11 Rose Color Meanings to Help You Pick the Perfect Bouquet (2023)

11 Rose Color Meanings to Help You Pick the Perfect Bouquet (1)

A red rose is a pretty universal symbol of love and passion. So universal, in fact, that the price of red roses can increase by 200% around Valentine’s Day in some regions!However, all colors of roses have their own unique symbolic meanings—not just red roses. The symbolic meanings of other rose colors just aren’t quite as well-known.

In this article, we’ll briefly go over the concept of rose color symbolism. Then we’ll break down the meaning of different rose colors(including favorites like yellow, pink, and white roses) and provide appropriate occasions for each color. We’ll also discuss the symbolism of different numbers of roses and provide some insight into rose cost. All this will help you to choose the most appropriate roses for any given occasion!

Rose Color Meanings: A Brief Overview

While the concept of assigning symbolic meaning to flowers has existed since ancient times, the popularity of communicating through the “language of flowers” peaked in the Western world during the Victorian era. Both men and women consulted “flower dictionaries” to choose and interpret the appropriate flowers to send, wear, and display.

Flowers were given meaning based on both their species and their color. So while the rose in general is a symbol of love, different rose colors provided different shades of meaning (or even, in some cases, a completely different meaning) to this base meaning of rose = love.

The mania for flower dictionaries may have passed, but a fascination with flower symbolism—particularly with roses, one of the most popular flowers—has persisted. If you’d like to give a bouquet of roses that’s especially thoughtful and meaningful, consider the symbolism of the colors you select. Read on for a comprehensive guide to what different colored roses mean and what occasions they are most appropriate for.

The Meaning of Rose Colors: 4Most Popular Colors

While we will discuss all rose color meaningsin this article, we’ll start with the symbolism of the most popular rose colors: red, white, yellow, and pink.

Red Rose Meaning

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Red is one of the most common and popular rose colors. The red rose is a symbol of beauty, passion, desire, and romantic love. The red rose was originally associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Myth holds that when her lover, Adonis, was wounded, she pricked her foot on the thorns of a white rose in her haste to run to him. Her blood stained the roses red, turning the red rose into a symbol of incredible passion and romantic devotion. Legend also has it that Cleopatra seduced Mark Antony in a room fully covered in red rose petals.

A dozen red roses boldly declares, “I love you,” while a single red rose communicates devotion and loyalty.

Beyond their more passionate connotation, red roses are often used outside of romantic contexts to convey congratulations or gratitude.

Red Roses Occasions

Red roses are very popular flowers for Valentine’s day. However, because of the increased demand, rose prices go up dramatically around this time, and you may be getting lower-quality roses.Additionally, they are somewhat of a Valentine’s day cliche, which may come across as fairly unoriginal. So unless you know the recipient has their heart set on red roses, consider another flower for this holiday and save red roses for another (romantic) time. For example, anniversaries or birthdays with a significant other.

Red roses also often appear in bridal bouquets because of their connotation of a love that is both everlasting and passionate.

Finally, you might give red roses for non-romantic reasons. They are popular flowers for giving to someone after a performance; you often see bouquets of red roses or single flowers thrown onstage after ballet or opera performances. So you might give red roses to someone who has just done a stage performance of some kind or completed a big accomplishment like a graduation or major work project. Red roses can also be deployed to thank someone who has done something meaningful for you.

Context is everything—think about how your gesture of red roses will be interpreted under the circumstances!

White Rose Meaning

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White roses have a variety of symbolic associations. In Greek myth, Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea. Greek poet Anacreon wrote that the sea foam that dripped from her body after she emerged from the ocean turned into white roses.In the Christian tradition, the white rose is associated with the Virgin Mary.

Perhaps because of its association with these two fairly different figures, white rose symbolism is somewhat broad.Possibly because of its connection to the Virgin Mary, it bears a meaning of innocence, chastity, and purity. It’s also associated with spirituality, reverence, and new beginnings.

In Victorian tradition, the deeper the rose color, the deeper the passion—so a white rose was most appropriate for a young girl or woman who has not yet felt a deep and passionate love. Somewhat contradictorily, the white rose also symbolizes a soul-deep love and canrepresent marriage.

White Roses Occasions

Because of its associations with purity, spirituality, and new beginnings, the white rose is an appropriate funeral flower.

However, it’s also a common wedding flower due to its association with marriage and deep love. Cream roses are considered particularly bridal.

White roses are also appropriate for religious occasions like baptisms and confirmations.

Yellow Rose Meaning

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The yellow rose has experienced a significant shift in meaning over time. In the Victorian era, the yellow rose signified jealousy and accused the recipient of infidelity. Not exactly a very happy message!

However, in the present day,the yellow rose most commonly means friendship—and specifically platonic friendship. Sending yellow roses to someone you may have romantic interest in, then, may not be the best move as it could signal that you are only interested in friendship with that person.

For someone you are friends with, the yellow rose sends a message of cheer, joy, caring, and platonic affection.

Yellow Roses Occasions

The yellow rose is an excellent congratulatory rose for a happy occasion. A new baby or an engagement are great reasons to send someone yellow roses. You might also send them to thank a friend for their support or help.

Lastly, yellow roses are a good choice for someone who needs a pick-me-up—perhaps in a “Get Well Soon” bouquet.

Pink Rose Meaning

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Pink roses have a pretty broad range of symbolic associations. In general, pink roses symbolize admiration, gentleness, dignity, elegance, innocence, and happiness.

Different shades of pink can convey different shades of meaning.Paler pink roses signify grace and sweetness. Deeper pink roses convey gratitude.

Pink Roses Occasions

Pink roses are very versatile. They can convey either a romantic or platonic message. Pale pink roses are a good choice for the beginning of a romance, when red roses may come off somewhat strongly. You can also send pink roses to a friend to congratulate or cheer them.

Deeper pink roses are especially well-suited as a thank you gift. Pink roses are also appropriate for a girl or young woman, especially to convey congratulations or to commemorate a milestone.

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Rose Color Meaning: 7 More Unusual Colors

In this next section, we’ll go over the rose color meanings of some of the more unusual rose colors.

Orange Rose Meaning

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Fiery orange roses send a strong message of fascination, passion, enthusiasm, attraction, and desire. Coral roses in particular signify desire.

Orange Roses Occasions

Orange roses convey a meaning that is primarily romantic in nature. Thus, they are best for romantic occasions. They can be a slightly unusual but appropriate choice for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. They might also make a striking wedding flower in the right color scheme!

Peach Rose Meaning

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Peach roses communicate sincerity and gratitude. They can also mark the closing of a deal or agreement. They have an alternative meaning of sympathy. Pale peach roses mean modesty.

Peach Roses Occasions

Peach roses are a very appropriate thank-you gift.

Additionally, they are a good choice for a sympathy bouquet to someone who has just lost a loved one.

With their meaning of modesty, pale peach roses can also make a very pretty component of a bouquet that communicates admiration—perhaps a bouquet of peach and pink roses together. This would also make a very pretty wedding flower combination and color palette.

Burgundy Rose Meaning

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Burgundy roses have a very specific connotation of unconscious beauty. In the Victorian era, deeper rose colors signified deeper passion. Per this schema, burgundy roses signify a very deep passion, even beyond that of red roses.

Burgundy Roses Occasions

Burgundy roses are very romantic. They can make a striking choice for Valentine’s day or other romantic occasions and add depth to a bouquet with red and/or pink roses. They would also make a lush and beautiful wedding flower.

Purple Rose Meaning

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Purple roses are very special and intriguing and have deep symbolic meaning. Purple roses symbolize enchantment and the mystical. Pale purple or lavender-colored roses send a message of “love at first sight.” Deeper purple roses convey majesty and royalty, adoration, and fascination.

Purple Roses Occasions

Purple roses are also very romantic and best for romantic occasions. Purple roses are an especially good choice for someone with a spiritual or mystical side. They also look beautiful in combination with red, pink, or burgundy roses.

Green Rose Meaning

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Green roses symbolize peace, spiritual rejuvenation, calm, and fertility. It’s a soothing color that connotes close ties to the natural world. The pale green rose does occur in nature, although green roses that you buy from a florist may be dyed (especially if they are a bright St. Patrick’s-day green!)

Green Roses Occasions

Green roses are appropriate for any spiritual occasion, like a baptism or confirmation.

As a symbol of peace, they also make an appropriate funeral flower.

Because they are symbol of fertility, they would also be a good choice for new parents. Pale green and white roses together would make an especially striking and appropriate combination for such an event.

Blue Rose Meaning

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True blue roses are not found in nature. Natural roses that are considered “blue” are actually a blue-toned purple. However, blue roses can also be obtained by dying white roses. Because they can’t be obtained naturally, blue roses symbolize the unattainable and the mysterious.

Blue Roses Occasions

Blue roses are not associated with many occasions, likely because they aren’t found in nature and must be artificially colors. However, with their enigmatic message,they could be used to send a message from a secret admirer.

Black Rose Meaning

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Black roses are another color that is not found in nature. Natural roses that are called “black” are actually a very dark red or purple color. True black roses can only be obtained through dyeing. Black roses symbolize death, rebirth, and goodbye.

Black Roses Meaning

Black roses may be an appropriate funeral flower. However, they can come across as very gothic and morbid, so they may be somewhat of a risky choice unless you were close to the deceased and are confident they (and their surviving family members) would appreciate black roses.

The Number of Roses - Meaning

The number of roses gifted can also have symbolic meaning. However, the message is almost always some variant of “I love you.” Here’s a chart with the breakdown:

Number of Roses



Devotion, love at first sight


Mutual love


“I love you”


“I want to be yours,” infatuation


Eternal love


You are perfect

Twelve (one dozen)

Be mine


A secret admirer, or forever friendship


“I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me”




I’m committed to you

Twenty-four (two dozen)

“I’m yours,” “I’m thinking of you every hour of the day”



Thirty-six (three dozen)

Remembering romantic moments


Genuine love


Unconditional love


Complete devotion


Will you marry me?


I love you every day (of the year)


Eternal and infinite love (and an infinite bank account, probably!)

Thus, almost all numbers of roses mean some version of “I love you,” “I’m devoted to you,” etc. Number, then, is overall less significant than color.

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Rose Color and Cost

While color can (and does) play into the price of roses, it’s far from the most important factor. Rose cost is also affected by quality of the rose, time of year, and the labor involved in crafting the bouquet. Only after all this has been accounted for does color really come into play.

Rose Quality

It goes without saying that the higher the rose is in quality, the more expensive it will be per stem. Long-stemmed roses with hearty, full blooms cost more than their shorter-stemmed, less lush counterparts. The type of rose is another factor here. For example, garden roses, which are quite popular for weddings, tend to be far more expensive than the more typical rose varieties you would find in the grocery store.

Time of Year

Time of year plays into the level of demand for roses, which plays into price. Roses are most expensive around Valentine’s day, Mother’s day, and June due to increased demand. June is a high-demand time because many weddings take place in June, and roses are a popular wedding flower. Graduations could also contribute to increased demand at this time.


The amount of labor that goes into maintaining and arranging your roses is also reflected in the price. Bulk retailers who can’t give you much personalization and may not take as much care with the transport and storage of their blooms won’t charge as much for a dozen roses! By contrast, a specialty florist that does careful custom arrangements will charge you more.

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Rose Color

Color comes into play primarily because it’s harder to find cheap roses in unusual colors. Red, white, and pink roses will almost always be easy to find at from bulk retailers like Costco or even at grocery stores for a fairly cheap price. But because there’s less demand for purple or peach roses, you are more likely to have to go through a florist, which will mean you’ll almost certainly need to pay more.

Any artificially colored roses (so, a bright blue or green) will also cost more, because of the labor associated with coloring the roses.

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Rose Symbolism: Final Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways for each of the rose colors:

  • Red: Passion, love, desire. For romantic occasions.
  • White: Innocence, purity, spirituality, new beginnings. Best for spiritual events, weddings, and funerals.
  • Yellow: Platonic friendship. To cheer or congratulate a close friend.
  • Pink: Pink roses primarily mean admiration, elegance, innocence, and gratitude. Very versatile; can be used for almost any occasion where flowers are appropriate.
  • Orange: Desire, fascination, passion. For romantic occasions.
  • Peach: Sincerity, gratitude, sympathy. Send as a thank-you or to someone in mourning.
  • Burgundy: Unconscious beauty. For romantic occasions.
  • Purple: enchantment, love at first sight (lilac), royalty and admiration (deeper purple). For romantic occasions.
  • Blue (not found in nature): The unattainable and mysterious. Perhaps for a secret admirer.
  • Black (not found in nature): Death and rebirth. Perhaps for a funeral.

Almost every rose number sends some message of love and devotion, so there is a lot more variation and significance in rose colorsymbolism.

Rose cost is primarily driven by the quality of the roses, the time of year, and the labor involved in the arrangement. However, you will have a harder time finding cheaper arrangements for less common rose colors like purple, orange, and green. Additionally, any artificially colored roses will cost you more.

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Ellen has extensive education mentorship experience and is deeply committed to helping students succeed in all areas of life. She received a BA from Harvard in Folklore and Mythology and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University.

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What does a bouquet of 11 roses mean? ›

11 Roses – indicates the recipient to be your treasured one. 12 Roses – this is a way to ask someone to be yours. 13 Roses – presented in this number, it symbolize secret admiration and eternal friendship. 14 Roses – way to tell someone that you are proud of the person. 15 Roses – often given to ask for forgiveness.

What does 12 roses in a bouquet mean? ›

A Twelve Rose bouquet is one of the most popular number of roses meaning, telling your special someone “Be Mine.” Offering a dozen roses is like shouting out “I just won the lottery with you,” while at the same time being one of the simplest and most honest ways to ask the love of your life to be yours.

What do different rose colors symbolize? ›

Darker shades of pink convey a sense of appreciation, while pale pinks are generally used to give a sense of admiration, joy or gentleness. Lavender: In the language of flowers, lavender roses are used to tell someone that you're enchanted by them. They also represent desire and love at first sight.

What does 10 roses mean? ›

10 Roses – a simple yet powerful way to tell a special someone 'they're perfect'. 12 Roses – gifting someone you are fond of with 12 single roses is a simple way to ask them to be yours. 24 Roses – let a special somebody know they're always on your mind with a gift of 24 single rose stems.

What does 11 blue roses mean? ›

The flower language of 11 blue roses: the commitment for the whole life. Blue roses stand for “pure love, honest, sincere and kind” A single blue enchantress represents it is a commitment to be together. In the whole life, it is lucky to own a good relationship.

What does 11 roses mean in Chinese? ›

11 Roses ['I love you with all my heart'] 我爱你一心一意

What does 10 red roses mean? ›

10 roses: A perfect 10 means "You are perfection." 12 roses: A dozen is like picking the best heart from a Sweetheart candy box; it means "be mine." 13 roses: Thirteen may be a baker's dozen, but not so in love.

What is the meaning of 20 red roses? ›

20 roses: The red starts to get excessive around 20, and supposedly that means "Believe me, I am sincere toward you." Usually, sincerity does not need to be proved with quantity, but that's just me! 21 roses: "I am dedicated to you" is the hidden meaning behind 21 roses.

What does 13 rose mean? ›

13 Roses: Friends forever. 18 Roses: To tell a loved one to stay young and beautiful. It is a symbol of trueness and sincerity. 24 Roses: Signify that special someone is always on your mind 24/7. 30 Roses: Express your faithfulness to your significant other.

What is the meaning of 12 yellow roses? ›

Yellow roses, which symbolize friendship, are the perfect gift to show you care. This bouquet contains 12 yellow roses and fresh foliage in a tall rectangular vase. Yellow Roses will make a beautiful birthday or just because gift for that special friend.

What does 15 roses mean? ›

15 Roses – if you've done something to upset someone and wish for forgiveness, opt for 15 roses. 16 Roses – say 'Bon Voyage' with 16 roses. 17 Roses – this is the number of roses you would gift your wife, be it on her birthday or another special occasion.

What does 3 white roses mean? ›

A bouquet of three roses means “I love You” and is the traditional one-month anniversary gift.

What does 12 red roses mean? ›

It has become customary for rose bouquets to consist of one dozen roses. They can be used to represent perfect beauty or to express our complete love and gratitude. One dozen red roses have become the definitive symbol for true love.

What does 21 roses mean? ›

The flower language of 21 roses---sincere love. The Chinese pronunciation of “21” is similar with “爱你”, which means that I only love you in my life. Therefore, the 21 red roses stands for sincere and unique love.

What does 12 pink roses mean? ›

A single pink rose means love at first sight. A bouquet of pink roses means many a different things. A bunch with 3 flowers means 'I love you', 10 pink roses mean you're perfect, while 12 pink roses is a sign of commitment. A thorn-less pink rose means love at first sight.

What does 101 red roses mean? ›

Everyone wonders about what 101 red roses mean. If you gift you lover 101 roses bouquet, it means that he/she is the only one for you. Shortly, it's a perfect way to say “i love you” to your lover.

What does a purple rose mean? ›

Purple roses: An enchanting purple rose is also known as the "mystical rose." This rose gives off special meanings like royalty and majesty. A deep purple rose is perfect when you want to show someone you look up to them, or value their opinions.

Why are there 11 red roses? ›

Eleven roses: A gift of eleven red roses says, “you are my treasured one” and signifies true and deep love. Twelve roses: A bunch of a dozen roses is a classic gift for someone you are very fond of and simply says “be mine”.

What is the Chinese number for 11? ›

十一 Shí Yī

What does 100 red roses mean? ›

100 Roses. As if this gesture wasn't already a sign to say that you are totally devoted to your loved one, 100 roses is also said to mean that your love for your significant other will last for 100 years.

What does 17 red roses mean? ›

17 Roses Meaning – 17 Roses are meant for your significant other. They are the best gift for your wife. 18 Roses Meaning – They symbolize sincerity. Tell a loved one to stay young & beautiful always. 19 Roses Meaning – It expresses, “I will wait for you forever my love”

How many roses in a bouquet meaning? ›

Give someone two roses to represent your mutual love and affection. Representing the couple and their shared love, a bouquet of three roses is traditional one month anniversary gift. Whether it's a school crush or a more mature passion, six roses symbolizes infatuation.

How many roses should be in a bouquet? ›

It can be a single type flower bridal bouquet or a mixed flower one. A mixed bouquet is one that has one or more types of flowers.
Bridal BouquetNumber of Flowers for Small Arrangement
Carnations8-12 Carnations
Roses and Baby's Breath Bridal Bouquet8-12 Roses
11 more rows

What does it mean when a girl sends you a 🌹 🌹 🌹? ›

The rose emoji represents love.

Roses are symbols of beauty and romance, and the 🌹 emoji is no different. If you get a 🌹 from a guy or girl you like, chances are they like you too! But this emoji doesn't just show romantic love, it can also be used platonically.

What does the number of flowers in a bouquet mean? ›

A single rose: It indicates “Love at First Sight” 2 Roses: Give 2 roses to show that you are deeply in love with them. 3 Roses: I Love You. 4 Roses: To Signify nothing will stand between the two of us. 5 Roses: Express your care and love for that special someone.

What is the lucky number of roses? ›


These will truly speak for themselves. Seven is considered a lucky number across many cultures, even being a number of divine favor in some.

What does 77 roses mean? ›

77 Roses – this number of roses signifies 'faith' and that you believe the person you are gifting is your soul mate. 88 Roses – if you owe someone a rather big apology, 88 is the number of stems to choose.

What does 15 red roses mean? ›

Because 15 roses means "I'm sorry." If not, take it as credit for future remorse. 20 roses: The red starts to get excessive around 20, and supposedly that means "Believe me, I am sincere toward you." Usually, sincerity does not need to be proved with quantity, but that's just me!

What does 🖇 mean in relationship? ›

The Couple With Heart emoji 💑 depicts the heads of two, gender-neutral people with a classic heart between them. It is commonly used to represent love, romance, dating, couples, and relationships more generally.

What are three signs that a girl likes you? ›

15 Signs a Girl Likes You
  • She reschedules a date she can't make. ...
  • She makes an effort to continue the conversation. ...
  • She compliments you and tries to make you feel good. ...
  • She's clearly nervous around you. ...
  • Her body language is inviting. ...
  • She remembers things you tell her. ...
  • You catch her staring at you on multiple occasions.
Jan 19, 2023

What does it mean when a girl sends you ✨? ›

Commonly used to indicate various positive sentiments, including love, happiness, beauty, gratitude, and excitement, as well as newness or cleanliness. May also be used as a form of ✨emphasis✨ or to convey sarcastic or mocking tones.

What does 11 roses mean death? ›

What does 11 roses mean death? 9 Roses – a symbol of eternal love. You would often give this exact number of roses to those you wish to spend the rest of life with. 10 Roses – a simple yet powerful way to tell a special someone 'they're perfect'. 11 Roses – 'you are my treasured one'.

What does 20 red roses mean? ›

20 roses: The red starts to get excessive around 20, and supposedly that means "Believe me, I am sincere toward you." Usually, sincerity does not need to be proved with quantity, but that's just me! 21 roses: "I am dedicated to you" is the hidden meaning behind 21 roses.

What does 31 roses mean? ›

30 Roses: Show your significant other that you are devoted to them. 31 Roses: Use 31 Roses to Propose. They are gifted for asking “Will you be mine?”. 32 Roses: Express "I will love you till my dying breath". 33 Roses: The ideal way to show your love and affection.


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