What do all the rose colors signify, anyway?

Different colored roses. (Photo by David Bartus via pexels.)

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, perhaps you’re considering doing something nice for your significant other, a friend, your kids or a parent.

Flowers are a simple yet sweet gesture, and when it comes to roses, there are different meanings behind all the colors. It’s really kind of perfect, if you think about it. You can send exactly the message you want to the person on the receiving end.

If you’re not sure what each color stands for, we’ll fill you in.


The red rose might be the most popular, as it’s a symbol of love, but it also signifies beauty, passion, courage and respect.

Recommended for: a spouse or significant other.


Though it’s often referred to as the bridal rose, the white rose also represents humility, purity, innocence and reverence.

Recommended for: a friend or loved one who is on to new beginnings.


Different hues of the pink rose can take on different meanings, but generally speaking, it symbolizes elegance, gentility, femininity and refinement.

Darker pink represents gratitude and appreciation.

Recommended for: someone to whom you want to pay gratitude or simply say “thank you.”

Softer pinks signify grace, gentleness and admiration.

Recommended for: showing sympathy or saying sorry.


The yellow rose symbolizes friendship, caring and joy while conveying warmth, gladness and affection.

Recommended for: a friend.


The orange rose symbolizes admiration, desire, enthusiasm, fascination.

Recommended for: A crush or new flame.

Purple or lilac

Lilac or purple roses are symbolic of adoration, enchantment, fascination and desire.

Recommended for: A person you hold on the highest of pedestals, or someone who was love at first sight.

When it comes down to it, the rose is such a beautiful and simple way to express how you feel about someone. And it doesn’t necessarily just have to be a Valentine’s Day gift. It could be for any occasion. But on this holiday, which one will you be gifting someone?

About the Author:

Dawn Jorgenson, Graham Media Group Branded Content Managing Editor, began working with the group in April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.