Valentine’s Day Colors, Flowers and Their Meanings

Valentine’s Day is immediately upon us – and if you haven’t noticed every retail store in America turning a distinctive shade of pinkish red since mid-January, you still have a few days to come out of hiding and buy a gift or two for your special someone.

Companies know that our brains are conditioned to make us feel a certain way when we view certain colors. Deep red stirs up passion, obsession, intrigue, and devotion – this is why the hottest muscle cars are red, and why the most elegant evening gowns are red. Also, bright yellows, especially in the dead of winter, remind us of the sun, trigger a release of endorphins, and cheer us up, which is why we love to see daffodils poking through the snow come spring. The feelings that colors evoke are very real, and symbolism does matter.

The study of how flowers and their colors help us communicate feelings is called floriography, or the language of flowers. Ever since flowers have been given as gifts, there has been speculation (even suspicion!) about what certain flower colors mean and the intention behind them. Below is a list of the traditional meanings for each flower color, popular flowers that often come in these colors and suggested occasions for each one.


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Red – Passion, devotion, heat, energy – roses, tulips, carnations.  Universally communicates romantic love.

Orange – Warmth, enthusiasm, confidence – tulips, tiger lilies, roses. Give these to wish someone good luck before an interview or major performance.

Yellow – Friendship, friendliness, good cheer, joy – daffodils, tulips, roses. The best choice for “just because,” the anniversary of a friendship, or when a friend is down.

Green – Health, resilience, renewal – ivy, ferns, button poms, lily grass. An ideal “get well” gift.

Blue – Calmness, openness, peace – hydrangeas and stock. Send to someone in a stressful situation or recovering from trauma.

Pink – “Like” instead of love, playfulness, innocence – roses, tulips, and carnations. For your newest crush! Also great for kids.

White – Peace, serenity, purity – lilies, tulips, roses, and chrysanthemums. Most often used for funerals and sympathetic gestures.

Purple – Royalty, pride, success – roses, lavender, tulips. Very common for graduations, retirements, and major celebrations.

Lavender – Femininity, grace, elegance – roses, carnations, lavender, stock. Perfect for Mother’s day or a wife’s birthday.


See our new and improved Flowers by Color page for the next time you’d like to use flowers to send a heartfelt message to someone special.

Happy Valentine’s Day! What’s your favorite color?

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