Valentines Rose Colors and Their Traditional Meanings

Know what rose colors symbolize before sending a bouquet.

Delicate pink rose on white wood-grained
Rosemary Calvert/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

A bouquet of roses is the traditional gift given by romantics on Valentines Day, and it is often accompanied by a wrapped present. But did you know that Valentine's rose colors all have a traditional meaning that symbolizes the giver's feelings toward the recipient? So before you buy and bestow roses, know what message you will be sending.

The color of a rose can have a very different meaning from what you intend. Whether you are sending a single rose or armfuls of the fragrant flower, there is an inherent message to the symbolism. To ensure that your love understands what the particular roses that you give mean, check this guide to rose colors and their meanings:

Red Roses
Red roses proclaim "I love you." They are the ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion. Florists can't keep up with Valentines Day demand for red roses, which makes them especially expensive in February. If this is the message you want to convey, no other rose color will do. So if cost is a factor, it's better to send fewer stems rather than substitute a different color. Buy Red Roses Online.

Yellow Roses
Yellow roses indicate friendship and freedom -- so don't send them if your intentions are romantic and long-lasting in nature; you could actually be insulting the recipient! Yellow roses are also appropriate for sending congratulations to newlyweds, graduates, Texans, and new mothers.

Pale Pink Roses
Pale pink roses connote grace, gentleness, and gratitude. While they may look youthful and delicate, they are as sturdy as any other rose. 

Light Pink Roses
A joy to behold, light pink roses express fun and happiness. They also honor and commemorate people who have faced breast cancer. 

Deep Pink Roses
Deep pink roses say "Thank you." They also have come to be associated with the fight against breast cancer.

Purple Roses
Roses that are lilac or purple indicate the passionate sender has fallen in love at first sight with the recipient and is enchanted. 

White Roses
Pure white roses symbolize truth and innocence. They also send other messages: "I miss you" and "You're heavenly." 

Peach Roses
Peach roses speak of appreciation and gratitude.

Coral Roses
Coral roses express one thing with their passionate color: Desire. 

Orange Roses
Orange roses communicate enthusiasm and desire on the part of the sender. 

Kaleidoscopic Roses
The fake dyed colors of such a bouquet come across as more of an insult or joke than an expression of love. Don't buy Kaleidoscopic Roses unless you're positive the recipient will appreciate the gesture.

Dead Roses
Regardless of the original color, dead roses say "It's over" loud and clear. So don't let once-beautiful roses that dry up and turn an unappealing shade stick around too long.

Put two or more colors of roses together, and a new rose meaning arises: 

White Roses + Yellow Roses
A symbol of harmony.

Red Roses + Yellow Roses
A message of happiness and celebration.

Red Roses + White Roses
An indication of bonding and harmony.

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.

Can't afford a bouquet? A long-stemmed, single red rose can be just as romantic, particularly if accompanied by a love letter or book of love poems that you present in person.