What Do Roses Symbolize: History and Significance

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With different varieties and colors and each color holding a specific significance, shopping for roses has never been easy. After all, you don’t want to send a rose bouquet arrangement that isn’t meant for a specific occasion. In this blog, we’ve listed the rich history of roses plus what each color signifies, so you can conveniently choose bouquets to send during weddings, graduations, or funerals. You can also bookmark this page and come back to it each time you have to give a rose bouquet to your loved one.

Rose: The Blossoming History

Rose is an old English word that gets its name from the Latin word rosa. But did you know Rosa also has its origins in Greek? In Greek mythology, roses originated from Adonis, the deity of plants and rebirth. It’s referred to as the queen of the garden! Fossils indicate that roses have been around for more than 30 million years. The genus Rosa contains over a hundred different species. (How cool that could be!). You can find roses everywhere across the world, including Alaska and remote areas of North America.


A Rose With Any Other Name Is Called a Rose, but It Has Several Meanings We all know that roses are commonly associated with love and romance. But roses hold other lesser-known meanings too. For instance, in many cultures, roses mean secrecy and confidentiality. Roman ancients would place a wild rose outside their banquet halls to indicate that anything spoken was to remain confidential. The term sub rosa means under the rose. In the Middle Ages, people hung roses from the ceilings of meeting rooms to imply that conversations that took place underneath them were top secret. Love tarot? Then you’ll recognize the rose making an appearance on four cards:

  • On the Fool card, the white rose symbolizes purity. It’s a reminder to cleanse the mind.

  • On the Magician card, the rose signifies unfolding wisdom.

  • On the Strength card, the rose represents balance.

  • On the Death card, it’s a symbol of purity and clarity of intent.

Roses are also often associated with numerology. During the renaissance period, a rose with eight petals symbolized rebirth and renewal. In another context, a rose with seven petals meant inclusion and universal order. In medieval times, Christians identified the five petals of the rose with the five would of Jesus Christ. Later, the rose got associated with Virgin Mary and was referred to as a symbol of the blood and the Christian martyrs.


Rose - Cultural Significance

During the 15th century, roses represented Lancaster and the York families in England. Between 1455 and 1487, the house of Lancaster (represented by the red rose) and the house of York (represented by the white rose) battled against each other to rule England. It was referred to as the war of roses. The Rose is England’s National flower. It also inspired William Shakespeare to write one of the greatest lines in the history of literature in his play Romeo and Juliet.

Rose Symbolism and Meaning

A rose’s symbolism varies by its and the number of flowers given at a time.

Red roses: Across the globe, red roses are given to express love. No other flower beats a bouquet of red roses to express, ‘I love you.’ A beautiful arrangement of red roses can level up any special occasion.

Pink roses: Want to play safe in a birthday party or a baby shower? Pink roses are a perfect pick for such occasions. You can also safely give these flowers to express gratitude.

Orange roses: If red is too bright for you but you still want to convey passion, orange roses are the perfect pick. Orange roses represent passion and enthusiasm and instill a feeling of excitement and intrigue.

Yellow roses: The universal color of friendship. They are the perfect choice to toast friends, lift spirits and send a general wish for well-being. The color of the sun, yellow, represents feelings of optimism.

White roses: Since white roses signify peace and innocence, it makes a perfect choice for bridal bouquets and subtle wedding décor. They’re also ideal for funerals as gifts of condolence and peace.

Rose - Uses

Besides expressing love, gratitude and happiness, roses are used in different ways. Their sweet fragrance makes them an excellent choice for perfume and beauty products. Roses also contain anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe irritation. The antioxidants present in these flowers help to hydrate your skin. Rose hips are the fruit of rose and contain high amounts of Vitamin C. They are used in the preparation of rose hip jellies, and flavored teas.

Growing Roses at Home

Growing roses for the first time? As a beginner, we recommend these easy-to-follow steps to start creating your rose garden like a pro.

  • Select a site that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. These beauties thrive under natural light.

  • Roses also need well-drained, fertile soil to flourish properly. The best season to see them bloom is early spring or fall, but potted plants preferably grow best in spring.

  • Whether you’re growing roses bare root in your backyard or in the pots, rose bushes need to get planted about 2 feet deep. Ensure you make a large hole to accommodate the roots and backfill it with soil and manure. It’s also important to water the plant thoroughly while planting.

  • With great beauty comes great responsibility. Hence, it’s important to care for rose bushes in terms of how much water, sunlight and manure you give them.

  • Rose bushes are very susceptible to fungus. It’s easy to find black spots and powdery mildew, especially when their foliage is kept too wet. Additionally, mulching the bushes helps retain moisture and may provide protection in extreme weather conditions.

  • Pruning is another aspect you need to consider when it comes to roses. Once the leaf buds appear, make sure to leave cuts of about 1/4 inch above the bud eyes. Prune out any twiggy or unhealthy branches.

Having a flourishing rose garden takes immense love, care and personal interest in gardening. We know it’s easier said than done! So we’re here to help you in any way we can from giving you planting tips to getting fresh blooms delivered right at your door-step!