Rose Colors – What do they Signify?

Roses are perennial plants that come back each year in your garden and have a very long blooming season.  They are one of the most popular garden plants.  Do you know what the rose colors signify?

What do the colors of roses signify?

One of my favorite things to do, when I have some free time, is to wander around the grounds of the Raleigh Rose Gardens.  There are so many varieties and colors.  It’s such a peaceful and beautiful day to do this.

What Do the Different Rose Colors mean?

There are few flowers which have more meanings than roses.  And few flowers have an many hues as rose colors do.  Poets and authors have long praised the rose in their words. Some of my favorites are:

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
George William Curtis

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
Abraham Lincoln

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
William  Shakespeare.

And one of my favorites:

The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.
Author Unknown

When I wandered around the rose garden on my last visit, I starting thinking about the colors and their significance.  I thought it would be fun to explain to my readers what colors of roses has come to signify over the passage of time.

Here is a list of some popular Rose colors and their commonly accepted meanings:

Rose Colors

Burgundy – Often thought of as the color or royalty and associated with passion.  Burgundy roses also signify Unconscious Beauty

Burgundy rose

Yellow with red tip – A rose of this color sends out Jovial and Happy Feelings to the recipient.

yellow rose with a red tipWhite with Red tip – when found on one rose, these colors signify unity. This beauty is a photo shopped image of an Osiria rose.

 osiria rose white with red tips

Image credit Imgur

Orange  –  These roses are associated with energetic feelings, such as enthusiasm, passion and gratitude. 

orange rose

Peach – Bright and zesty, the peach color expresses enthusiasm.  Peach roses can symbolize fervent love and excitement  When given to a special someone,peach roses can say “I find you charming or exciting.”

peach rose

White – this is the traditional color of brides and white roses are often used in bridal bouquets.   However, sending white roses can also be the way a secret admirer can express his as-yet-unrevealed interest in the recipient of the rose.

White rose

Blue – Probably because blue flowers are uncommon, blue roses signify The unattainable, or the impossible.  Blue is not a color that occurs in roses because they lack a pigment( delphinidin) that turns flowers blue. If you find blue roses, they have likely been dyed.Dyed blue rose

Pink – Pink roses are a way of showing Appreciation, of saying “Thank you”/ They are associated with Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, and Gentleness

Pink Rose

Black – black roses signify Death, and are a way to say Farewell. There is no such thing as a true black rose, but breeders keep trying to create one. If you find a truly black rose, it has likely been dyed, like blue roses are.

Black roses are dyed to get the color

Coral – Coral colored roses signify desire.

Coral colored rose

Yellow – Yellow roses say are connected with Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning. They are used say “Welcome Back, Remember Me”, and also signify  Jealousy.

yellow rose

Red – red roses are thought to signify Love, Beauty, Romantic Love, for Congratulations, Sincere Love, Respect, Courage & Passion

Red Rose

Lavender – Lavender roses are less common than some other colors. Their message is one of enchantment, adoration and love at first sight. Because shades of purple are associated with royalty, lavender roses can also symbolize respect and admiration.

lavender rose

What is your favorite from my list of rose colors?  Do you agree with the meanings above for that color rose?  See more pictures of roses on my Pinterest flowers board.

If you have a photo of a black, blue or burgundy rose, I would love to include it and credit you.  Please email me details.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

  12 comments for “Rose Colors – What do they Signify?

  1. Linda Kelly Lee
    03/04/2013 at 5:35 am

    I love the lavender rose. One of my favorite colors and my husband did fall in love with me at first site.

    • admin
      03/04/2013 at 7:08 am

      My favorite colors are deep shades. It doesn’t matter the color as long as it is very deep in color.

  2. 09/18/2013 at 10:58 pm

    Hello, its nice post about media print, we all understand media is a wonderful source
    of facts.

  3. Renee
    04/24/2015 at 8:38 pm

    Just recieved my osiria rose seeds. No directions. Really want them to grow. But done know the correct way. Can anyone help?

    • admin
      04/24/2015 at 10:06 pm

      HI Renee. The best thing to do is to contact the seller where you purchased the seeds. They should be able to give you some directions. I am not connected with the seller in any way.


    • Patsy
      06/03/2016 at 11:10 pm

      You cannot grow Osiria or any specific variety of rose by see. It will be a completely different plant. Rose seeds are very hard to germinate. They need to be kept in moist conditions kept in a fridge for a few months before planting and even then it is very iffy

  4. Crystal
    01/30/2016 at 8:00 pm

    I love black roses. They don’t say farewell but hello I’m mysterious and beautiful.

    • Carol
      01/31/2016 at 10:44 am

      Hi Crystal. I like the way you think!

  5. Minnie Hernandez
    05/06/2016 at 4:39 pm

    will this roses grow in Houston, Texas and if they do where can I get them. I like the two tone or more colors.

    • Carol
      05/06/2016 at 5:19 pm

      All of the roses shown are from the Rose Garden in Raleigh, NC. I don’t know where you can buy similar rose bushes or if they will do well in Houston, TX. Carol

  6. Linda
    07/11/2017 at 5:09 pm

    Dear Carol,

    I have just become aware of your planting skills and plants that you love enough to provide everyone a good basis to start growing and I fell right into the roses! We are very lucky indeed as I got lost reading article after article until someone asked me about something called food??? Ooooops.
    If you ever get the chance, I know that I love big “blousy” roses that are “bushes like” and and fragrance. Terrible description but I am completely new to roses and I finally get to start off a rose bed this year and then build slowly unless incredible deals come my way, lol. Could you guide me to the right terminology that I am hoping to find and have because I live in a 4, 4A area of Northern Ontario? If you have no time that is just fine and I say thank you for running such a wonderful site for all of us., Linda

    • Carol
      07/11/2017 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Linda. I am glad you are enjoying my site. I am not sure which variety you are referring to. If you have a photo I might be able to come up with some information. Carol

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