14 Rose Colors Meanings for a Thoughtful Bouquet

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 different rose colors meanings are?

This lovely flower is often given as a gift.  The reason is simple – each rose color means something different to the person who receives it, so it’s a great way to attach sentiment to a gift in a simple way.

Roses mean different things depending on the color chosen. Rose colors express love and many other emotions. Click through to find out more.

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.  Enjoying them always ensures that I have a peaceful and relaxing day.

The history of the rose as a symbol

Roses come in many shades and so do the color of roses meanings. To understand the meaning of roses colors, one only has to step back into history.

Throughout history, roses have long been considered a symbol of some kind.  The word rose even means pink or red in several languages.

Ancient Romans used the rose to show devotion to the Goddess Venus. In the later Christian eras, it became associated with the Virgin Mary.

The rose is the national flower of England and it was adopted as the national floral symbol of the USA in the 1980s.

One only has to wander into a grocery store on February 13 to know how much red roses are associated with romance.

Roses and Poetry

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)

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)

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)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)

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

What Do the Different Rose Colors mean?

You’ve heard the term “rose colored glasses?” This means looking at the world through a hue of some sort. Roses color meanings is similar.  Depending on the color of the rose you choose, you will be sending a different message each time!What do the colors of roses signify?

There are few flowers which have more meanings associated with them than roses.  And few flowers have as many hues that the colors of roses do.

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

Here is a list of some popular rose colors and the meaning of different rose shades and hues:

Burgundy Roses Meaning

The color burgundy is dark red with a hint of brown in it.  The name of the color comes from the shade of Burgundy wine which originated in the Burgundy region of France.

This color is often thought of as the color of royalty and during the Victorian era, it was associated with the feelings of passion.

If you want to show that you have a very deep passion for someone, give them burgundy roses. This color rose can make a wonderful choice for any romantic occasion and particularly for Valentine’s Day.

Burgundy roses - deep passion and unconscious beauty

The Meaning of Yellow Roses with Red tips

Many roses boast more than a single color. These are called variegated roses. To find the meaning, it’s necessary to examine the two colors and combine them into one sentiment.

A yellow rose with red tips sends out jovial and happy feelings to the recipient. It can also mean friendship or starting to fall in love.

Yellow Roses with red tips signify starting to fall in love, as well as friendship.White with Red tip Rose Significance

When these two colors are found on one rose, they signify unity. Several years ago, a photo of a rose that was known as Osiria rose became an internet sensation. It had a pure white body with bright red rimmed petals.  Unfortunately the photo was heavily photo shopped and led to lots of disappointment among gardeners.

It certainly united the gardening word in their search for one to grow in their gardens.  Find out more about Osiria rose here. 

Many, much easier to grow roses, come with the two colors of red and white.  And you don’t need a photo editing program to grow them!A white rose with red tipped petals signifies unity

Orange Roses Meaning

Roses in the color orange are associated with energetic feelings, such as enthusiasm, passion and gratitude.  They signify creativity, success and encouragement, so they make a nice graduation flower gift.

The color orange is also associated with heat, passion and sexuality.  It is the color of joy and happiness. Show your fascination with someone by a gift of orange roses.

Orange roses mean happiness, joy, sexuality and success.

Peach Rose Meaning

The color peach is a mixture of orange, yellow, and white.  It got its name from the outer shade of the peach fruit. The white tinge of color adds a softness to the brightness of both yellow and orange.

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

The meaning of peach colored roses. They signify love and excitgement

What do the Colors of Roses Mean?

The Meaning of White Roses

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 is associated with purity, virginity, goodness, Innocent and light. It is considered to be the color of perfection. The color white is pure, safe and clean and has a positive connotation attached to it.

White roses signify innocence, purity and virginity and are often used at weddings

Off white or Cream Colored Roses meaning

Some white roses have an ivory tinge to them and this makes them take on a different sentiment. Off white and cream roses indicates both charm and thoughtfulness.  Cream colored roses signify charm and thoughtfulness

Cream colored roses are a good choice for an older bride who might not wear white on her wedding day.

What is the meaning of a blue rose?

Blue is the color of trust, peace, freedom, intuition and tranquility. 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.

Florists have found a way around this, however.  If you find blue roses, they have likely been dyed.If you find blue roses, they have likely been dyed.

To dye roses, choose white roses to start. Cut the stem at an angle and split the stem part way up to allow the dye to enter the flower better. Place the rose in a container with warm water and add the blue dye. Wait for the rose to turn blue.

The meaning of pink roses

Pink roses are a way of showing appreciation, of saying “Thank you”. They are associated with grace, perfection, happiness, admiration, and gentleness. Deeper pink roses indicate gratitude and make a great thank you gift.

The color pink is a great choice to show love for someone young but they are also versatile. They can give either a platonic or a romantic meaning to the recipient. If you are at the start of a romance, pink roses might be better than red ones.

A pink rose indicates grace, the start of a romance and gratitude.

What is the meaning of a black rose?

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, in the same way that blue roses are.Black roses are either dyed or a very dark red, burgundy or maroon rose

Often roses called black are very intense shades of red, purple or maroon as can be seen in this photo. The color can be deepened by placing it in a vase of water and black ink.

What do coral roses signify?

Coral is a reddish or pinkish shade of orange. The color is named for the sea animal called coral.

Coral colored roses signify enthusiasm and desire. If you would like to give a gift to someone that you would like to know better, choose coral roses.

Coral roses indicate desire and enthusiasm

What does a Yellow Rose Mean?

Remember the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree?”  The lyrics of this song are meant to show that the roses tell a released prisoner whether or not they would still be welcomed home.

Yellow roses are connected with joy, gladness, friendship, delight, and the promise of a new beginning. They are used say “Welcome Back, Remember Me”, and can also signify jealousy.

Yellow roses indicate the promise of a new beginning

Red Roses Meaning

The most popular of all roses for gifts are red ones. Red roses are thought to signify love, beauty, and romantic love. The are used to convey congratulations, sincere love, respect, courage and passion. This makes them ideal for so many feelings and events

If you have planned on giving the classic choice of red roses to your significant other, you are in luck. This means simply “love.” There is a reason that the cost of red roses increases each year around Valentine’s day. They are the universal symbol of love and affection.

Red roses signify true love

What do Lavender roses mean?

Lavender roses are less common than some other colors. Their quirky 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 roses are less commonly seen. They signify respect and admiration

What is your favorite from my list of rose colors?  Do you agree with the meanings above for that color rose?

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.

Rose colors can be used to express many sentiments in a gift of flowers. Use this photo guide of rose colors and meanings to match the shade of the rose to your feeling. This will make for a truly personal gift.

To remind yourself of this post later, just pin this image to one of your Pinterest gardening boards.What do rose colors mean? This photo guide tells you what the sentiment is and how to use them as gifts for many occasions.

Fun Number Facts about roses

  • Looking for a way to say thank you?  1 rose of any color will do this in an inexpensive but cherished way.
  • Did you know that 2 roses entwined together will tell your loved one that you want to marry them?
  • 6 roses indicate a need to be cherished.
  • 11 roses tell the recipient that they are deeply loved.
  • 13 roses are the perfect gift to give to someone that doesn’t know you care. It indicates a secret admirer!
  • The world’s oldest rose is thought to be 1000 years old. It grows on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany.
  • The most expensive rose in the world is the Juliet rose. It took 15 years to breed and cost $5,000,000!

Admin note: This post first appeared on my blog in August of 2013. I have updated all of the photos and added a lot more information. Hope you enjoy the changes!


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."

  14 comments for “14 Rose Colors Meanings for a Thoughtful Bouquet

  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.

      Carol

    • 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

  7. 06/12/2018 at 11:56 pm

    I love the black rose.It’s like a power queen!

    • Carol
      06/13/2018 at 12:28 pm

      I’d love to find some very dark burgundy roses (ie black) and plant them with white roses. That would be a show! Carol

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