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What do Different Colors of Roses Mean?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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Roses are the ultimate flower for expression of emotion or feeling. As a gift, these flowers can convey different meanings if the person receiving them knows the symbolism attached to the various colors. Over the years, the meanings behind the colors have evolved to cover many sentiments. Before ordering a bouquet of roses for delivery, or to interpret possible meaning behind the last bouquet you received, read on to learn the meanings associated with many common colors.

Red is the most commonly given color of roses. Red signifies love and passion. True red is the flower for lovers. Fiery red signifies passion, while cardinal red symbolizes desire. Fully bloomed red blooms best convey the message “I still love you,” while buds are a way to express love for the first time.

Yellow roses once meant jealousy, but today the color signifies friendship, familiar love, and domestic happiness. They can also be an appropriate sentiment to express sympathy. Orange roses symbolize an expression of pride or amazement, while peach symbolize appreciation and desire. A bouquet of orange flowers would be appropriate for a graduate or to commemorate a promotion, while peach could express sincere appreciation for someone’s accomplishments.

Pink flowers signify elegance, gentility, and poetic romance, without the seriousness signified by red. Flowers of this color are more light-hearted than red and can signify mere admiration or sweetness of thought. Light pink can signify both sympathy and friendship, while dark pink is symbolic of appreciation and thankfulness. A mixture of pink and red flowers signifies a romantic relationship.

White roses are sometimes called the “flower of light” and are the bride’s flower. They symbolize unity, sincerity, loyalty, purity, and a love stronger than death. White flowers can be mixed with red to emphasize the meaning of love, while white buds are an appropriate gift to a young girl from her father.

Purple roses represent majestic glory and can symbolize eternal love, while lavender or lilac signifies love at first sight or the beginning of true feelings. Purple flowers are appropriate for wedding anniversaries beyond 25 years and as memorial flowers for a lost spouse. Deep purple should be reserved for intimate situations.

Black roses are symbolic of death. Many people view flowers of this color as an omen, but they can signify change or rejuvenation on the horizon, as some buds appear black but then bloom into crimson red. The meaning may not be understood or well received as a gift, so you should avoid this color if you are at all unsure of the recipient’s beliefs.

Many colors come in various shades, which can signify slightly different meanings from their primary colors. Mixing different colors together in one bouquet is an excellent way to convey a mixture of emotions when one sentiment is not enough.

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Discussion Comments
By anon937205 — On Mar 04, 2014

Do potted miniature Roses have meaninig? The guy I am dating where our status has not been discussed yet gave them to me last night.

By amypollick — On Nov 02, 2013

@anon353747: If she had a favorite rose color, use that. Otherwise, ask your local florist what the nicest colors are that he or she has in stock and have your wreath made from those.

By anon353747 — On Nov 02, 2013

What color would be right for a funeral of a family member? I was not necessary close to her but still loved her and will miss her deeply.

By anon309150 — On Dec 14, 2012

No matter what color the rose is, I think it's still good for us to know the true meaning behind it. Also to prevent misunderstandings.

It's best to also convey the message personally to that person who is receiving the rose, since all colours of roses have many different meanings. Good to learn new stuff and knowledge which will help in the future.

By anon275108 — On Jun 15, 2012

Forgive me roses? What color should I get?

By anon257909 — On Mar 29, 2012

The blue rose means mystery.

By anon247384 — On Feb 13, 2012

So if I gave my best friend a red rose that would mean I love you more than friends? Or can it mean I love you as a friend too?

By anon228853 — On Nov 10, 2011

my boyfriend gave me red and yellow roses on our six month anniversary.

By anon194708 — On Jul 09, 2011

What does the color of a blue rose mean?

By anon177627 — On May 18, 2011

roses are so beautiful. i think for a wedding i would do all white roses and have them at the bride and groom's table. i would do a vase of all the different colors. i think that would be gorgeous.

By anon152698 — On Feb 14, 2011

black roses do not always mean death. they mean rebirth, new beings. i would love to get black roses. they are different.

By anon152320 — On Feb 13, 2011

what about blue?

By anon152102 — On Feb 12, 2011

At church when I was a little girl on Mother's Day we would either wear a pink or white carnation. Pink meaning your Mother was still alive and white if she had passed. I think the same would be true of roses: white meaning passed.

By anon147222 — On Jan 28, 2011

Most people now days don't know that the color of roses or the various types of different flowers mean anything. Along with many of the sweet customs of the past, this knowledge has also passed mostly into antiquity.

But since my mother's funeral is tomorrow I wanted to have her immediate family (children, grandchildren) to each lay a single perfect rose into her coffin (blanket her with them) and I wanted to know exactly what the color would 'say' symbolically. I chose white roses since along with other meanings it represents 'a love stronger than death'!

How appropriate for this precious, ever sweet, Godly woman who gave me a home and became my Mother when I was but six months of age!

By anon146247 — On Jan 25, 2011

i don't think people really know what it means when they give you a colored rose, though. it's just for show.

By loveingme1 — On Jan 20, 2011

I've been with my live in boyfriend for more than 10 years and he gave me a dozen yellow and pink roses. Should I be insulted?

By anon139129 — On Jan 03, 2011

What does 14 long-stemmed, red roses mean?

By anon134451 — On Dec 14, 2010

what if my ex step father gave my mom six white roses and one pink rose. what would it mean?

By haunta — On Dec 06, 2010

I want to send roses to my ex-girlfriend. I know I am not supposed to do it but i have a feeling she will welcome them because i know her. The message is "am truly sorry, forgive me" and that, "we can have a new beginning. I am still in love with you." Any ideas? what color, number or combination? I don't want this to backfire. Please help. Thanks.

By anon124381 — On Nov 05, 2010

My boyfriend gave me a red rose for our fifth month anniversary! What does that mean?

By anon113899 — On Sep 26, 2010

I gave my girlfriend (rather ex-girlfriend) deep purple roses to signify my eternal love for her. She thought they were black, so she dumped me. I didn't know that the color of flowers could create such problems in my life.

By Jesse Ngavavia — On Sep 14, 2010

How can i unfold the petals of a rosebud with out breaking them?

By anon102309 — On Aug 07, 2010

white rose means true love, yellow is friendship.

By anon90159 — On Jun 14, 2010

Wow I didn't know the meaning of roses until now! What does a blue rose mean?

By anon89577 — On Jun 10, 2010

I'm going to give my best friend a light pink rose tomorrow because i do that for all my friends at the end of the school year and a gift basket.

By anon86371 — On May 24, 2010

To Posted by: KuraiHoshi

The beautiful blue rose symbolizes mysterious and unattainable. It is because we have never truly managed to cultivate a wild blue rose.

By anon81449 — On May 01, 2010

white also means purity, yellow means friendship.

By anon80129 — On Apr 26, 2010

black means death, smart ones.

By anon76687 — On Apr 11, 2010

before we started dating my boyfriend sent me one black rose for each week he knew me and then when we started dating he sent me one white rose for every week we had been dating.

By anon73521 — On Mar 27, 2010

My boyfriend sent me 15 red roses.

By anon69138 — On Mar 06, 2010

the amount of roses you send has a specific meaning.

By anon68778 — On Mar 04, 2010

Very interesting. I think not only the color, the amount also has some meaning.

By anon67361 — On Feb 24, 2010

Me and my friend got bored one day and we said that if red means love and white means pure, we said that pink must mean true love waits!

By anon67215 — On Feb 23, 2010

i got six red roses, six yellow roses, six light pink roses and six sterling silver roses for valentines day. They were/are beautiful.

I was so happy!

By anon65746 — On Feb 15, 2010

Darn. I gave my mom two yellow roses with red tips. I didn't mean friendship or falling in love. I meant, "I am so happy to have a mom like you. You are my best friend. I love you!"

By anon65294 — On Feb 12, 2010

well in that movie salena if that's what it's called, the white rose meant death.

By anon65252 — On Feb 11, 2010

To; 14 i would have a blue rose for grandfather and a pink one for grandmother just an idea. Sorry for your loss.

By anon64795 — On Feb 09, 2010

ahh, now i understand. But i agree, what does the color white mean if it's a rose?

By anon54933 — On Dec 03, 2009

I think guessing the feelings of a sender based on color of roses is a thing of past.

By anon47676 — On Oct 06, 2009

i always thought white roses meant death.

By anon44471 — On Sep 08, 2009

I am approaching my son's second anniversary death. Is a specific color of flower that symbolizes this?

By anon42004 — On Aug 18, 2009

black roses may mean death but i love them. i don't know, but i think they're cool. (:

By anon41227 — On Aug 13, 2009

I am planning my son's wedding and In memory of his grandpa (death of 1 year) and grandma (death of 10 years)I would like to place a rose at their seat was wondering what color would mean miss you or something of that sort (don't think i would want to use black). thank you.

By anon39665 — On Aug 03, 2009

i thought pink roses symbolized joy.

By anon37353 — On Jul 19, 2009

i was told black meant eternal love that can pass even through death...

By anon36381 — On Jul 12, 2009

How about if you want to say sorry and get back?

By anon26391 — On Feb 12, 2009


What ever you do, you do not want to move too fast. Take your time. To answer your question, create her a card and get her one two three roses. The colors should that would probably be best for you would be: Yellow with a red tip, Peach, and maybe Coral. These colors mean Yellow with red tip is = Friendship, Falling in Love, Peach = Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let's get together, Sincerity, Gratitude and the Coral = Desire. I hope that this helps you out!!! DEE320

By bennys009 — On Feb 09, 2009

I met a girl, her family and friends tell me she likes me, but she hasn't told me so. I want to get her roses for Valentines day. What should I get her?

By KuraiHoshi — On Jan 17, 2009

what other different colors do roses come in and what are the meanings of them? Like blue for instance... i went to the rose garden that's near the science center i had a field trip for a college class and i saw some blue ones so that got me thinking what does that color mean?

By anon12355 — On May 04, 2008

regardless of all the different meanings for the colors of roses, i came to this site with an idea to surprise my daughter during her wedding reception. after reading about all the colors, i think i can now pull off a touching and memorable charge to the new couple by building a colorful bouquet as i explain what each color means then issue a charge to the new couple as i place it in a vase at their table. thanks guys. this should really be something for family and friends to take away with them.

By herizin — On Mar 06, 2008

To Posted by: lnsnich

What color would symbolize "I'm sorry" but not sympathy?

I think I would go with the yellow rose as i'm sorry rose.

If I were to receive a yellow rose I think I would know what it meant..lol.. But I already know what roses mean,lol.. But i would go with Yellow roses..

By anon7564 — On Jan 29, 2008

man, with valentines day coming up, thank god for google - i mean i probably wouldn't have BOMBED V-day for my girl but every bit of info helps...

ha ha!

By lnsnich — On Aug 18, 2007

What color would symbol I'm sorry not sympathy?

By anon2223 — On Jul 03, 2007

i thought pink ones stood 4 joy and white ones stood 4 innocence, thanx though

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