There’s something about the sight of red roses on Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s the rich deep blood red. Maybe it’s the scent of the bouquet. Or maybe it’s the subconscious underlying meaning that red roses conjure up. But what is that meaning, and who made these meanings up?

Roses have had underlying meanings for centuries, and were used to convey the admirer’s meanings.

Personally, I see these lovely flowers as just that…lovely flowers…no matter what the color. But be forewarned, young admirer, the color of the rose can have a very different meaning from what you intend.

To ensure that your love understands what the roses mean to you, check this guide to rose colors and their meanings:

roseredsmall-2random% Red roses proclaim “I love you.” The most popular of all rose colors, red roses symbolize deep love, romance and passion. The red rose has long been a symbol of beauty and perfection and can also symbolize courage. A dark red or burgundy rose depicts a beauty that is uncontrived and unadorned.

They are especially popular at Valentine’s Day, so you’ll see the prices skyrocket for red roses.   Check Costco for good prices on a dozen roses.

White roses represent purity and innocence and can also symbolize reverence and humility. They are often used in bridal bouquets as a symbol of spiritual love, unity and new beginnings. White roses are also used in sympathy arrangements for funerals.
rosepinksmallrandom% Pink roses convey a message of elegance, grace and gentleness. Deep pink often signifies appreciation and gratitude while light pink signifies admiration, joy and sweetness.
roseyellowsmall-1random% Yellow roses symbolize friendship, happiness and warmth. Yellow roses can also convey a desire to start anew or give a relationship a second chance after a quarrel or misunderstanding.
The bright and bold color of orange roses represents enthusiasm, energy and desire. Orange roses can also convey pride in an accomplishment or celebration of a new beginning or venture.
rosepurplesmallrandom% Lavender or Purple Roses express the feeling of love at first sight. These unique and beautiful roses convey a sense enchantment or something magical.
rosepeachsmallrandom% Peach Roses can convey many different sentiments such as gratitude, appreciation, admiration or sympathy. They can also convey friendship and sociability. A pale peach rose symbolizes modesty.
rosecoralsmall-1random% Coral Roses represent desire, passion and excitement. It also says “I admire your accomplishments” and represents good fortune.
rosebluesmallrandom% Blue Roses symbolize mystery or something desired, but unattainable. Blue roses do not occur naturally and are artificially colored.
roseyellowredsmallrandom% A yellow rose with red tips symbolizes friendship falling into love.
  • Black roses symbolize death or loss (there is no jet black rose, but a red rose dark enough to appear black)
  • Burgundy roses symbolize unconscious, uncontrived beauty
  • Cream roses represent richness, perfection and the best qualities
  • Gold roses celebrate absolute achievement
  • Green roses symbolize freshness, good health and abundance
redwhiterandom% Red and white roses together symbolize unity.
pinkredrandom% Pink and red roses together symbolize passion and romance.
redyellowrandom% Red and yellow roses together symbolize happiness and celebration. A bouquet of yellow roses with a single red rose tells someone you would like to be more than just friends.
  • Yellow and White Roses Yellow and white roses together represent harmony.
  • Pastel Color Roses Pastel or pale blends of roses together represent friendship and sociability.
While roses are traditionally presented in bouquet form, these are also acceptable:

  • Single Red Rose “I love you” (but I’m not going to go broke telling you).
  • Single Rose Any Color “I thank you” (and I’m still not going to go broke saying so).
  • Two Roses Entwined An engagement or marriage is imminent.