What’s in a rose?

Roses in all their blooming glory have long been the flower of choice for weddings and special celebrations. With their seductive scent and a seamlessly infinite variety of colours, they are a staple of charm and good taste.


But beware, when gifting this precious flower, the variety, colour and even number of blooms you choose can carry a message which can sometimes be very different from what was intended. Shaped through the years and passed on for decades, sometimes centuries, below are a few traditional symbolisms hidden in some of the most common varieties and colours of Roses. Read through it before you gift Roses again, after all, who wants to declare undying love to their mother-in-law and everlasting friendship to the love of their life by mistake 🙂

–          RED

Chose a single flower if your message is “I love you”. A red rose is a symbol of passionate and romantic love, so probably not the best choice where only platonic relationship is desired. It can however also represent a job well done, so is frequently used for congratulations in a business setting.


–          DARK RED

Dark red roses are best gifted to that special someone, who does not yet realise how beautiful they are in your eyes. The best indication that you have a secret admirer? A dark red rose.


–          PINK (dark pink, pink and light pink)

All the shades of pink represent appreciation, but each shade does have an additional meaning. A dark pink rose also represents gratitude, a pink rose asks the receiver to “please believe me” and a light pink rose carries the message of sweetness


–          YELLOW

A yellow rose carries the largest array of symbolism, so in a way is the most versatile rose to gift. It represents messages as varied as jealousy, friendship and joy, as well as being thought to carry a plea to be remembered and the message of new beginnings


–          YELLOW with red tips

Have a new love interest? Perfect, gift them a yellow bloom with red tips as the message it carries is literally “Falling in Love”

–          ORANGE

Desire and enthusiasm call for a bright colour and an orange rose is the perfect choice


–          WHITE

There is no wonder a white rose is a favourite when it comes to wedding floral arrangements. Representing pureness and innocence, it also carries the message of “I am worthy of you” and the promise of happy love


–          BLUE

This unusual coloured rose is a symbol of something unattainable and impossible.


–          BLACK

This is the rose which is carrying the unhappy symbol of death and farewell. Probably not the best choice for weddings and celebration.


If you have been struck by Cupid’s arrow, a single thorn-less rose will tell your bellowed it was love at first sight. Want to ask your special someone to marry you? A pair of roses arranged so they entwine together will help you deliver that message, while gifting six roses will represent your desire to be loved and cherished.

Receiving eleven roses tells you that the love you have is pure and deep. And the most exciting number of roses to receive? 13. It symbolises a secret admirer and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t feel just that extra bit more special knowing there is someone out there admiring you from afar.

While these messages are historically traditional, don’t be alarmed and too worried about what colour you choose. Most people will not spend too much time trying to figure out what roses mean, we will be much too busy enjoying the fact that an effort of gifting them to us was made and admiring their pretty blooms. 🙂