22 Rose Color Meanings: What Does Each Shade Symbolize?

Rose color meanings and symbolism illustration

Buying flowers for someone can be a stressful process because there’s a chance they may misunderstand your intentions. Many people perceive giving roses as a romantic gesture, but not every color of rose is seen as a gift of deep love.

So, what does each rose color mean? Understanding different roses may help you choose the best type to give someone.

Do Roses Come in Every Color?

“Roses are red” is what we’re used to hearing, but it’s not always true. They may not be the most colorful flowers in the world, but roses can come in all sorts of colors, including multi-colored varieties. Shades of red will always be the most common, but there are plenty of other natural colors roses can be. If a rose can’t be produced in a certain color, sellers may dye the flower to give it a desirable hue.

The only colors that you won’t find naturally in roses are blue and black. Even though other flowers can naturally be blue, blue doesn’t exist in the rose gene pool. Some flowers can have black pigments, but no flower can be completely black naturally.

So, if someone is selling a blue or black rose, it means they dyed it. Those colors may not be natural, but they’re still beautiful. Other colors that are rare in roses may also be dyed to make the flowers look prettier.

Rose Color Meanings

Roses typically symbolize love and romance, but the color of the rose could change that meaning. So, let’s take a look at what 22 different rose colors mean.

1. Red

Red roses closeup

Since red roses are the stereotypical rose color, they symbolize love and romance. Giving someone red roses is a great way to say, “I love you” to a partner. They’re a common Valentine’s Day gift because they symbolize passion, desire, and true love. Giving these roses to someone you’re not romantically involved with may cause some confusion.

2. Light Pink

Bouquet of light pink roses

Roses come in many shades of pink, each with different meanings. Light pink is often a sign of innocence and appreciation. They’re a great gift for a family member or close friend to show that they’re important to you. They may also symbolize joy and gentleness.

3. Medium Pink

Medium pink roses in garden

Most pink roses are a symbol of grace and femininity. They may also be associated with gratitude. They’re often used to decorate celebrations, and they can be given as a way to congratulate someone.

4. Dark Pink

Dark pink rose close-up

Dark pink is a gentler version of red. Instead of passionate love, it represents a form of admiration and gratitude. Deep pink roses are often given to people to let them know you appreciate them, and they can be given for any type of love, whether it’s family, friends, or a partner.

5. Burgundy

Burgundy velvety rose

Burgundy roses are similar to red roses, but they’re slightly darker. Thus, they’re a sign of passion and devotion. They’re almost always given as a gift to a significant other. These roses are viewed as stunning and beautiful.

6. Peach

Peach roses on wooden surface

Peach roses are often given to someone as a sign of thanks and appreciation. They’re a down-to-earth way to show someone that you’re grateful for them. Some people may also give them to a loved one when expressing sympathy.

7. Salmon

Macro photograph of pink salmon rose petals

Salmon roses aren’t quite red, and they’re more vibrant than peach. They’re a sign of excitement and desire. They let the receiver know that you’re thrilled to be spending time with them.

8. Coral

Coral rose close-up

Coral is similar to salmon, and it shares many of the same meanings. It’s a sign of enthusiasm and desire, so it’s a fun alternative to red roses.

9. Orange

Bouquet of orange roses

Orange is one of the most vibrant rose colors you can buy. These flowers symbolize fascination and energy. Like similar colors, they can also be a sign of desire, excitement, and enthusiasm. They’re perfect for people who love when attention is drawn toward them.

10. Yellow

Yellow roses next to each other

Yellow roses are a symbol of friendship and joy, so they should be given to friends and family rather than romantic partners. In the Victorian Era, yellow roses were a sign of jealousy and envy, but over time, they changed to mean the opposite. These flowers are the perfect way to tell someone they’re a great friend.

11. White

White rose up close

White roses symbolize new love and innocence. They’re also a sign of purity and youthfulness. They’re the perfect gift to give in the early stages of a relationship. However, these roses are sometimes also used as wedding decorations.

12. Ivory

Ivory roses in focus

Ivory is an off-white color resembling the color of egg shells. Ivory roses symbolize grace and charm. If you know someone who has those traits, these flowers can make a wonderful gift for them. They’re usually given to people you care about without romantic intentions. Some people also view these roses as elegant and perfect.

13. Pearl

Pearl-colored rose up close

Pearl roses look similar to white and ivory. They’re a symbol of thoughtfulness and perfection. They’re a great way to let someone know you’re thinking of them without any romantic feelings involved.

14. Cream

Cream rose close-up

Cream roses share meanings with both ivory and pearl roses. Thus, they symbolize charm and thoughtfulness. Like the other off-white colors, they’re a great way to show platonic appreciation for someone.

15. Lavender

Lavender roses with raindrops

Lavender roses often symbolize wonder and enchantment. They can be used to portray a special love, such as the kind that only happens once in a lifetime. They represent all the splendor and mystery that true love brings.

16. Purple

Dark purple roses on dark background

Purple roses are a sign of passion and infatuation. People who give purple roses are likely expressing their lasting feelings in a relationship and searching for a deeper connection. Purple roses are less intense versions of red roses, so they may lead to new relationship milestones.

17. Blue

Several blue roses

Since blue roses don’t exist in nature, they represent mystery and uniqueness. They symbolize something that is impossible or unattainable. They are often given to someone as a way to tell them to dream big and never give up.

18. Green

Top view of green roses

Green is one of the most common colors in nature, so green roses symbolize growth and abundance. They’re also a sign of good news and new beginnings. They can be used to encourage or congratulate someone.

19. Mint

Mint green rose close-up

Mint is a more playful version of green. So, these roses usually represent cheerfulness and new beginnings. Like green roses, they’re used to cheer on someone during a new milestone in their lives.

20. Black

Black roses on dark surface

Like blue roses, black roses don’t occur naturally. So, they’re a rare and mysterious find. They usually symbolize death and mourning, so they’re a common decoration for funerals. On a more positive note, they could be a sign of a new beginning or a big change in life.

21. Multicolored

Rainbow colored roses

Any rose that has more than one color on it, such as rainbow roses or a mix of blue and pink, could fall into this category. Multicolored roses usually share a combination of meanings. For example, if a rose has red and yellow, it could be given to a friend you’ve developed romantic feelings for. Multicolored roses are usually vibrant, so they’re great for party decorations.

22. Assortment of Colors

Colorful rose bouquet

Sometimes, you may receive more than one rose color. This is another way to convey multiple rose meanings at once. However, there’s not always a deeper meaning to a mixture of roses. In some cases, it’s just a vibrant decoration for a celebration. They’re a good gift for someone who wants beautiful flowers without having to worry about a deeper meaning.

Flower Alternatives to Roses

Even though roses can have almost any meaning, they might not feel like the right flowers to gift someone. Here are a few flowers that are often given as rose alternatives:

  • Orchids – They’re unique flowers that symbolize charm, beauty, and love
  • Tulips – These flowers are easy to find, and they represent all types of love, whether it’s romantic or platonic
  • Peonies – They have a rose-like shape, and they symbolize love, happiness, and beauty
  • Carnations – These flowers also resemble roses, and they’re a sign of love and gratitude
  • Dahlias – Dahlias are round, beautiful flowers that symbolize commitment and kindness
  • Ranunculus – These flowers look very similar to roses, but they symbolize charm and attractiveness
  • Anemones – Anemones are simple, beautiful flowers that symbolize anticipation and loss

These are just some of the many flowers that you can give someone instead of roses. Every flower has unique meanings, and different colors could alter what the plants symbolize. So, consider those meanings carefully when choosing a flower as a gift.

However, some people have a favorite flower based on how it looks, and they might not care about the deeper meanings of it. If that’s the case, you may just want to look out for the prettiest flowers.

Choosing the Perfect Rose Color

Roses are one of the most common romantic gifts, but you won’t want to risk sending mixed messages to your partner. So, before you settle on the perfect bouquet of roses, consider what meaning you’re trying to convey and what colors can help you get that point across. If you can’t decide on one color, it can’t hurt to go with a beautiful assortment of roses instead.