Yellow and Red Roses Meaning & Symbolism

Yellow roses symbolize feelings of happiness and friendship. Meanwhile, red roses give off passion-filled emotions of love and romance.

Broadly speaking, roses are a traditional gift that bring joy to their receiver. Each colored rose has its respective meaning, whether it’s from cultural or historic contexts.

Stick around to learn more about yellow and red roses’ symbolism and meaning.

Yellow and Red Roses Meaning

What Do Red Roses Symbolize?

The historic background of red roses has shaped its modern symbolism of romance and love. Red roses evoke a sense of heavy emotions.

They allow you to express your love. Interestingly, the crimson-colored roses may not all have a similar meaning.

To clarify, different shades of the bloom could stand for different expressions. For instance, a burgundy rose may mean one-sided love, where the giver is unsure whether the receiver will have mutual feelings. Apart from that, the deeper the shade, the more profound the love is.

Not only do shades carry significance, but the number of red roses you choose to give is also critical. For example, a couple of flowers can signify shared feelings of love, whereas one would connote love at first sight.

Who Can You Gift Red Roses to?

Red roses are mostly exclusively given to your significant other. You may want to avoid giving this kind of flower to a family member or friend.

Otherwise, you may end up sending mixed signals. Instead, you can gift red roses to your spouse, lover, or someone you’re interested in. It’ll send the right message of adoration, desire, and affection.

In terms of occasion, you can gift the red flowers for an anniversary celebration, your significant other’s birthday, or it could be a ‘just because’ kind of gift as well. Nevertheless, the best time to gift red roses is none other than during Valentine’s Day.

Although the gift of red roses is typically reserved for romantic partners, other cultures have different perspectives. To demonstrate, in Spain, they have a special holiday named Saint George’s day.

On this day, you can give one red rose to your grandmother, lover, wife, daughter, or other female relatives.

Historic Meaning of Red Roses

Red roses carry multiple historic symbolisms and backgrounds.

Greek Mythology

The flower has dated back as old as Ancient Greek times. During this period, the vibrant-colored flowers were associated with the Goddess of Love, also known as, Aphrodite.

As the mythological tale went, Adonis, Aphrodite’s lover, was attacked by a boar. The blood from his wound and the Goddess’ tears mixed and as the liquid touched the ground it birthed a red rose bush.

Roman Mythology

Red roses were also tied to the Roman culture where the Goddess of Love, Venus, ran to caution her lover, Adonis, of a murder ploy against him. As she ran through thorned bushes, her blood traced red roses in her trail.

Victorian Symbolism

During the Victorian era, red roses were synonymous with romance. They were commonly sent as a lover’s message. The Shakespearean times also highlighted the meaning of love behind red roses due to the writer’s work.

Christian Symbolism

In the early period of Christianity, red roses symbolized the sacrificial blood of Christ. The red flower also stands for martyrdom and passion in biblical connotations.

What Do Yellow Roses Symbolize?

Despite carrying an unfavorable past meaning, the modern symbolism of yellow roses has evolved to a much more positive one.

The bright-petaled flower now represents feelings of joy, happiness, and friendship.

Yellow roses also symbolize positivity and overall optimism, which makes them perfect for your indoor flower arrangement. They’ll also sit nicely in your garden.

Besides that, the yellow flower also carries spiritual meaning. In the Christian faith, the bloom stands for wisdom and joy. Generally speaking, roses in the sect symbolize God’s love for humankind and vice versa.

Who Can You Gift Yellow Roses to?

Yellow roses should be reserved for those whom you share a platonic relationship with.

You wouldn’t want to give them to someone you’re romantically interested in. Instead, you can gift them to a close friend or family member.

These flowers could be given for several celebrations such as birthdays, graduation celebrations, and baby showers. Aside from that, yellow roses can also be given when you want to brighten a friend’s day, especially if they’re not feeling so good.

The vibrant-colored flowers will showcase the care and trust you hold for their receiver. It’ll also indicate a long-lasting friendship. You may also gift yellow roses as a thank you message.

Additionally, yellow roses can be used to commemorate someone who has passed away, which makes them ideal for funerals. In contrast, these roses make a wonderful gift to celebrate your friend’s wedding. It’ll deliver a message of well wishes and prosperity.

Historic Meaning of Yellow Roses

In the past, yellow commonly represented the color of jealousy.

This has given yellow roses a bad rep. People gave yellow roses as an expression of resentment and envy toward their receiver.
This was especially true in early Japanese and Korean cultures. It was also negatively associated with feelings of mistrust and adultery.

Apart from that, the flowers were originally grown in the Middle East and were cultivated for both medicinal and decorative purposes.

For instance, they were sometimes used as confetti. After the 18th century, the yellow rose gained prominence beyond the Middle East and grew in popularity.


What do yellow and red roses symbolize? In short, yellow roses mainly symbolize happiness and friendship. On the other hand, red roses hold a much deeper meaning of love and romance. For this reason, you don’t want to confuse both when it comes to gift-giving.

If you have romantic feelings for a certain someone, red roses are the way to go. Meanwhile, yellow roses are used to solidify a friendship and raise the receiver’s spirits, especially on a rough day.

Either way, roses are a traditional gift that span numerous years of meaning and symbolism. They’re a practical gift that can brighten your loved one’s day.