Roses are the traditional gift given on Valentine’s Day, but they’re well-received. The colour and type of rose do carry a meaning, though.
Be aware of what you’re giving: the colour of a rose can have a very different meaning from what you intend. If you’re giving roses as a gift, follow this guide to make sure you send the message you want to send:
- Red Roses: Red roses say, “I love you.” Red roses are the ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion. Florists can’t keep up with Valentine’s Day demand for red roses, making them especially expensive in February.
- Pale Pink Roses: Pale pink roses imply grace, gentleness, and joy.
- Light Pink Roses: Light pink roses express a sense of fun, happiness, and whimsy.
- Deep Pink Roses: Deep pink roses say, “Thank you.”
- Lilac Roses: Lilac roses indicate the sender has fallen in love at first sight with the recipient and is enchanted. (To ensure the recipient doesn’t miss the message, an appropriate card might also be a good idea. The meaning of lilac roses isn’t as widely known as red roses, for instance.)
- White Roses: Pure white roses symbolize truth and innocence. They also send other messages like, “I miss you,” and “You’re heavenly” (or both, if your loved one is away.)
- Coral Roses: Coral roses express one thing through their vibrant colour: Desire.
- Peach Roses: Peach roses signify appreciation, gratitude, and modesty and also can convey sympathy.
- Orange Roses: Orange roses communicate enthusiasm, desire, and fascination on the sender’s part.
- Yellow Roses: Yellow roses indicate friendship and freedom ― so don’t send them if your intentions are romantic and long-lasting. Yellow roses are also appropriate for congratulating newlyweds, graduates, and new mothers.
- Dead Roses: Regardless of the original colour, dead roses say “It’s over,” loud, clear, and in a tacky and less than classy way.
Put two or more colours of roses together, and a new rose meaning arises:
- White Roses + Yellow Roses: A symbol of harmony.
- Red Roses + Yellow Roses: A message of happiness and celebration.
- Red Roses + White Roses: An indication of bonding and harmony.
Other Rose Symbolism
These are acceptable ways to convey meaning by giving roses:
- 12 Roses: Gratitude. Any bouquet in full bloom also implies the “full flowering” of the emotion being conveyed: a bouquet of red roses in full bloom implies the full flowering of love.
- 24 Roses: Congratulations
- 48 Roses: Unconditional love.
- Single Red Rose: “I love you,” (but I’m not going to go broke telling you.) A single red rose in a bud vase is a great way to surprise and charm a loved one.
- Single Rose of Any Color: “Thank you,” (and I’m still not going to go broke saying so.)
- Two Roses Entwined: An engagement or marriage is in the near future.