Rose meanings have fascinated almost every culture for centuries. Although red roses are commonly known to symbolise love and romance, there’s much more to roses than meets the eye.
In fact, each rose colour has a different meaning, and these meanings can be used to unveil different layers of rose symbolism. No matter whether you’re trying to express love, joy, friendship or sadness, a rose will be able to convey the perfect sentiment.
So what do the different colours of roses symbolise?
If you’ve found yourself asking what a rose symbolises, take a look at our guide to rose meaning to pick your perfect bouquet.
Most of us are familiar with what the red rose means, having been used across cultures to represent love and romance for centuries.
The meaning of red roses is universally understood to be love and passion. However, even within red roses there are rose colour meanings to be explored. A deep red rose is sometimes thought to mean that you are ready for commitment, and can symbolise a deeper bond than lighter coloured red roses which are said to symbolise passion and desire.
The meaning of pink roses is gratitude and admiration. They’re the perfect choice for the people you appreciate most, like your friends, siblings or teachers. Pink roses can also represent femininity and elegance, which makes them perfect for events like engagement parties, proms and baby showers for a baby girl.
As with red roses, pink rose symbolism can vary with hot pink expressing recognition and appreciation and lighter pink being used to symbolise grace and joy as well as gratitude.
The meaning of peach roses is gratitude. But, they can also mean sincerity and genuineness of your feelings. So, if you’re looking for a thank you gift, then look no further! They’re also commonly used to celebrate work related news like a promotion, a new business deal or a job offer as they can be a sign of loyalty. And, since their lovely tone and pale colour matches lots of interiors, you can’t go wrong when buying peach roses for yourself or someone else!
The meaning of yellow roses is warmth and happiness. This comes as no surprise as their bright, sunny colour can instantly put a smile on anyone's face!
They’re commonly known as a friendship flower because of all the joy they give, and a yellow rose bouquet is also thought to represent the joy that friend gives. It’s a lovely way to say “you make me very happy”.
Interestingly, during Victorian times the yellow rose used to symbolise jealousy however that rose meaning is long gone and now it’s a universal symbol for pure and abundant joy.
The meaning of white roses is purity and grace. Perhaps that’s why they’re such popular wedding flowers as they symbolise young love and eternal loyalty. The colour white can also be representative of fresh beginnings and a pure, clear path which makes white flowers them the ideal flower for weddings and unions.
It’s important to note though that the white rose meaning differs to the ivory rose meaning, although they are very similar in colour. Ivory roses mean purity and grace, but also thoughtfulness. They are devoid of romantic meaning, which makes them a great friendship flower vs the white rose meaning which is much more romantic and passionate.
The meaning of orange roses is enthusiasm and energy. So they’re the perfect flower to send for promotions and new jobs.
It’s no wonder that the orange rose is used to convey admiration and enthusiasm when they make you so happy just to look at! Their bright hues and engaging tone lighten any room and remind us all to go into the world with a little more energy. They are a great motivational flower for someone who is starting something new or simply needs a little boost.
As one of the rarest coloured roses around, purple roses symbolise enchantment and love at first sight. Because these roses are so hard to come by, back in the day, they were also only meant for royalty. And, still now, they carry an air of regality with them and are seen as very majestic flowers. So, if you receive some purple roses from someone, they must think very highly of you!
A blue rose means mystery and unattainability. As they do not exist in nature, they can be hard to create and attain which makes them a great flower to express unrequited love. If you love someone but you know that it can’t be, for whatever reason, then a blue rose is perfect to symbolise unrequited love with the understanding that it cannot be.
Green roses represent nature, rejuvenation and fertility. This can be a rejuvenation in spirit or body, and often the green rose is used to symbolise stability and balance. Green roses can be sent to express hope in times of struggle.
Traditionally black roses symbolise death and passing away, which isn’t the most positive message. But, in recent years the black rose meaning has shifted and meant the death of old patterns and habits and a movement into new order.
In this sense the black rose can mean confidence and new birth. When coupled with green roses, they can symbolise a new era of hope and positivity for the future.
Does the variety affect rose symbolism?
Rose flower meanings change depending on the variety, as well as the colour. This means that picking the variety of rose can adjust the meaning, so it’s good to know what variety of roses mean.
Avalanche roses symbolise new beginnings, so they’re perfect for engagements, new jobs or homes! If you want to show someone that you admire their next big step, then an avalanche rose in orange is the perfect selection.
Miss Piggy Roses
Miss Piggy roses symbolise playfulness and surprise (which is mirrored in their fun ombre petals). They’re a lovely choice for just-because blooms and can bring about happiness and joy wherever they are sent. They’re a lovely friendship rose.
La Belle roses symbolise timelessness, so send them to the people that are always by your side, no matter what. La Belle roses can mean long lasting love, whether that’s friendship or romantically. This can make them lovely flowers for a partner or best friend.
Madame red roses represent passion and desire, like no other. Red madame roses will certainly turn heads and convey a message of lust and passion.
Where does rose meaning come from?
Roses have held meaning for years, with the ancient Egyptians using them in offerings to the gods. Roses have been found in Egyptian tombs too, showing that they probably used them in funeral rituals.
After that, roses have been mentioned in history books from as early as 551 BC, with the Chinese Imperial library holding books on roses. Then, in christianity, roses came to symbolise the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ with the red and white rose side by side becoming synonymous with Jesus’s sacrifice.
Whilst the rose hadn’t yet evolved into the meaningful flower they are today, by the 15th century, the English were cultivating roses for their beauty.
So to round up, what is the symbolism of a rose?
Roses can be an amazing way to say everything from “I love you” to “I value your friendship”, to “congratulations”. Flowers are the perfect way to express your emotion when there are no words, and roses are the perfect flower to express your emotion with.
To find your perfect rose bouquet, take a look at our collection of roses.