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The Symbolism and Meaning of Pink Roses

By Edited Feb 3, 2016 0 0

Pink rose meaning and symbolism

Public domain image from Pixabay

Giving roses as a gift is often a great way to impress someone who you like or are already in a relationship with. Pink rose blooms are beautiful to give and to receive because they are elegant and graceful and have an air of romance, history and love about them. This flower has been around for a very long time and it has long been admired and depicted in paintings and art work throughout history.

As far back as the Victorian era, the language and symbolism of flowers helped to convey unspoken messages. Sometimes these included feelings that people were not willing to put directly into words. People would send these as tokens to express love, friendship and other sentiments. Back then, the recipient would understand perfectly what a particular color meant or alluded to.

There were entire Victorian books written on these flowers and what it meant to receive certain cleverly thought out combinations. Though there is now less importance on knowing the correct colors to send for a specific occasion, it can still be fun to discover the significance behind the bloom. No gift speaks louder than the language and meaning of these particular flowers.

Pink to Congratulate and to Say Thank You

Rose flower bush

Image of a rose bush belongs to the author

Lots of pink roses are given for romantic occasions such as Valentine's Day and anniversaries. However, this color used alone does not traditionally have a romantic meaning attached. If you want to use these for a gesture of love, think about combining them along with red which gives them a much more passionate connotation.

Choose pink to either express your thanks and gratitude or to offer your congratulations. For example, they are a perfect choice to pick for congratulating on the arrival of a new baby or a new home. They are also an ideal way to thank someone for helping you out or doing you a particularly good turn. Bear in mind that the specific meaning can change slightly depending on how deep or light the particular color or shade is.

When you give these flowers to someone as a cut bouquet it could mean that you are thankful and happy for the relationship that you share with them and this can apply to platonic friendships as well as romantic relationships. It can also mean more specifically that you have great admiration for their grace and gentleness.

Dark Pink Shades

Use Darker Pinks to Express Gratitude

A darker shade or tone really symbolizes gratitude and are what you should choose to say thank you for something. You can use them to express thanks and gratefulness for both friendship and love. More often you would send darker pinks such as raspberry, magenta and cerise when someone has done you a really good turn.  

Light Pink Roses

Use Lighter Shades to Say Congratulations

Bouquet of pale pink flowers


Public domain image of a bouquet from Pixabay

These are best used as a congratulations for an event such as a new job, new baby or a new home. A lighter shade stands for joy and this is interpreted as being good for any celebratory and happy circumstance. Light shades include blush, shell, baby, pastel and powder.

They are ideal to gift on the birth of a baby girl because of the meaning attached and because this is a color that has long been associated with new babies. Less well-known meanings associated with lighter shades include grace, admiration, and poise which again work well with a new arrival.

Thornless Varieties of this Flower

Symbolizing Love at First Sight

While this color is not traditionally associated with romantic meanings per se, gifting pink roses without any thorns has a very passionate feeling attached. This is a way of showing that you have loved someone ever since you first laid eyes on them. It stands for the powerful message of love at first sight. Be careful to use these wisely and not to give the wrong impression to someone who is just a friend.


Ideal for Young Love

Roses and rosebuds in pink

Image of bloom and rosebuds belongs to the author

Giving just rosebuds instead of flowers in full bloom is a symbol of beauty, innocence and youth. It means having a happy and an innocent heart. These are ideal to present for a prom date and for teenagers giving a bouquet to their very first love. 

Combining Pink with other Colors

Change or Enhance the Traditional Meanings

You can couple up the pink blooms with roses of other color combinations. For instance, a single pink flower mixed in with a bunch of red symbolizes that the giver is very happy in a relationship with the person that they really love. Adding the color of red greatly enhances the romantic feelings of love.

If you combine pink and white, you are expressing your appreciation of someone who is innocent and joyful. This is particularly good for a young love and a friendship too.

Pale pink mixed in along with yellow is ideal to send as a congratulatory bouquet because yellow stands for joy and happiness. Use a darker shade of pink with the yellow to say thank you to someone who is a very dear friend. 

This Color Works for Many Occasions

Pink rose flowers are quite versatile in their meaning. They can stand for a lot of things including grace, joy, happiness, congratulations and thank you. Used on their own, they do not particularly symbolize a romantic type of love. If you want to make sure that love is implied, combine them with some reds for more of a romantic and passionate gesture.

We have largely lost the language of floral meanings and symbolism through the years. It was very popular in the Victorian era and then gradually went out of favor. So, if you send someone a bunch or bouquet of flowers, it is best to add in a card with a personal message to reinforce the exact sentiment that you want to present to the person receiving this wonderful gift.

Image Credits: all photos used are credited directly underneath each image in the article.



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  1. Language Of Flowers. London: Pook Press, 2010.
  2. Secret Meanings of Flowers: Including Trees, Shrubs, Vines and Herbs. Alabama: Treasured Secrets Publishing Company, 2013.
  3. John Gage Colour and Meaning: Art, Science and Symbolism. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2000.

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