Welcome to the ultimate guide on “Rose Colour Meanings,” specially tailored for our South African audience. Roses are often considered the Queen of Flowers, adored for their beauty, fragrance, and the myriad emotions they can convey. But did you know that each rose colour tells its own unique story?

From the romantic allure of deep red roses to the serene vibes of the white ones, each shade has a language of its own. And let’s not forget the exotic appeal of colours like peach, cream, or cherry brandy.

In this guide, we’ll dig deep into the individual meanings behind each rose colour. You’ll learn when to give which roses, what each colour symbolically represents, and even the kind of scent you can expect. By the end of it, you’ll become fluent in the beautiful, unspoken language of roses.

So whether you’re celebrating a love story in Cape Town, extending a business thank-you in Johannesburg, or remembering a loved one in Durban, the roses you choose matter.

Red Roses

Red Roses in Carafe Vase

Red Roses in Carafe Vase


Red Roses are universally known as the epitome of love, passion, and deep respect. They are a classic choice, standing the test of time and traditions across various cultures.

Attribute Description
Meaning Love, Passion, Respect
Best For Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Proposals
Scent Classic, Intensely Romantic
Cultural Significance in South Africa Often used in traditional Zulu weddings, also popular during Valentine’s Day across all cultures

When to Give

The most opportune moments for gifting red roses include anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and proposals. They are also an excellent choice for any romantic gesture, be it a simple “I love you” or a marriage proposal.


Red roses typically have a classic and intensely romantic fragrance. They capture the essence of love and intimacy, making them perfect for those memorable moments.

Pairing Ideas for Red Roses

When gifting red roses, you can pair them with chocolates for a classic romantic gesture, or perhaps add a bottle of fine South African wine to elevate the occasion.

Cherry Brandy Roses

Cherry Brandy Roses in Rustic Box

Cherry Brandy Roses in Rustic Box


Cherry Brandy Roses are an exotic choice that communicates intrigue, desire, and a hint of sophistication. Their unique hue—a blend of coral, orange, and pink—makes them stand out in any bouquet.

Attribute Description
Meaning Intrigue, Desire, Sophistication
Best For Romantic Dates, Anniversaries
Scent Subtle, Fruity Aroma
Cultural Significance in South Africa Growing in popularity, often used in modern wedding arrangements

When to Give

These are particularly great for romantic dates and anniversaries. They are also an excellent choice for special celebrations where you want to leave a lasting impression.


Cherry Brandy Roses have a subtle, fruity aroma, offering a more contemporary olfactory experience compared to the classic red rose.

Pairing Ideas for Cherry Brandy Roses

For Cherry Brandy Roses, consider pairing them with gourmet cheese or perhaps some artisanal biscuits to enhance their exotic allure. A scented candle with complementary notes can also make the gift more special.

Mixed Roses

Mixed Roses in Pink Box

Mixed Roses in Pink Box


Mixed Roses offer a kaleidoscope of emotions, with each color contributing to a beautiful, complex narrative. When bundled together, they symbolize unity in diversity and are ideal for conveying multiple feelings at once.

Attribute Description
Meaning Varies by Color Combination
Best For Birthdays, Congratulations, Sympathy
Scent Diverse Floral Notes
Cultural Significance in South Africa Popular during public holidays, also used to represent unity and diversity

When to Give

Mixed Roses are the all-rounders of the rose world. They are suitable for a broad range of occasions—birthdays, congratulations, or even expressions of sympathy.


Each rose in a mixed bouquet may have its unique fragrance, contributing to a blend of scents that offer a symphony of floral notes.

Pairing Ideas for Mixed Roses

A bouquet of mixed roses pairs well with a selection of mixed fruits or a variety of gourmet snacks, making the gift more versatile and appealing to diverse tastes.

Orange Roses

Orange Roses in Moss Basket

Orange Roses in Moss Basket


Orange Roses signify enthusiasm, energy, and desire. They can also express admiration and are a symbol of pride and fascination.

Attribute Description
Meaning Enthusiasm, Energy, Desire
Best For Celebrations, Milestones, Parties
Scent Citrusy, Uplifting Aroma
Cultural Significance in South Africa Frequently used in festivities and traditional dances

When to Give

Orange roses are best given during lively celebrations, milestones, and parties. They’re perfect for moments that call for a burst of energy and vivaciousness.


These roses usually have a citrusy, uplifting aroma that complements their vibrant color.

Pairing Ideas for Orange Roses

Given their lively nature, orange roses pair well with similarly vibrant gifts. Consider adding some festive balloons, or perhaps a box of tangy, citrus-flavored sweets.

Peach Roses

roses Peach Roses In Aqua Wrapping

Peach Roses In Aqua Wrapping


Peach Roses communicate modesty, sincerity, and gratitude. Their gentle hue makes them perfect for expressing thanks and admiration without the intensity of a red or pink rose.

Attribute Description
Meaning Modesty, Sincerity, Gratitude
Best For Thank-You Occasions, Apologies, Bridal Events
Scent Light, Sweet Aroma
Cultural Significance in South Africa Often used in ‘Thank You’ bouquets and during Women’s Day celebrations

When to Give

Peach Roses are perfect for ‘Thank You’ occasions, apologies, and bridal events. Their soft color exudes warmth and approachability, making them suitable for more subdued celebrations or heartfelt moments.


Peach Roses generally have a light, sweet fragrance, contributing to their delicate appeal.

Pairing Ideas for Peach Roses

Peach Roses pair wonderfully with other soft-hued gifts like pastel-colored candles or lightly-scented body lotions. They also go well with a box of assorted teas, offering a soothing experience.

Cream Roses

roses Cream Roses in Wicker Basket

Cream Roses in Wicker Basket


Cream Roses stand for thoughtfulness, charm, and graciousness. They often serve as an understated show of affection or friendship and are perfect for occasions where something less intense than a red rose is more appropriate.

Attribute Description
Meaning Thoughtfulness, Charm, Graciousness
Best For Friendships, New Beginnings, Corporate Events
Scent Mild, Refreshing
Cultural Significance in South Africa Commonly used in corporate events and formal ceremonies

When to Give

Cream Roses are versatile, fitting well in both personal and professional settings. They are ideal for friendships, new beginnings, and even corporate events where a touch of elegance is required.


These roses have a mild, refreshing scent, adding to their universal appeal.

Pairing Ideas for Cream Roses

Cream Roses are versatile when it comes to pairing. They can be accompanied by a sophisticated bottle of champagne for formal events or a thoughtful, personalized journal for a friend.

White Roses

White Roses in a Black Twisty Vase

White Roses in a Black Twisty Vase


White Roses are synonymous with purity, innocence, and new beginnings. They are often used in weddings as well as memorial services to symbolize love that goes beyond the physical realm. See our full post on white rose symbolism.

Attribute Description
Meaning Purity, Innocence, New Beginnings
Best For Weddings, Memorial Services, Baptisms
Scent Light, Ethereal
Cultural Significance in South Africa Widely used in traditional African and Western weddings

When to Give

White Roses are ideal for weddings, baptisms, and memorial services. They are the go-to choice for occasions that mark significant life transitions.


The scent of a white rose is often described as light and ethereal, fitting its symbolism of purity and new beginnings.

Pairing Ideas for White Roses

White Roses pair beautifully with elegant, classic gifts such as pearl jewelry or silver photo frames. For a more spiritual touch, consider adding a meaningful book of poetry or religious texts.

Purple Roses

Light Purple Roses in Black Box

Light Purple Roses in Black Box


Purple Roses symbolize enchantment, mystery, and a sense of the magical. They are perfect for moments when you want to express admiration with a touch of intrigue.

Attribute Description
Meaning Enchantment, Mystery, Magic
Best For Romantic Gestures, Creative Milestones
Scent Floral, Often Spicy
Cultural Significance in South Africa Popular in bohemian and creative communities

When to Give

Purple Roses are an excellent choice for romantic gestures that are tinged with a sense of mystery and excitement. They are also suitable for celebrating creative milestones or achievements.


The scent of purple roses tends to be floral and can sometimes have spicy notes, adding to their sense of mystique.

Pairing Ideas for Purple Roses

Given their mystical aura, purple roses pair wonderfully with other enchanting items. Consider a selection of exotic spices, a set of aromatic oils, or even a small, stylish dreamcatcher.

Pink Roses

Basket of Pink Roses

Basket of Pink Roses


Pink Roses symbolize gratitude, grace, and joy. Their softer shade makes them a versatile choice for expressing a range of positive emotions without the romantic connotations of red roses.

Attribute Description
Meaning Gratitude, Grace, Joy
Best For Friendships, Thank Yous, Congratulatory Events
Scent Light, Floral Aroma
Cultural Significance in South Africa Commonly gifted during birthdays and graduations

What occasion is the pink rose for?

Pink Roses are an excellent choice for friendships, thank-you occasions such as Mother’s day, and congratulatory events like graduations or promotions.


Pink Roses usually offer a light, floral aroma, complementing their gentle appearance and the soft emotions they represent.

Pairing Ideas for Pink Roses

Pink roses are versatile and can be paired with a variety of gifts. Think of a delicious fruit basket for a health-conscious friend or a soft, plush toy for someone younger.

Variegated Roses

roses Variegated Roses in Tissue Paper

Variegated Roses in Tissue Paper


Variegated Roses, with their mix of two colors, symbolize unity and togetherness. These unique roses can convey complex emotions or symbolize a relationship that is multifaceted.

Attribute Description
Meaning Unity, Togetherness, Complexity
Best For Anniversaries, Friendship Day, Family Gatherings
Scent Varies by Type
Cultural Significance in South Africa Often used to celebrate national unity and diversity

When to Give

Variegated Roses are perfect for anniversaries, Friendship Day celebrations, and family gatherings. They are especially meaningful for occasions that celebrate unity and diversity.


The scent of Variegated Roses can vary depending on the types of roses combined, offering a unique olfactory experience.

Pairing Ideas for Variegated Roses

Variegated Roses pair well with gifts that are as unique and diverse as they are. Consider a mixed box of gourmet chocolates or a custom-made piece of art that resonates with the complex meanings these roses convey

Cerise Roses

Delightful Cerise Roses

Delightful Cerise Roses


Cerise Roses capture the essence of deep affection and gratitude, often seen as a middle ground between the friendship symbolized by pink roses and the passionate love represented by red roses.

Attribute Description
Meaning Deep Affection, Gratitude
Best For Deep Friendships, Romantic Anniversaries
Scent Sweet, Often Citrusy
Cultural Significance in South Africa Popular during Valentine’s Day and anniversaries

When to Give

Cerise Roses are excellent for expressing deep affection and gratitude, making them ideal for long-standing friendships and romantic anniversaries.


The scent of Cerise Roses is usually sweet and may have citrusy notes, which add an extra layer of sensory delight.

Pairing Ideas for Cerise Roses

A bouquet of Cerise Roses pairs well with luxurious items like high-end chocolates or a bottle of fine wine, amplifying the deep sentiments they symbolize.

Yellow Roses

birthday Yellow Roses Bouquet

Yellow Roses Bouquet


Yellow Roses are universally known to symbolize friendship and joy. They are bright, cheerful, and uplifting—ideal for brightening someone’s day.

Attribute Description
Meaning Friendship, Joy
Best For Friendships, Cheer-Up Gifts, Celebrations
Scent Fresh, Often with Green Notes
Cultural Significance in South Africa Popular in friendly gatherings and community events

When to Give

Yellow Roses are the go-to choice for friendships, cheer-up gifts, and general celebrations that require a burst of joy and light.


Yellow Roses usually have a fresh scent, often accompanied by green notes that make them particularly invigorating.

Pairing Ideas for Yellow Roses

Given their cheerful nature, Yellow Roses go well with similarly uplifting gifts. Think of including a humorous book, a set of cheerful mugs, or even a day-out voucher for a fun activity.


Understanding the nuances of rose colors can elevate your gift-giving to an art form. Whether it’s the deep affection conveyed by Cerise Roses or the joyous bonds symbolized by Yellow Roses, each hue has its own unique message and occasion it’s best suited for. In the rich tapestry of South African culture, roses find varied and significant roles, making them not just a gift but a profound gesture.

Choosing the perfect rose for an occasion is not just about the aesthetic appeal but about tuning into emotions, traditions, and even the unique scent that each type of rose offers. By understanding the various dimensions of each rose color, you’re not merely sending a bouquet; you’re sending a heartfelt message in a language that transcends words.

So the next time you find yourself browsing through our extensive collection of roses, remember that each color tells a story, carries an emotion, and represents a piece of culture.

Happy gifting!


What do the different colors of roses symbolize?

Different rose colors symbolize various emotional expressions and messages. For example, red roses are a universal symbol of love, while white roses signify purity and innocence. In South Africa, rose varieties are chosen based on both their aesthetic appeal and symbolic meanings, making them highly popular in floral arrangements for special occasions.

How important is the rose’s scent in choosing a bouquet?

The scent of a rose can add an additional layer of meaning and personal touch to your bouquet. Scented roses can evoke specific memories or feelings, making them an integral part of the gifting experience. In South Africa, aromatic roses are often preferred for romantic gestures and celebratory flowers.

Can I mix rose colors in a bouquet?

Absolutely, mixing rose colors in a bouquet allows you to convey complex emotions or sentiments. For instance, combining red and white roses can symbolize unity and deep affection, making it a popular choice for wedding flowers or anniversary gifts.

What are some South African traditions involving roses?

Roses hold a special place in various South African traditions, ranging from weddings to community events. They are often used as friendship tokens and form a part of elaborate floral arrangements for celebrations.

What do variegated roses mean?

Variegated roses, with their mix of two colors, signify unity and complexity. These unique roses are often used to symbolize a multifaceted relationship or sentiment, making them an excellent choice for floral arrangements that aim to tell a more complex story.

How do I choose roses for a wedding?

In South Africa, wedding flowers often include roses due to their rich symbolism and beauty. The choice of rose color can depend on the theme of the wedding and the emotions you wish to convey. White roses are often used to symbolize purity, while pink roses can express gratitude and joy.

Can roses be a good anniversary gift?

Yes, roses are an excellent anniversary gift, especially when chosen based on their symbolism. For instance, cerise roses can signify deep affection and gratitude, making them an ideal choice for commemorating years of love and partnership.

How should I pair gifts with roses?

Pairing gifts with roses enhances the overall gifting experience. Consider the meaning and sentiment you wish to convey with the roses, then choose a complementary gift. For example, yellow roses paired with a cheerful mug set can make for a delightful friendship token.

Are roses a good option for corporate events?

Roses can also be used in corporate settings, particularly to celebrate milestones or honor achievements. In such cases, colors like yellow or white are often chosen for their neutral yet positive symbolism. In South Africa, floral arrangements featuring roses are commonly seen in corporate events and functions.

What should I consider when buying roses online?

When buying roses online, especially in South Africa, look for options that offer a wide variety of rose colors and arrangements. Also, consider the reliability of delivery services, especially for time-sensitive events like weddings or anniversaries.

Craig Sandeman

Craig Sandeman is South Africa’s go-to guru for all things gift-giving, blending psychology and cultural insights to curate perfect presents. A Cape Town native with a global perspective, he’s renowned for his blog, workshops, and media features that delve into the art and science of thoughtful gifting. If you’re ever stumped on finding the ideal gift, Craig’s expert advice is your ticket to gifting success.