Before you send that bouquet, you should know what message your flower color choice is sending to its recipient. From love to sympathy to congratulations, flowers and their colors can symbolize many emotions. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the meanings and traditions associated with flowers have evolved over time. Understanding this “language of flowers,” also known as floriography, and sending the right message with them gained popularity in the 1800s, when not just the color, but even the choice of which hand gave the flowers conveyed a silent dialogue (left meant “yes,” right meant “no”).
Your local florist can be a great resource to help you send the right message with your bouquet, but if you’re more the DIY type, or need help decoding the meaning the next time someone sends you flowers, here’s what different flower colors mean.
An obvious sign of love, femininity, and beauty, pink also symbolizes happiness, grace, joy, and gentleness. Gift as a gesture of affection, romance, or a show of appreciation.
The royal color, purple relays success, admiration, tradition, pride, dignity, and accomplishment. Give to a recent graduate or to congratulate a job promotion.
The delicate sister to purple, lavender portrays grace, elegance, preciousness, youth, and refinement. Lavender flowers are perfect for someone that is in need of downtime and relaxation.
A serene flower, blue symbolizes serenity, peace, and openness. Ease someone who is worrisome, diffuse anxiety, or give to someone who hopes to find peace and clarity.
An obvious color, red screams passion and desire. Lesser known, red can portray respect. Give as a declaration of love, desire, or as an act of courage.
Yellow is the color of friendship, happiness, joy, pride, and success. Gift to friends in celebration and appreciation, to cheer up someone’s day, or to celebrate a new beginning.
A vibrant color, orange symbolizes energy, excitement, warmth, and is full of life. Bring to a housewarming party, to manifest good energy, and to show enthusiasm.
As a symbol of rebirth and renewal, green brings a message of good health. Give to someone who is recovering or needs a boost of good fortune.
The angelic color, white shows purity, innocence, sympathy, spirituality, or honesty. Send a bouquet of white flowers as a gesture of respect, to apologize, or to show your sympathies.
Feature photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash.
Macaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.