Rose Colours And Their Meanings

Rose Colours & Their Meanings:


Roses are by far the most popular flowers used throughout the world and have been culturally symbolic since ancient times. The rose was used by the Romans, for example, as a symbol for love, secrecy, and beauty. The ceilings of Roman dining-rooms were adorned with roses, reminding guests that ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’ and not to repeat what what was said or heard around the dinner table.  In Latin, the words sub rosa mean “under the rose” and to this day is a phrase attributed to “confidentiality.”

The general meaning of a rose is love, hence it being the most popular flower sent on Valentine’s Day, but each colour has bean attributed to it’s own specific meaning so that one can send a silent message with the colour or selection of colours chosen for their beloved. Usually these specific meanings are overlooked in modern day society but it was of great importance in days gone by and as culture has been increasingly influenced by vintage trends, from fashion and decor, to wedding themes and styles, so the importance of the colour of roses and their meanings is returning.

We also see a move towards the more romantic, scented garden roses for future Valentine’s Days and are excited about where this special day is headed, with love birds looking at new ways of showing how they feel with flowers. And with the South African market opening up to gorgeous imported, scented roses on a much wider scale, the romance factor is set to sky-rocket.

For those hopeless romantics, here is a list of our most commonly used rose colours and their meanings.

Rose Colours & Their Meanings | The Rose Cafe | Rose Colour Chart |


Red Rose:

I love You | True Love


Bright Pink Rose:

Appreciation & Gratitude


Pale Pink Rose:

Admiration| Gentleness | Gracefulness | Elegance


White Rose:

Pure Love | New Beginnings


Orange Rose:

Passion | Energy | Excitement | Enthusiasm | Captivation


Lilac Rose:

Enchantment | Love at First Sight



Friendship | Happiness | Joy


Red and White Roses Together:



Peach Rose:

Appreciation & Gratitude | Sincerity


So for those of you who love the classic simplicity of roses, and are now in-the-know as to what says what, you have already become a romantic and a poet, and what appeals more to someone in love than that?!


5 Tips To Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh

5 Tips To Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh:


One: No foliage or leaves submerged in the water

Be sure to strip off any leaves from your stems that will fall below the water level in your vase. Foliage in the water will create bacteria, and decrease the vase life of your flowers.


Two: Cut stems

Stems that have been out of water for even a short time get blocked by little air bubbles, which inhibit optimal water absorption. Make sure to cut your stems directly before placing them in your vase of water. Cut them at a 45° angle for an increased area of absorption.


Three: Clean water

Water needs to be changed every two to three days depending on how fast your flowers are drinking, and the type of flowers. Certain flowers make the water turn murky sooner. Always make sure the water is clear and that your vase is filled high enough to cover the base of all the stems.


Four: Flower food

Flowers grown in mass production for retail need a little bit of extra help, and flower food is specifically designed to assit these blooms, by helping create the right environment for your flowers to flourish.

Have a look here for our DIY Flower Food Recipe.


Five: Environment

Place your vase in a spot where it will not receive any direct sunshine; is not in a draught; and is in a cool room.


For more flower care tips, have a look at our post on Cut Rose Care.


Our Favourite Summer Blooms

Our Favourite Summer Blooms.

The warm weather has arrived, and with it comes the bounty that Summer brings… Seasonal blooms that are full of colour and vibrance. We have put together a few of them for you to feast your eyes on!

The Rose Cafe_Summer Blooms Blog Collage


These delicate tapering beauties come in pink, purple and white.  Sitting nestled in amongst other blooms, their dainty tips add gorgeous softness to arrangements.


A love of ours because of their voluptuous petal count, gradients of tone and array of colours, from antique hues to vibrant cerise.


We’re wild about Scabiosa, their simple rows of soft frilly petals, and way they seem to float on their tall stems. They look amazing when allowed to stand out beyond the other blooms they are coupled with, almost like a floral halo, and have a scent close to that of honey… sweet.

Cluster Roses:

We love the uneven appearance of cluster roses, their buds sitting at different heights on the stem and how they make any arrangement look more romantic due to their softness and layers of petals.


The many tiny flowers that make up a hydrangea bloom have a way of drawing you in, especially when they are in a masterpiece of antiques, ice-cream pinks and pastel lilacs. The colours that these incredible flowers are available in is quite astounding. We love the gentle structure they attribute to arrangements and how versatile they are, from use as a stand alone bloom; to providing a complete arrangement on their own; to adding voluminous softness when grouped with other flowers.

Viburnum Balls:

Who wouldn’t just love baby hydrangeas – that’s essentially what these are! Tiny petal balls to add a dash of romance to any arrangement. From a very pale mint to a more lime appearance, their fresh green colour brings a pop of softness and colour.


Image Credits (From top left to right): Veronicas (From Traditional Home) / Dahlias / Scabiosa / Cluster Roses / Hydrangea / Viburnum Balls

Our Top 10 Types of Foliage

Our Top Ten Types of Foliage


We love varying types of foliage! The diverse and lovely varieties of greenery available makes adding texture, definition, and interest to a bouquet or arrangement a joy!

Here are some of our favourites:

1. Penny Gum

Available in a larger leaf and smaller ‘immature’ leaf which is more dainty for smaller posies and arrangements, it is sturdy, long lasting, and we love the soft grey colour. It works beautifully with the copious amounts of pastel flowers we send out.

The Rose Cafe_BLOG_Types of Foliage_001

2. Silver Brunia

We love the texture of brunia, and although it is available in different sized balls and colours or as a spray, our fave is the silver. Very popular with brides, and despite the strong structure of it, is well used in bridal bouquets and buttonholes.

3. Viburnum

This can be garden grown which saves a lot on greening your arrangements. It has a long vase life, and its dark green adds depth to arrangements.

4. Ruscus

A lovely glossy green leaf, amazing vase life, and can be cut into many shorter pieces for smaller arrangements.

5. Aralia and Aspidistra Leaves

These are perfect for lining vases or framing arrangements. Its shiny appearance creates a chic overall effect.

The Rose Cafe_BLOG_Types of Foliage_002

6. Lily Leaf

These work really well for folding and creating loops for a more contemporary effect.

7. Vines

Any trailing greenery such as jasmine, ivy, or asparagus fern creates an organic feel in arrangements – as if they are still growing, and intertwining the flowers. Their more dainty appearance adds softness.

8. Ivanhoe

We love its laurel leaf appearance which is more gentle on the eye than other more solid leaves. The soft grey underside tones down the appearance of the greenery.

9. Slangbos

Fine and dainty sage-green/grey foliage which adds lovely gentle texture. It dries amazingly well, and can be used for wreaths at Christmas-time.

10. Red Robin

This leaf has a great dark greeny-red colour and an elliptical shape. We love using it with pinks, lilacs, purples and creams to add depth to the softer, lighter colours.

What is your favourite?

The How to Guide for Fresh Cut Roses

Your Step by Step Cut Rose Care Guide:


Having just bought or received some gorgeous rose blooms, you now want to make sure that you get to enjoy them for as long as possible! We are here to help you make sure your roses get to bloom for their optimal life span, by showing you our cut rose care guide process.


First Things First!


Preparing Your Vase:

– Have your vase ready and waiting. Fill it up to ¾ full with clean cool water.

  • Hint: Make sure it’s squeaky clean, so that no bacteria is introduced to your fresh roses.


– Add flower food to the water.

  • Hint: You can make your own flower food, see recipe* further down.
  • Hint: Only add the flower food after you have poured the water into the vase – otherwise it creates soapy bubbles in the water.


Next Up:


Preparing Your Roses:


Lay them out:

Find some counter space to work on, and lay out your roses on the counter. We find the most comfortable position to work in is to have the roses perpendicular to us – the buds on the left, with the stems to the right.


Before you begin, you should know…

– All foliage that will fall below the water line will need to be stripped off. Having any leaves in the water will accelerate bacteria formation, and shorten the flowers life span.

– Using metal strippers can be harmful to the rose. They often tear off parts of the waxy exterior of the surface, causing wounds where bacteria can enter.

– Don’t be tempted to snap off the big thorns with your nails – bacteria susceptible wounds will be created on the stems, as well as allowing air bubbles to form at those parts of the stem.

– If there are any thick growths coming off the stem, like a new bud shoot, these can be gently nipped off with secateurs (secateurs are a type of plant scissors or pruning shears) just above the point where it joins the stem – don’t pull them off!


Strip them:

– Once you know the height of the vase, measure the rose against it, and work out where on the stem the vase will stop, and use this as a guide for how high to strip off the foliage. As a general rule, anything that will be below the top of the vase should be cleaned of foliage.

– Doing one rose at a time, hold it gently three quarters of the way up the stem in your left hand, between your thumb and index finger.

– Use either rubber flower strippers, or an old cloth, and run it down the sides of the stem. Do this gently, not bending or bruising the stem where you are holding it with your left hand. You may need to do it once or twice depending on how thorny or leafy the stems are. This will take off just the tips of the thorns, removing the harmful sharp edges, while not removing the whole thorn. Remember we don’t want to create wounds on the stem.

– Roses sometimes get brown outer petals that form from water or condensation exposure. Remove these gently, pulling off the petal from the base, to stop it from spreading.


Cut them:

– Once you have them all cleaned and ready to go, you can start cutting them and placing them in their final destination.

– Rose stems should be cut with sharp secateurs at a 45° angle to increase water absorption. Do this directly before placing the stem in water. Air bubbles will form in the stem if it is left out of water for any length of time, and this will inhibit water absorption.

– Never cut the stem on or directly below a nodule (a little bump in the stem, where a new shoot would have formed). The rose will battle to draw water up through this complex part of the stem if it is cut on it.


And Lastly:


Help them Last:

– Change the water and flower food every two to three days. Do so more frequently if the water becomes murky.

– Roses can be revived if their heads droop by re-cutting the stems at an angle and placing them in 2-3cm of hot water for a maximum of two minutes. Then remove them and place in deep fresh water. If the stems are very long, cutting them short before following this process can also prolong their life.

– Your roses should never be placed in direct sunlight, in a draught, or near a heat source. A cool location is ideal.


The Magic Recipe*:


*DIY Flower Food:

For approximately 1 Litre of water, add the following, and stir to mix and dissolve:

– 1 tsp. Household Bleach

– 1 tsp. White Wine Vinegar

– 1 tsp. sugar


Why do we add flower food?

Flower food helps create the right environment for the roses to flourish.

– The bleach helps keep harmful bacteria from forming.

– The vinegar allows for the ph. balance to be aligned with the roses needs.

– The sugar helps the rose to bloom and open.


Roses are finicky things, but we just love them! We hope this helps you keep your roses lasting as long as possible, and looking wonderful!