rose symbolism

Roses Meaning and Symbolism of Different Colors

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When you’re thinking about what kind of flower to give to your favorite person, be it for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, or some other celebration, you likely already know that roses are some of the best options you can choose.

Roses, Rosa, are classic beauties, offering an understated elegance no matter what color bouquet you choose. The classic teardrop shape has long signified romance and class – but how do you decide which color is right for you? What is the meaning of roses?

With dozens of rose colors to choose from, the list can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll provide you with a guide to the color of roses and their meanings so that you can pick the right one for the occasion – guaranteed. 

Why Give Roses?

Why choose a rose in the first place? If you’re stuck between many different kinds of flowers, there are lots of good reasons to select a rose.

For one, this plant has long been the symbol of love. Going as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, this flower was used to express heartfelt sentiment. 

Giving someone a rose is a good way to connect your gift of a flower with what you feel in your heart. Whether you feel sympathy, love, romance, affection, or joy, giving a rose is a great way to show you care. 

There are many rose varieties you can choose from. Below is the meaning and symbolism of each color.

Rose Symbolism by Color

Roses can be found in just about any color, from pure white to deep, dark black. When it comes to the language of flowers, here’s what each shade means so that you can send the perfect message. 


white rose flower

White roses have come to symbolize many things, such as innocence, purity, and love. They are often given at weddings or funerals. The color white represents fresh starts and new beginnings. It can also represent hope and even joy. 

It was the original symbol for English queens since it was believed that only virgins could produce roses without thorns. In France, the white rose was a symbol of peace during World War I.


bright yellow rose

The meaning of the yellow rose has long been debated. Some say it symbolizes friendship and loyalty, while others believe it is an expression of love. Regardless, there are many ways to incorporate this beautiful flower into your life for a special reason or occasion. 

You can also use yellow roses to convey warmth, gladness, and affection. While these flowers used to be used to express a sentiment of jealousy, that is fortunately rarely the case these days.


As the white rose, the ivory rose is a symbol of purity and beauty. It has been used as a representation of virginity, chastity, and fidelity in many cultures throughout history. In the Victorian era, it was commonly given to someone who had just pledged their marital vows.

In some cases, the ivory rose can mean something totally different than the white rose. It can convey gracefulness, charm, thoughtfulness, and perfection. Giving an ivory rose is a good way to show that you care – without romantic intentions. Consider giving a bouquet of ivory roses with a mixture of eucalyptus plants for a truly charming display! 


The peach rose is a symbol of love, purity, and tenderness. The color peach has long been associated with femininity and the flower’s fragrance is said to be reminiscent of youthful innocence. It’s no surprise that this beautiful flower is often used as an engagement or wedding floral arrangement. 

Peach roses can also be used to symbolize modesty and sincerity. They make great thank-you gifts, too, and would make a wonderful present if you are closing a business deal! 


orange rose closeup

The orange rose is a symbol of love and passion. It represents the desire to be loved, or the need for someone who will not run away from problems. The orange rose can also represent warmth and stability in a relationship.

It stands for happiness, love, and good fortune. It is also said to be an omen for luck in business and a sign that all will go well with your endeavors. The orange rose has been used by many cultures as a symbol of hope and renewal because it can endure cold temperatures better than other roses. 


red rose flower

Red is the quintessential rose color and one of the most popular flowers chosen on Valentine’s Day! That’s because this flower symbolizes love and romance along with passionate desire. 

Occasionally, red roses are used in bridal bouquets, meant to signify marital bliss and true respect. This flower can be used to show commitment and passion. 


Burgundy is another uncommon rose color, meaning unconscious beauty along with passion and desire. 


Coral roses can represent intense desire, fascination, and energy. You can give someone coral roses to let them know you admire their spirit – or that you’re proud of them. No matter how you choose to give these flowers, you’re sure to inspire a burst of energy.


Like ivory and white roses, cream-colored roses can signify charm and thoughtfulness. Cream roses are perfect choices for get-well bouquets, too. 

Cherry Brandy 

Another beautiful (yet rare) rose color is cherry brandy. This dark orange shade is often paired with yellow roses to let the recipient of your gift know that you are grateful for them in so many ways. It offers the giver the ability to convey a message of intense gratitude and passion as well. 

Giving someone a bouquet of cherry brandy roses is a great way to say, “I’m here to stay – and I don’t plan on leaving you any time soon.”


five petal rose

Lavender is not the most common rose color you will find but it is sure to be one of the most stunning. This flower has symbolism tied to splendor, wonder, enchantment, and mystery – it is often used to symbolize love at first sight.

If you have a crush on someone and aren’t sure how to let them know, giving a bouquet of lavender roses is a good way to get their attention.

Dark Pink

dark pink roses

Most people assume that all pink roses mean the same thing but that is not the case. Dark pink roses, for instance, symbolize gratitude and appreciation, allowing you to say “thank you” in a simple way. It offers a combination of romance and sweetness. 

Light Pink

pink rose petals

Light pink, on the other hand, symbolizes joy, grace, and gentleness, along with femininity and elegance. Offering a bouquet of light pink roses is a good way to show someone that you admire them and are happy for them.


Blue roses tend to be of hybrid varieties and represent mystery and possibility. These flowers, when given to a friend in a bouquet, can help you say, “you are wonderful and unique!” These plants are perfect for the person who has a tendency to march to the beat of his own drum. 


Lilac roses, which are a pale purple, can be used to show someone your intention for the future. Whether you want to show your beloved that you are developing romantic feelings for them or you want to give your crush a hint that you like them, lilac roses are the perfect choice. 


purple hybrid tea rose

Deep purple roses are uncommon – this is not a rose color you will see every day! Deep purple has a mystical, majestic connotation, often used to symbolize meanings like royalty and love at first sight. Giving someone a purple rose is a great way to show them that you admire them and value their opinions.


Again, green is not the most popular color you will see when it comes to roses – but it’s sure to make a statement. These green roses can signify rejuvenation, fertility, and life. They signify abundant growth and can be used to impart a sense of balance and peace. 


A black rose might seem depressing or sad, but really, this flower color can convey many meanings. Black is often synonymous with mourning and death, so you’re sure to see these roses at funerals. However, that’s not the only way you can use black roses. 

They can also have more positive connotations and can be used to symbolize changes and new beginnings. They can also symbolize hope, courage, and confidence. 


multicolor roses

Some roses have multiple colors per blossom, making for a truly fun and exciting experience in growing them. You never quite know what you’ll get, and no two blooms ever look exactly the same. 

If you give someone a multicolored rose, it’s a good way to send a message of friendship or love, while a multicolored rose could also help you say thank you. To decode the meaning of a multicolored rose, consider what each of the colors is and then use their individual meanings to piece together a bigger message. 

Mixed Bouquet

As with multicolored roses, bouquets of many different rose colors will allow you to mix and match shades to send the perfect message. For instance, if you send a bouquet of yellow and red roses, you can convey a message of cheerfulness, while a mixture of white and red roses symbolizes love and unity, making it a good option in a wedding bouquet.

Choose the Perfect Color of Roses

No matter what message you are trying to send, there’s a good chance that the rose will provide you with the perfect opportunity to do so.

There are hundreds of things you can say with a bouquet of roses – so don’t delay! Choose from the list of rose options above and you’ll find that the rose meaning of each color will be perfect in helping you to express your true intentions. 


What do roses normally symbolize or represent?

Roses typically symbolize love, beauty, and romance. They are often associated with affection and admiration, making them popular gifts for expressing heartfelt emotions.

What does a rose symbolize in literature?

In literature, roses symbolize a range of emotions and themes depending on the context of the story or poem. They can represent love, passion, desire, purity, or even secrecy and mystery. Their symbolism is often richly nuanced and can vary from one work to another.

What do roses mean in emotion?

Emotionally, roses can convey a spectrum of feelings depending on their color and context. Red roses commonly represent passionate love and desire, while white roses symbolize purity and innocence. Pink roses often convey admiration and gratitude, while yellow roses can represent friendship or joy.

See more: How to Care for Roses

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