Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Avia

On Valentine’s Day, roses are often associated with love and passion. Red roses are the most common gift of love, but did you know that different colors of roses convey different messages? I’m not a huge fan of roses myself, but I do dig the symbolic meaning of rose colors – especially on this day of the year that celebrates fondness, friendship, and love.  So, I thought it would be a nifty idea to explore the rich, wild and wonderful world of the meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day.  

Have I piqued your interest? I hope so.  Because my goal is to inspire you to choose the perfect rose color for your special someone this day – or any day of the year!  Heck, maybe I might even inspire you to honor yourself by gifting yourself a batch of meaningful colored roses! From deep reds to soft yellows and everything in between, we’ll explore each meaning of rose colors, and I’ll help you find the most sublime rose for yourself and/or your beloved.

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

The History of Roses and Valentine’s Day

You know me. I love origins.  So, before I go into the meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day, I’ve got to give a nod to the history.  It’s true – roses have been associated with love and romance for centuries, making them the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. But what do the different colors of roses mean? Read on to find out!

The history of roses is a long and complicated one, but they have been revered as symbols of love and beauty for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love. In the Middle Ages, red roses were often used as a symbol of true love.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that red roses became synonymous with Valentine’s Day. This is thanks to English poet, William Shakespeare, who wrote about red roses in his famous play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the play, Queen Titania says: “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows / Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows / Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, / With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.”

This quote inspired a Victorian-era tradition called “wearing your heart on your sleeve,” where young men would wear a red rose on their lapel to show their interest in a young woman. From there, it wasn’t long before red roses became synonymous with Valentine’s Day.

Shakespeare didn’t stop there. He furthered the tradition of the rose as a symbol of undying true love at his mention of it in Romeo and Juliet, when the bard pens, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  This famous phrase is meant to illustrate that it does not matter if Romeo is a Montague or Juliet is a Capulet (who are rivaling families in the play, if you didn’t know).  What matters is their expansive love for each other.  The rose, therefore, is a common flower of Valentine’s day because it epitomizes the blind, patient, tolerant, all-encompassing nature of love.

Why Are Roses Given During Valentine’s Day Anyway?

Roses have been associated with love and romance for centuries, making them the perfect gift to give on Valentine’s Day. While red roses are the most popular choice for this holiday, rose colors can actually have different meanings. Here is a look at what some of the most popular rose colors symbolize:

  • Red: Passionate love, desire, and admiration
  • Pink: Grace, elegance, and sweetness
  • Yellow: Joy, happiness, and friendship
  • Orange: Enthusiasm and excitement
  • Lavender: Love at first sight

While any color rose can be given on Valentine’s Day, each hue carries its own special meaning. If you want to communicate your feelings in a more specific way, then choose a rose color that best represents what you’re trying to say.  To help you do just that, I’ve cultivated this meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day guide.  So, read further so you can select the right rose for your sentiment.

Rose Meaning in the Victorian Language of Flowers

The Victorians were very particular about the meaning of different flowers, and roses were no exception. Each color of rose had a specific meaning in the Victorian language of flowers. In the 1600s, Lady Mary Wortley was pivotal in bringing flowers and meanings to public attention. In fact, she is commonly referred to as the originator of floriography – which is the language of flowers.

What is Floriography?

According to Lady Mary Wortley, it is a language of flowers. People in her time (the Victorian era) would select different types of flowers and different colors to express a specific message.  You’ve got to remember that the Victorian age was about being prim, proper, and demure.  Public displays of affection were an epic “no-no” during this time.  So, what better way to say, “Hey, I’m sweet on you!” than by discretely sending a special, coded message with flowers and flower colors!?

So, when you consider the meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day – and roses themselves – you are actually practicing floriography.  How cool is that? I think it’s wildly fun and fabulous.  The idea of sending a specific and symbolic rose color to someone special that says, “You’re the cat’s ass!” (err, well, that’s rather indelicate – but you know what I mean) is aces!

By tapping into colors and flower meanings, you’re giving someone a rose on Valentine’s Day as a way of showing them how you feel about them without having to say anything. The gesture can speak volumes about your feelings, and the recipient will surely appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it.

What do Different Color Roses Symbolize?

Different color roses have different meanings, so it’s important to choose the right color rose for your Valentine. Here are the most popular rose color meanings:

Red Colored Rose Meaning on Valentine’s Day

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

We’ve been talking a lot about the symbolism of red roses throughout this article, so you’ve already got a pretty good idea about what they mean.  Also, it’s pretty ubiquitous that red roses are synonymous with romance and rousing affection.  It’s also no secret that red roses are the most popular flower given on Valentine’s Day.  In fact, 83% of roses given are red on Valentine’s Day, according to the Society of American Florists. 

At any rate, the color red symbolizes love, passion, energy, and desire. Therefore, a rose by this color can represent the same to your paramour, partner, or pet crush. A red rose can also be given as a sign of gratitude or appreciation. If you are looking for a way to show your significant other how much you care, giving a red rose is always a good, traditional choice.   

Orange Rose Color Meaning for Valentine’s Day

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, an orange rose can symbolize the flame of your love. I mean, the color alone is sure to take their breath away, but the meaning behind it will touch their heart. Orange roses speak to sensational stuff, such as: Warmth, kinship, connection, comfort, affinity, and confidence. 

That’s a lotta meaning for one color, but then again, orange roses are complex and unique, aren’t they?  Such an unusual rose with a complex message might be the perfect gesture that is both beautiful and full of significance.

What Do Yellow Roses Mean on Valentine’s Day?

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

Being a native Texan, the yellow rose meaning will forever be connected with the Lone Star State for me.  However, when it comes to yellow roses, their meaning on Valentine’s Day is all about joy and happiness. So, if you are looking to show your loved one how much they bring sunshine into your life, then this is the perfect color of rose for you! While red roses may be the traditional go-to for this holiday, yellow roses are a great alternative if you want to show your love in a unique way. 

Yellow roses are associated with joy, happiness, and friendship. They’re perfect for showing your partner just how much they brighten up your life. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to let them know how much you care, yellow roses are always a lovely choice.

Green Roses? Are They Meaningful on Valentine’s Day?

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

If you’re looking for a unique way to show your love this Valentine’s Day, why not consider sending green roses? Green has long been associated with nature and new beginnings, making it a perfect choice for a holiday celebrating love. Green is also a symbolic color of growth, vitality, and fertility. Bear in mind, green is also the color of envy, so just be wary of sending the wrong message with green roses on Valentine’s Day.

While red roses are the traditional symbol of love, green roses can be just as meaningful. If you want to convey admiration or appreciation, green is an ideal choice. Or, if you’re hoping to start a new relationship, green roses can signify freshness and potential. No matter what your intention is, be sure to pair your green roses with a handwritten note expressing your feelings. After all, it’s the thought that counts!

What do Blue Roses Mean on Valentine’s Day?

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

The meaning of blue roses on Valentine’s Day can vary depending on the person. For some, blue roses represent the hope of love and new beginnings. For others, they may represent trust, faithfulness, and respect.

Blue roses may also signify dreams, intuition, thought, and “sixth sense” types of messages. Let’s say you share a karmic, timeless bond with your spiritual mentor, or twin-flame soulmate. A blue rose reinforces the underlying concept of cosmic, etheric connection shared between you two.

When you connect blue rose hues with the chakra colors, you’ll see this color also represents communication (throat chakra). With this in mind, blue roses can double up on the symbolism and intent to express your intentions in a deeply profound way. In any case, no matter what the meaning is for you, blue roses are a beautiful way to show your love on Valentine’s Day.

Pink Rose Meanings for Valentine’s Day

The meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day can add special significance to your gift of roses. The color of a rose often symbolizes different emotions or sentiments, so choosing the right color rose for your Valentine can communicate what words cannot.  Pink roses are often seen as a symbol of appreciation and gratitude. They can also be used to express admiration and respect. So if you’re looking to show your partner how much you appreciate them, pink roses are always a great option.

Shades of Pink Roses and Their Meaning

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

Of course, pinks come in different hues.  Deep purply-pinks, soft pastel pinks, pink that perks into almost a violet explosion – and then the pink that leans on the lavender side.  Here are a few additional meaning of rose color on Valentine’s Day in the realm of pink hues…

Love and appreciation: Deep violet-purple pink roses are a beautiful way to say “thank you” or to show admiration and appreciation. They can also represent gentleness, gracefulness, and elegance.

Caring and sweetness: Light, pastel pink roses are sometimes used to convey sympathy or show condolences because they can represent healing and comfort. A more light pink shade of rose may also symbolize youthfulness, innocence, and joy.

Passionate love: A deeper, rich, hot pink rose communicates feelings of passion and deep romance.

Do Peach Colored Roses Mean Something When Given on Valentine’s Day?

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day
Trust me – it’s a peach-colored rose. It might look off-color on different screens or monitors.

While the meaning of different colored roses has been a subject of debate for centuries, there is no denying that peach-colored roses hold a special place in the world of Valentine’s Day. While their meaning is not as clear-cut as other colors, they are often seen as a symbol of appreciation, admiration, and even modesty. So if you are looking to give your loved one a unique and thoughtful gift this Valentine’s Day, a peach-colored rose may be the perfect way to show how you feel.

What Do White Roses Mean for Valentine’s Day?

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

White roses have always been associated with purity and innocence. In the language of flowers, they represent new beginnings and eternal love. For these reasons, white roses are often given as gifts on Valentine’s Day.

White roses are often used in wedding bouquets or given as gifts to express congratulations or best wishes. If you want to show your partner just how much you admire and respect them, white roses make a beautiful choice.

Unique, delicate, and refreshing – white roses can also be a message of forgiveness, extending an olive branch, or a way of saying tabula rosa (the slate is clean between you and I).  Additionally, white roses are also symbolic of remembrance. They can play a role in a Valentine’s Day ceremony that remembers loved ones who are no longer physically with us.

What Does a Black Rose Mean on Valentine’s Day?

Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

A black rose on Valentine’s Day means that your love is true, deep, and forever. It also symbolizes the intensity of your love and passion for one another.  If you’re into the goth scene, black roses are a brilliant way to express your dark love for one another.  I’m all about the darker side of love and life. The fluffy heart stuff just ain’t for me.  If you can relate – black roses are the answer this Valentine’s.  

Another symbolic feature of black roses is that they indicate a time of loss or mourning.  So, if you are missing a loved one this Valentine’s Day, a black rose might be poignant, meaningful, and powerfully symbolic.  

Unique & Meaningful Ways to Give Roses on Valentine’s Day

Here are some unique and meaningful ways to give roses on Valentine’s Day, based on the color of the rose:

Mix ‘Em Up!

Did you read the aforementioned meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day yet still can’t make up your mind about what message you want to send? Or maybe you have many different sentiments to express – and one rose color just won’t cut the mustard.  No worries.  Send a bouquet of different colored roses that express all your feelings!

Make a Wreath!

Instead of a plane-jane vase (yawn), why not make a rose wreath? Select the color roses (and their meanings) that appeal to you and make a wreath out of the flowers.  This is a glorious and unique way to present your symbolic love to someone special.  Interestingly, wreaths are symbolic of eternity, connection, union, protection, and infinity. 

Press Them!

You can make some sensational art that expresses your love, desire, and feelings by pressing roses.  Choose colors that convey your emotions and press them.  You can incorporate different textures in the paper or even write something in fancy calligraphy on each piece of rose-pressed paper.  This makes a sweet, sentimental Valentine’s gift for moms, grandmoms, aunties, sisters, – or anyone who digs elegance and refinement with a rosy flair.

Tips on Choosing the Right Rose for Valentine’s

Okay, we’ve talked about the symbolic meaning of roses.  We’ve talked about their history around Valentine’s Day.  We’ve also honed in on the meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day.  Now, I want to talk about picking the right rose in terms of it being well-grown, long-lasting, etc.  Here are some tips on getting the healthiest, happiest roses this Valentine’s Day:

Check for Freshness

Nothing is worse than giving puny, old roses on Valentine’s Day (unless, of course, that’s the kind of message you want to send. Ha!).  To check for freshness, look at the buds. They should be firm, and tight.  Make sure the stems are freshly cut and sitting in clear, clean water.   Rose petals should have a vibrant color without any mars or wilting.  Don’t forget to give a hairy eyeball to the leaves too.  Bright green, perky fresh leaves mean fresh roses.

Responsibly Sourced

What are responsibly sourced roses? These are roses that have been grown in an eco-friendly way, without the use of harmful pesticides or chemicals. Responsibly sourced roses are often more expensive than conventional roses, but they’re worth the extra cost if you want to show your valentine that you care about the environment.

Go Local

If you’re looking for a responsible source for your Valentine’s Day roses, try your local farmers market or florist. Many farmers markets now sell flowers that have been grown using sustainable practices. And many florists are also beginning to offer responsibly sourced flowers. Just ask them where their flowers come from and what kind of growing practices they use. The thing I love about going local is that is supports the community – which is in itself – a message of love, right?

Rose image courtesy of Dave Crotty

Rose Care Tips

To keep your red roses looking beautiful, make sure to trimmed the stems and remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Change the water every few days, and mist the leaves occasionally to keep them hydrated.  Here are some quick tips on keeping your roses happy and luscious long after the holiday.

  • Choose fresh roses that are not exposed to too much sunlight or heat.
  • Remove any leaves that will be below the waterline in the vase.
  • Cut the stems at an angle so they can absorb water more easily.
  • Change the water every few days and add a teaspoon of sugar to help keep them fresh.

With proper care, your roses should last at least a week – maybe even longer!  I’ve had roses last several weeks, but I was super-diligent about caring for them to make them last longer.

Ideas About What to Do With Roses After Valentine’s Day

After Valentine’s Day, you may be wondering what to do with all of the leftover roses. Here are a few ideas:

  • Dry them and make a nice decoration
  • Add leftover petals to bathwater for a perfuming effect
  • Press petals between paper and frame them, or place them in your journal
  • Make a rose petal tea
  • If you’re into soap or candle-making, think about adding leftover petals to your mixtures
  • Similarly, if you’re crafty with stuff like jewelry-making, you can fashion something like a pendant with petals suspended in resin for a stylish accessory (I’ve done it. Super-cool.)
  • Compost them and use them in your garden

Here are a few other ideas for repurposing your roses well after the date (or the blooms) have faded…

Potpourri

Potpourri, as you likely know, is a heady smelly concoction of natural elements.  When the blush is off your rose, why not make intoxicatingly fragrant potpourri from the petals?  Simply gather the petals and lay them out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet.  Keep them warm and dry for a few days, and then seal them in a jar.  Open the lid of the jar, and you’ll be amazed at how the petals retain their aroma, and that lovely scent is released into the air.

Altar

If you have an altar, consider placing a few dried roses left over from Valentine’s Day on your altar.  Drying roses and then placing them on an altar is a way of extending and expanding upon the essence of love (or whatever meaning you attribute to your roses).  It’s a lovely way of keeping the intensity of your intent and affirmations ongoing long after Valentine’s Day. Depending upon your intention, you may even want to place them in your favorite offering dish or smudge bowl and burn them.

Offering

After the bloom has faded from your Valentine’s Day roses, consider gathering up the petals and tossing them into the air as an offering.  Sprinkle them upon fresh-fallen snow.  Spray them across a rippling pond.  Release your petals in nature while offering a loving devotion to your loved one’s past, present, and future.  Call upon your favorite energy, person, deity, or idea as you give your petals as an offering.  This act sets an intention. It also extends the life and power of your roses. And, as I mentioned earlier, you can burn rose petals in your preferred offering bowl as a smudging gesture of your earnest messages to the divine.

Sachet

A rose sachet is a small bag filled with fragrant dried herbs, flowers, and spices. They are used to scent linens and clothing, or to freshen up a room. Rose sachets are usually made with rose petals, but other popular ingredients include lavender, chamomile, and cinnamon.  You can take your leftover rose petals, dry them (takes a few days), and put them in a nylon sachet case (or cheesecloth), secure them with a pretty bow, and keep your roses long after their prime.

Conclusion About the Meaning of Rose Colors on Valentine’s Day

When it comes to expressing your love this February on Valentine’s Day, roses are always a popular choice. From traditional red, to wonderfully quixotic blue – there is no end to the meanings and messages you can send to someone this day (or any day for that matter).  I hope these meaning of rose colors on Valentine’s Day has offered you tons of insight.  Moreover, I hope this inspires you to embrace the rose and all its colorful symbolism on this special day and beyond. As always, thanks for reading! Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day!

Mighty brightly,

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