t go wrong with medium pink roses as a gift for her.
Light pink roses: Innocence and appreciation
Think of pale pink roses as an alternative to white roses. “They imply innocence, but they also send a message of appreciation,” says Palomares. “These pretty petals are a great gift for your mom, sister or even a close friend.” Because of their light hue, they indicate gentleness, so this rose color is also a good option for a sympathy gift on a sad occasion.
White roses: Innocence and new love
Historically, in terms of rose color meanings, the white rose meaning has been virginity and innocence. The white rose is also known as the “bridal flower,” points out Palomares, as weddings signify new beginnings. But even if you aren’t ready for marriage, this rose may be the right one for your relationship. “A bouquet of fresh, white roses is the ideal gift for a blooming romance,” says Palomares. This also makes them perfect to gift a crush or new romantic partner during a first date at a romantic restaurant.
Purple roses: Passion and infatuation
You know that lovestruck feeling you get when you’re in the throes of infatuation? That’s the feeling embodied by deep purple roses. “Purple roses are more akin to fleeting infatuation than a long and loving relationship,” according to 1-800Flowers.com. “However, sending purple roses could be a foot in the door to more lasting feelings of love, paving the way for future gifts of pink, red and orange roses.” So consider gifting them with a printable Valentine’s Day card. Just an FYI, some purple roses are dyed, while others are cross-bred from naturally occurring colors.
Orange roses: Fascination
We already know that red roses represent deep love and yellow roses represent friendship. Since orange is a combo of the two, think about it as a bridge between them, suggests Palomares. “Indicative of passion, energy and fascination, these vibrant flowers show your Valentine that you want your friendship to go to the next level,” he says. Pairing these beauties with the right Valentine’s Day message can also help your cause.
Salmon roses: Desire and excitement
Because salmon is a tad more pink than orange, roses in this gorgeous hue might be an appropriate choice when you want to tell someone how you truly feel—when that feeling entails desire and excitement, that is. This also makes them beautiful pairings for any DIY Valentine’s Day cards that need an extra oomph. (And yes, that sounds a tad frisky to us too.) Salmon roses are also vibrant and unique, making them a terrific option for the kindred spirit in your world.
Peach roses: Thanks and gratitude
This color is known for showing thanks and expressing gratitude, and it represents the genuineness of your feelings, says Palomares. “These flowers are also a thoughtful way to show sympathy for a friend or family member,” he adds.
Cream roses: Charm and thoughtfulness
While white is often regarded as a color of innocence, cream has a more subtle meaning. “Cream roses symbolize charm and thoughtfulness and are the perfect way to tell someone they are on your mind,” says Palomares. Whether you want to thank someone for doing something special, or simply make them smile, you can’t go wrong with this rose color.
Burgundy roses: Devotion
If Cupid‘s arrow hit its mark, then that feeling of love and devotion is underway. Like red, burgundy roses are a passionate choice for your lover. According to Palomares, the modern meaning behind these stunning, dark red roses is unconscious beauty. “However, historically in the Victorian era, these dark beauties expressed deep devotion, and they are a unique option in place of traditional red,” he points out.
Green roses: Good news and new beginnings
Most people assume that all green roses are heavily dyed (and should only be given on St. Patrick’s Day), but this isn’t actually the case. Green roses started blooming naturally around 1743. According to some experts, they might be among the oldest roses out of the bunch. But here’s the thing: Authentic, non-dyed green roses don’t actually have petals—just green sepals.
Since green is a color of growth, Palomares explains they can definitely serve a purpose. “The color of life, abundance and rejuvenation, green roses are a wonderful celebration of good news and new beginnings,” he says.
Blue roses: Mystery
Unlike most other rose colors, blue roses do not exist in nature. Therefore, blue roses have come to represent mystery, the impossible or the unattainable. If you want to let someone know they are one of a kind, then a bouquet of blue roses is a good bet.
Black roses: Mourning or chic style
Hold on—do black roses really exist? The answer is: sort of. They don’t exist in nature, and what you probably instead have in front of you is a rose that’s actually a super deep purple or burgundy. But for all intents and purposes, these roses are black. Or you may have flowers that have been darkened with dye.
Black roses are probably the most complicated to decipher. Heavily featured in fictional stories over the centuries, they have come to represent everything from mystery and mysticism to death and mourning. While some of their meanings may be negative, they are also unique and can look totally chic in the right arrangement, making them a good choice for non-traditionalists—like those who claim they aren’t super into Valentine’s Day.
Rainbow roses: Uniqueness, hope and pride
If you love bright colors and candy hearts, then you may want to gift these appealing roses to your significant other. With a bit of every color in their petals, rainbow roses tell your partner they’re simultaneously your best friend and lover, appreciated and respected, and most important, unique, says Palomares, who adds that they also symbolize hope, pride and equality.
“Rainbows typically appear after storms, projecting hope and better things to come,” he explains. “All the colors come together to be celebrated equally, projecting the idea of inclusivity and that all are welcome.”
About the expert
- Alfred Palomares is the vice president of merchandising at 1-800Flowers.com.