> The Meaning, Symbolism and History of Red Roses

Red Roses

The Meaning, Symbolism and History of Red Roses

Red roses have captured the minds and hearts of lovers across the globe for generations. Giving a single stem or bunch of red roses on your anniversary, first date, Valentine’s Day or just because is the perfect way to say, “I love you” when words are not enough.

Our appreciation for the beauty and perfection of the red rose is well-documented throughout history, in art, literature, mythology and on our screens. From classical love stories like Romeo and Juliet to today’s hit TV show, The Bachelor, the red rose is an undisputed and universal symbol of love.

In this article, we’ll look at the history and meaning of red roses to discover where the connection between romance and love originated and what it means today.

A Brief History of Red Roses Through the Ages

The red rose has been associated with love and passion for thousands of years. In Greek and Roman mythology, roses are often linked to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. In 1794 the Scottish poet, Robert Burns compared his love to the flower in his beautiful poem A Red, Red Rose. In Europe during the Victorian Era, public shows of affection were frowned upon, and red roses were commonly used to send messages of love. And in Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts loved them so much her gardeners frantically painted the roses red, for fear she would cut off their heads if it was discovered they planted white roses by mistake!

What it Means to Give or Receive a Red Rose

To this day, giving a red rose remains the perfect way to express romantic love. While it’s largely impossible to find consistency in the symbolism of flowers as the meaning changes over time, the red rose is one of the few examples with an enduring and universal meaning – love.

The Deeper Meaning of Red Roses and Love

If you care to look deeper, there is a whole other level of meaning attached to the giving of roses to a loved one. The shade of red is significant, with deep red roses thought to convey deep emotions, a bright red rose represents romance and burgundy is often used to send a message where your love is (as yet) unrequited. The giving of a red rosebud is also significant, symbolising young love, innocence, purity and unpretentious beauty.

Guide to Giving Red Roses by Number


The number of roses you give or receive has a special meaning too. From a single bloom, right up to a large bouquet, here’s a summary of what red roses mean by number:

One rose: A single rose represents love at first sight, or if it’s coming from a long-term partner, they are saying “you are still the one”.

Two roses: A pair of red roses signifies mutual love and affection.

Three roses: A gift of three red roses is a traditional one-month anniversary gift.

Six roses: The giver of six roses is telling you they are infatuated and want to be yours.

Ten roses: Choose a bouquet of ten red roses if you want to tell someone their love is perfection.

Eleven roses: A gift of eleven red roses says, “you are my treasured one” and signifies true and deep love.

Twelve roses: A bunch of a dozen roses is a classic gift for someone you are very fond of and simply says “be mine”.

Fifteen roses: If you need to say you sorry and words won’t cut it, give a gift of fifteen roses.

Twenty-four roses: Two dozen roses say very clearly “I’m yours”.

Thirty-six roses: Three dozen red roses sends the message that you’re head over heels in love.

Fifty roses: If you’re looking for the ultimate elaborate romantic gift, a stunning bouquet of fifty roses expresses a love that has no bounds. Think Valentine’s Day flowers!

For those who are looking to take it up a notch and really impress someone, pairing your roses with a complementary gift such as a hamper full of their favourite goodies, delicious chocolates, or a bottle of fine champagne will elevate your gift to a whole new level.

Meaning of Red Roses at a Funeral

While red roses are synonymous with celebrating the joy and passion of love, they are also a special gift during times of grieving. Red roses are a beautiful way to convey your respect and love for someone who has passed and can also represent courage and gratitude.

Is There A Better Gift to Give Someone You Love Than Red Roses?

It’s been proven over time just how special and meaningful the giving of red roses can be. If you want to show someone you that you care for them, whether it’s a new and blossoming attraction or a deep and eternal love, there’s no better way to say it simply than with a carefully selected single or bouquet of beautiful red roses.

Would you like expert advice on giving the perfect red rose bouquet to that special someone? Get in touch with our friendly customer service team today!

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