Flowers with Meaning: What Does Your Bouquet Mean?

Flowers with Meaning: What Does Your Bouquet Mean?

As a once-upon-a-time Flower Shop Manager, I made bouquets for customers to describe their feelings toward the recipient. Although I have plenty of fun stories, one of the hardest parts of the job was trying to find the right flowers. Little do people know, each flower has a meaning to it, and it can get a little complicated at times. Here’s why:

A flower’s meaning can change based on color, breed, and number of them in an arrangement.

Now, all flowers are beautiful. No matter the smell, color, shape or size all flowers are unique and beautiful in their own way. Putting together the perfect arrangement to convey the right meaning isn’t a walk in the park — especially when the guy or gal has no idea how to put together the right floral arrangement. So, if you have a significant other or friend in mind who loves flowers – take out a pen and pencil. These are your notes to describe your feelings in the language of floral design.

Color: What does it mean?

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Color is one of the first things to look for when picking out the right bouquet. The color ‘sets the mood’ for the message you are trying to describe. Choose the wrong color, and it can throw off the whole meaning. For example, although roses usually mean “beauty,” a red rose means “love” while a yellow rose means “friendship.”

Red: desire, love, passion, respect, courage, and romance

Orange: passion, wealth, pride, and fascination

Yellow: friendship, joy, happiness, caring, and get well

Green: vitality, harmony and wealth

Blue: unattainable love, peace, and mystery

Pink: elegance, gracefulness, appreciation, and admiration

Violet (lavender): enchantment, love at first sight, and charm, 

Black: Farewell, sadness, and mortality

White: purity, innocence, and loyalty. 

Red and White: unity in love, and peace

Red and Yellow: happiness and bonding


What about mixing colors? When you mix colors, you can change the meaning again. So, for example, let’s take the red and yellow rose descriptions from above. Although red means “love” and yellow means “friendship” mixing them can explain ‘love for the person and the appreciation for the beautiful, close bond they have.’ It changes the whole meaning of the bouquet and creates a more specific message toward your partner.

My partner only likes white, but the meaning of white sucks 🙁 What do I do? If your partner loves one specific color, have no fear! This is where the meaning of the flower comes into play. Colors and the flower’s meanings work hand-in-hand. To get the full message, you have to understand both. So don’t worry, you’ll find the right flowers.

And also keep in mind: if your partner likes a specific color, get them that color no matter what. They will always appreciate you remembering their favorite color, and giving them a beautiful arrangement.

The Flower Meanings

Image Credit: Lukas from Pexels

Now that we have the color meanings down, it’s time to move on to the meanings of the flowers. As I described above, the meaning of the flower works hand-in-hand with the color’s message. So despite a tulip normally meaning “perfect love,” a pink tulip means, “careful love.” Make sure to follow that example while choosing the right flowers. Here are some of the most common flowers and their meanings found in bouquets:

Carnation: pride, beauty, or admiration.

Chrysanthemum: cheerfulness, optimism, wonderful friend, or with love.

Dahlia: dignity, or elegance. 

Daisy: innocence, loyalty, or attachment.

Gardenia: secret admiration and love.

Gerberia: happiness and cheerfulness. 

Iris: faith, or thankfulness.

Lily: flirtation, refined beauty, or sadness

Orchid: beauty, thoughtfulness 

Peony: happy marriage, or a happy life. 

Sunflower: pureness, happy times, or dedication.

Tulip: perfect love, fame, or declaration.

Rose: love, beauty, or relies heavily on the color you choose.


I want to get my partner flowers to say the message I want, but the flowers they like are different. 🙁 What do I do? In this case, it’s always safe to go with the flowers they want. Do not pick out flowers that they hate, or have any allergies too. Because let’s be honest, would you want to receive a present you absolutely don’t like? More than likely not. Even if it was meaningful, sometimes there are reasons why a person doesn’t want a specific flower/color. And that’s okay – the important thing here is that you:

  1. Thought about your partner.
  2. Listened to them and remembered what they like/dislike.

The flowers my friend got me has some mixed messages… Explain, please? Alright, so if you are a friend and you got some flowers that are a little questionable from someone you “thought” was your friend too, use common sense. There are many different occasions that call for giving flowers such as baby showers, birthdays, get wells, and holidays. Giving flowers does not always have to be a romantic gesture – it can be one done out of care and appreciation for the recipient.

Also in the flower industry, romantic gestures and the average “gift giving” go by different color schemes. So, while romance will usually be a mixture of reds, pinks, and whites, get-wells will usually be yellows, greens, and whites. So keep that in mind as well when you receive your flower bouquet.

There you have it – flowers are great for all occasions. Whether it be for birthdays or a night out, each stem carries a compelling meaning. Now you can figure out the meaning of your floral arrangement, or be able to pick out the right flowers for your friends or partner.