on the meaning of color in roses specifically, and symbolic images in general
Pale pink roses connote grace, gentleness, and gratitude.
A joy to behold, light pink roses express fun and happiness.
Deep pink roses say “Thank you.”
Lilac roses indicate the sender has fallen in love at first sight with the recipient and is enchanted.
Pure white roses symbolize truth and innocence. They also send other messages: “I miss you” and “You’re heavenly.”
Coral roses express one thing with their passionate color: Desire.
Peach roses speak of appreciation, gratitude, and also sympathy.
Orange roses communicate enthusiasm and desire on the part of the sender.
Yellow roses indicate friendship and freedom — so don’t send them if your intentions are romantic and long-lasting. Yellow roses are also appropriate for sending congratulations to newlyweds, graduates, Texans, and new mothers.
Black roses connote bad intentions, death, despair(as of unattainable love or ideals) or appreciation of dark humor.Black – Death, Farewell…Used by itself, black can represent bad luck or misfortune.
Dark purple roses indicate mourning.
Blue roses indicate loyalty or fidelity to a person or ideal.Also,Impossible, Unattainable, Mystery in a love affair.
Red (Dark or Burgundy) – Unconscious beauty
Red -Withered – I would rather die, Our love is over
Regardless of the original color, dead roses say “It’s over” loud and clear.
Brown represents the ideas of earth, hearth, home, the outdoors, comfort, endurance, simplicity, and comfort.
Leaves – Symbol of hope
no thorns means “love at first sight” or painless, amiable feelings.
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.
Red, White and Blue reminiscent of the American flag, immediately convey notions of patriotism and, to some extent, conservatism.
Green has taken on a very strong connotation as the color representing ecology and concern for the environment, however, it also conveys meanings associated with money and the suggestion “to go ahead” which is obviously derived from traffic lights.
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.
These are western symbols, of course. Asian symbolism is quite different:
Red: Happiness, marriage, prosperity
Yellow: Against evil, for the dead, geomantic blessings
Green: Eternity, family, harmony, health, peace, posterity
Blue: Self-cultivation, wealth
White: Children, helpful people, marriage,
mourning, peace, purity, travel
Gold: Strength, wealth
Gray: Helpful people, travel
Black: Career, evil influences, knowledge, mourning, penance, self-cultivation
“the word for red and white, Kohaku, is pronounced as one word in Japanese. Ko means red, while haku translates as white. Their use together immediately signifies happiness and celebration to the Japanese viewer.”
A great online color theory/symbolism resource
It’s strange to me, that the color theory classes I took back in the day never mentioned much about the symbolic meaning of colors. It was very cut-and-dried, physics information…which is something I needed to learn, of course, and stilluse all the time…but it would be nice to combine both color theory on a physical level with color theory on a symboloic level.
Like I often use brown and red, up against black, then put light blue behind it. The reds and the browns have more warmth up against a cold pale blue…something I’ve noticed when looking at bricks in the early pale morning light, up against a blue grey sky. But those colors- it’s the meaning that makes it an interesting combination. Coldness and freedom, loyalty, and the home/hearth…my backgrounds are free but my foregrounds are rooted.