Roses come in many colors, and each rose color has traditionally been associated with specific meanings and sentiments. This is why it is important to consider the color of the rose when buying roses, especially as a gift.
It is so important to know that in some cultures, certain colors have meanings that can differ from the traditional Western symbolism. For example, while white roses are often associated with purity and innocence in Western cultures. However, they can signify death and mourning in some Asian cultures.
If you are buying roses as a gift, the recipient may simply have a favorite color. By choosing roses in this color, you show that you know and consider their preferences, which can make your gift more thoughtful and personal.
Therefore, understanding the significance of rose colors can help you choose the most appropriate roses for any given situation or recipient.
Here’s a guide to help you understand the different rose colors and what they mean:
Perhaps the most well-known color, red roses are the universal symbol of love and passion. This dates back to Greek and Roman times, where the rose was sacred to Aphrodite and Venus respectively (https://historycollection.com/40-facts-about-the-holiday-of-love/18/), the goddesses of love. Over time, the red rose has come to symbolize deep emotions, such as longing and desire, as well as respect and admiration. Red roses are often gifted on occasions such as Valentine’s Day and anniversaries
Pink roses were actually more popular than red roses in the Victorian era as a symbol of love and admiration. They adorned dresses (https://www.mimimatthews.com/2016/08/30/shades-of-victorian-fashion-pretty-in-19th-century-pink/), walls in homes and other decorative items. The lighter shades are often used to express sympathy and admiration, while the darker shades can symbolize gratitude and appreciation. In general, pink roses capture the essence of grace, elegance, and gentility.
Originally, yellow roses symbolized jealousy and infidelity in Victorian England (https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/gardens/never-send-yellow-roses-the-hidden-meaning-of-different-blooms-1.2962724). However, this meaning has significantly shifted. Today, yellow roses represent friendship, joy, and good health. Yellow roses are also commonly used to celebrate new beginnings, making them a good gift for someone starting a new job or moving to a new home.
These roses are traditionally associated with marriages and new beginnings but are also used to express remembrance. White roses represent innocence, purity, and charm. In the language of flowers, they say, “I am worthy of you.” As mentioned earlier, remember that white roses have a very different meaning in some Asian cultures.
Orange roses are a relatively new addition to the world of roses, coming into existence in the mid-20th century after rose breeders began crossing yellow and red roses. The Rosa ‘Soleil d’Or’ is considered the first orange rose and was cultivated by Joseph Pernet-Ducher (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Pernet-Ducher).
With their vibrant hue, these roses encapsulate energy, passion, and excitement. Orange roses can signify a budding romance or deep lust and desire. They also signal a sense of fascination with the recipient.
In addition, these roses can articulate feelings of warmth, appreciation, and gratitude. The sentiment behind giving orange roses can be as a warm ‘thank you’ or an expression of pride and joy in someone else’s accomplishments. Thus, they’re a fantastic choice for celebrations or to acknowledge someone’s achievements.
The shade of orange can signify the degree of passion. A darker orange or vermilion rose communicates a sense of intense passion and excitement, while a lighter, peach-colored rose might be used to express modesty, sincerity, or gratitude.
The striking color of purple roses generally symbolizes enchantment and love-at-first-sight. Additionally, the color purple has also long been associated with royalty, nobility, and prestige. This connection can be extended to purple roses, making them a suitable gift when you want to express admiration and respect for someone who you see as dignified or distinguished.
The intensity of the color can also play a significant role in the symbolism of a purple rose. Deeper shades, nearing violet or plum, can express deep fascination, attraction, and a sense of regal majesty. On the other hand, lighter shades of lavender or lilac might signify love at first sight and carry a sense of uniqueness, wonder, and enchantment.
Since they do not occur naturally (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181010111946.htm), blue roses can symbolize the mysterious or the unattainable. They are about striving for the impossible, about desiring something beyond one’s reach. They can also represent new opportunities and starting anew.
In terms of feelings, blue roses often symbolize deep and thoughtful emotions. They can stand for intense love and respect, much like red roses. But given their unusual and unnatural color, blue roses also embody a kind of love that is rare, deep, and very precious.
This color of roses hold a unique position in the array of rose color options due to their unusual color that’s often associated with nature, harmony, and rejuvenation. Green symbolize fertility and richness, reflecting the abundant life-giving quality of verdant fields and the tranquility of a lush, peaceful garden.
When you give a green rose, you might be conveying a message of fertility, growth, and continuous renewal of life. As such, they can make excellent gifts for people embarking on new phases of life or endeavoring in new projects, symbolizing prosperity and success in these new ventures.
Green is also a very calming color, indicating a sense of balance and stability. They are also often given to symbolize wishes for good health or a rich life.
Black roses, like blue roses, are not found naturally. They are usually dark red roses that appear black or roses dyed black, and because of their color, they carry a range of profound and often dramatic meanings.
Black roses can symbolize the end of something, which could be a relationship, an idea or a career. So it’s often associated with death and mourning. However, it can also represent rebirth, signifying a major positive change or transformation in one’s life.
Moreover, black roses convey a sense of mystery, intrigue, and the unknown, adding a level of mystique to their symbolism. This can make them an interesting choice of gift for those who appreciate the unusual or enigmatic.
Finally, black roses can also represent a deep and passionate love that is as deep as the color of the rose itself. Much like red roses, they can symbolize an intense romantic love, but with a darker, more protective and possessive connotation.
A bouquet of roses with mixed colors can be used to convey a multitude of feelings. The combined symbolism of different colored roses can help to convey complex emotions or deepen the sentiment behind a gift. Here are some examples:
A mix of red and white roses is often used to symbolize unity, making them a popular choice for weddings. Here, the pure love symbolized by the red roses merges with the innocence and purity symbolized by the white roses to create a powerful message of united love and shared bonds.
On the other hand, a combination of yellow and orange roses could communicate a message of strong friendship and mutual respect, with the warm feelings of friendship symbolized by the yellow roses blending with the passionate enthusiasm symbolized by the orange roses. This combination could be an excellent choice for a close friend or for a relationship that is transitioning from friendship to romance.
Giving a bouquet of pink and lavender roses could send a message of love at first sight and admiration, combining the grace and admiration conveyed by pink roses with the enchantment and love at first sight denoted by lavender roses.
These are some of the common interpretations of the different rose colors. Remember that personal associations and cultural influences can alter the interpretation of colors, so do consider the context and the recipient’s personal preferences when choosing rose colors.