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Every Rose Color Has A Special Meaning - How Many Do You Know?


I'm not much of a gardener but I know a little about flowers - after all, I've spent enough money on them over the years.

Every type has its charms, but when it comes to sending a romantic message, nothing measures up to a bouquet of roses.

But did you know there's a secret meaning behind every flower?


In the 19th century, lovers spoke in the language of flowers, sending hidden messages in a code called floriography.

Every flower in the bouquet has its own special meaning, and some of them may surprise you:

Red roses

Red roses

Of course red is the iconic rose color, and a symbol of passionate, fiery romantic love.

A  legend says that the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, pricked a finger on a white rose and stained it blood red.

The flower also has a special connection to Jesus.

Red rose varieties with five petals are said to represent Jesus' five crucifixion wounds.

But today, a bouquet of red roses says one thing most of all, "I love you."

Pink roses

Pink roses

Pink is a playful color that has two very different meanings.

Light pink flowers are a step below red. They may symbolize love, but as graceful, sweet and affectionate.

They're not as hot-blooded as red roses.

On the other hand, dark pink roses represent gratitude.

They say thank you, or represent sympathy about bad news.

Orange roses

orange roses

If you're not ready to send a red or pink rose, orange is a safe but flirty choice.

Like the color itself, they're the middle ground between intense red and friendly yellow.

A bouquet of orange roses could tell a friend "I'm interested in you."

Meanwhile, receiving orange roses could mean you have a secret admirer.

Peach roses

Peach roses
Public Domain Pictures

Peach is a romantic color, but it's more subdued than red.

These roses are also connected to modesty, so they're a creative gift for someone who's not a natural beauty - or for someone way out of your league.

Peach roses can also be platonic and handy flowers. They're a nice way to close a business deal, or to brighten up a sympathy bouquet.

Salmon roses

Salmon roses

Salmon is another one of those tricky colors - caught between modest peach and interested orange.

But the color is also connected to excitement and desire. That makes them a flirty way to say hello.

Mainly, the warm tone of a salmon says your feelings are genuine.

Maybe that's why they're such a popular way to say, "I'm sorry."

Yellow roses

Yellow roses
Lovely Pearl Naga - Wikimedia

These cheery flowers have a scandalous history.

Yellow is a bright and friendly color, and these flowers are used mostly for positive and happy messages.

They make a great gift for a close friend, or a way to cheer someone up after a heartbreak.

But yellow roses used to symbolize infidelity, so be careful who you send them to.

White roses

White roses

Once upon a time white roses were the most popular symbol of romantic love, not red ones.

Today they're a symbol of unity, and less intense emotions.

White is usually connected to purity and innocence, along with religious figures like the Virgin mary.

These roses are popular in wedding bouquets for all those reasons.

But they also have a spiritual connection that makes them useful for funeral arrangements.

Cream roses

Cream roses

Also known as ivory roses, this off-white variety has its own special meaning.

They're connected to charm and thoughtfulness. That makes them a useful gift for either a friend or a lover.

A bouquet of cream roses is the perfect way to tell your spouse, "I'm thinking of you."

Purple roses

Purple roses

All shades of purple are connected to the mystical and magical side of life.

They could mean you're enchanted by someone, or that you fell in love at first sight.

But purple is also the color of royalty.

Receiving purple roses could mean you're a refined, elegant or respected by someone close to you.

Burgundy roses

Burgundy rose

A rich, dark color, burgundy has a very specific meaning.

It represents unconscious beauty, someone who doesn't even realize how beautiful they are.

Darker roses are also connected to passion, so this intense color suggests your feelings are the real deal.

Green roses

Green roses
Huhu Uet / Wikimedia

Green roses are rich and vibrant, and so is the message they bring.

They suggest nature and peace, so a bouquet of green roses means a lot in a difficult time.

Along with relaxation and happiness, fertile green roses can also represent happiness for new parents.

Rainbow roses

Rainbow roses
Jason Tong - Flickr

Yes, they do exist.

These hybrid flowers are a modern invention, but they still suggest a lot of hidden meanings.

For one thing they're more expensive than regular roses, which means the gesture is more sincere.

On the other hand, maybe your emotions are mixed up and confused, like the colors of your flowers.

Maybe this variety is best for indecisive people.

Black roses

Black roses
Spence Denney - ABC News Australia

Some roses are died black, but varieties with a deep purple or red color are also called black.

You can probably guess that this haunting color symbolizes death. They're a very striking way to say goodbye.

But black can also symbolize rebirth and a new beginning.

You should probably avoid giving these to your partner, unless they have a dark sense of humor.

What does the number of flowers in a bouquet mean?

If you want to send a really thoughtful message with your bouquet, the number of flowers also matters.

Rose bouquet

Just like a rose's color, this quality will tell the receiver how you really feel about them, so choose wisely:

  • One rose represents love at first sight, the start of a new relationship.
  • Two roses represent mutual love - give them to your spouse or longtime partner.
  • Three roses symbolize those three little words, "I love you."
  • Six roses mean commitment, "I want to be with you."
  • Nine roses symbolize lasting or eternal love.
  • 10 roses, a nice round number, says your love is perfect.
  • 12 roses mean, "Please be mine."
  • 13 roses could represent friendship, or a secret admirer.
  • 15 roses in a bouquet represent an apology.
  • 20 roses, two perfect tens, say your love is sincere.
  • 21 roses mean a lasting commitment.
  • 24 roses say, "I'm always thinking of you." (There's one for every hour of the day.)
  • 25 roses are used to congratulate a friend.
  • 36 roses represent happy memories.
  • 40 roses show that your love is genuine.
  • 50 roses means your love is unconditional.

Any more than that and your message is pretty obvious.

100 roses are said to mean complete and total devotion. But 108 is specifically a marriage proposal.

Sending 365 roses says you think of your partner every day of the year.

Finally, a bouquet of 999 roses says your love is never-ending. It also means, "I am very rich."

Did you know about any of these special meanings?

[H/T: Good Housekeeping, Reader's Digest, Prep Scholar, Passion Growers]

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