What do the colors of roses mean? What do the colors of roses symbolise? I am a romantic at heart, in fact, I was born on the Day of High Romance, October the 8th, so I can tell you a thing or two about roses.
Metals, flowers, gems and stones all have symbolic meanings, as do colors. Quite simply, a yellow rose means something very different to a white one and a red garnet will have different energies to its clear quartz sister.
Years ago, before I was married, I went on a few dates with a lovely chap. He was polite, generous, funny and charming. He dated me for a few weeks and he was very generous with lovely surprise gifts. He knew I liked jellybeans, so he brought be a huge bag of Jelly Bellies. I told him I liked cherries so he found me cherry flavoured lip-gloss. He knew I liked Turkish food and dance music, so he hunted down our local restaurant and presented me with a handmade mix CD. He was a very nice chap.
Things were going well until he brought me flowers one day.
Yellow. He bought me a bunch of yellow roses and I knew then that the relationship wouldn’t work out. How did I know this? Because yellow roses symbolise friendship, not romantic love (or even lust). I could tell that he saw me only as a friend.
Needless to say, we did break up after that. And lucky we did too, because I am now married to a wonderful man who is more likely to make me tacos than buy me roses. But I digress. Kids, I have done the research for you, now sit back and listen to Aunty Y and learn all about the meanings of the colors of roses. So, what do the colors of roses mean? Here are the 10 most popular colors.
Yellow is a color of mental clarity, friendship and detachment. It is non-emotional, “coming from the head rather than the heart,” according to my sources. Yellow depends on itself, preferring to not get emotionally involved. This color has to do with knowledge that is spiritually learned, and resonates with the left (or “logical”) side of the brain, creating mental agility and perception. It’s also the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. Give yellow roses to your mother, father, Aunty or cousin- never a romantic lover.
White rose meaning
Might mean death, might mean innocence – so avoid these for romance! White is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. It symbolises purity, innocence, wholeness and completion. White is a color that is reflective, like glass, so it can help with awakening openness, growth and creativity. In the Victorian era, there was a practice called Floriography. Male lovers sent bouquets of white roses to those they intended on pursuing to signify the beginning of a courtship, and also to suggest that they would preserve the woman’s purity. These days, send white roses for sympathy, or to signify new beginnings.
Red rose meaning
Love, passion, lust, burning desire. If you send red roses to your lover, you are saying, “I lust after you,” or, “I love you.” The meaning is strong and romantic, so do not send red roses if you don’t want to say this. I also don’t approve of red roses as decorations or even as wedding flowers – really, they are a strong symbol that should be saved for the one that has “your eyes only”, not for random guests. Red roses are potent: use them sparingly – but use them!
Pink rose meaning
Pink is a mix of white (innocence) with red (passion) so it conveys an emotion somewhere between those feelings. It is the color associated with little girls, babies, candy and flowers. The deeper the pink color, the more passion and energy it radiates, so hot pink roses have a different meaning to baby pink roses. Pink can be calming and restorative as well. It has comforting properties. Send pink roses for new births, as celebratory gifts for young women and to signify cheekiness and lighthearted fun. However, take note, as romantic gifts these may signify that you are not yet in love but merely infatuated.
Peach colored roses
Peach is a color named after peaches, and their outer, furry skin or flesh. It’s paler than most actual peach fruits and might be described as a pale, yellowish-pink. The late Peaches Geldof was a particular hero of mine, as is the female musician and artist, Peaches. According to Roses for Love pale peach roses indicate modesty: “The pale peach color is indicative of the soft blush on a virgin’s face, and the color speaks of demureness, purity and innocence.” Peach colored flowers are lovely as decorations, so if you are attending a house warming or dinner party they are a perfect choice.
Cream roses symbology
Cream, beige or off-white roses are absolutely lovely and are a safer bet than white, which can also mean birth or death. The color cream is dependable, conservative, and flexible as well as being neutral, calm, and relaxing. It has the same pureness as white, yet has a relaxed tone of culture and warmth. Think of marble statues, ivory and bone. This color combines tones of white, brown, pink and orange. A lovely rose to give as a gift, or for an older female relative.
Orange is a combination of yellow (friendship) and red (passion) so giving orange roses conveys a meaning somewhere within those two notions. Orange roses say, “I have feelings for you but I am not sure what they are at this time.” Orange is exciting and vibrant – it is a color with movement and brevity. As a citrus color, orange color meaning is associated with healthy food and it stimulates the appetite. Orange can also give you mental strength and agility in difficult times, so if your lover loses their job or needs cheering up, send a bunch of orange roses to brighten their day.
Have you heard of the chakras? The crown chakra is represented by the color violet or mauve and is a color that resonates with spiritual fulfilment. It is wise, loving, protective and also mysterious. According to Empower Yourself with Color, “The difference between violet and purple is that violet appears in the visible light spectrum, or rainbow, whereas purple is simply a mix of red and blue. Violet has the highest vibration in the visible spectrum.” Giving mauve roses indicates mystique, harmony and inspiration. A great gift to give if someone is graduating from a course, or starting a new job.
Black rose color meaning
Black roses are not natural; they are manufactured by man. Black roses only appear in literature, often associated with black magic. In our modern era, black roses are created by dying a rose with black ink, which takes hours (or even days). In the past, “black roses” were ones that were colored a deep damask, or dark violet. A black rose should never be given as a gift, unless you are imbibing the rose with spiritual properties, such as when casting a spell. Proceed with caution.
Blue rose meaning
Sadly, there are no natural blue roses, blue flowers do not exist in nature. You know it, I know it – let’s just face the facts. There is no such thing as a natural blue rose. The chemical responsible for a blue hue is called delphinidin. Roses do not have the natural pigment (anthocyanidin) so will always appear more violet than blue. In a symbolic sense, blue roses symbolise the unattainable, the manufactured, the untouchable premise. Therefore, blue roses should never be given as a gift – unless you have infused the unnatural color whilst embodying the petals with your romantic (or otherwise) intentions. As with black roses, proceed with caution.
Sources for rose color meanings
Thank you to all my sources. If you love to learn about color theory, I suggest you check out these pages below. Also have a look at my post Meanings of colors & color psychology.