Roses:Everything You NeedTo Know
Romance. Love. Luxury. It's safe to say that roses are the ultimate symbol of all things dreamy and passionate.
Roses are, in fact, one of the most popular types of flower – number one above lilies, tulips and daffodils, for many of us Brits – and it's not hard to see why.
Timeless and always beautiful, these many petalled blooms are a firm favourite in all sorts of bouquets and arrangements. Want to learn more about what their colours mean or how many to give to someone you fancy? Check out our full guide to roses below.
10 FACTS ABOUT ROSES
1. Roses are one of the oldest types of flower
The oldest living rose is thought to have started growing 1,000 years ago and it still blooms to this day, on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany. We need it's skincare routine because it looks great for its age.
2. Surprisingly, roses aren't the birth month flower for February
That title goes to the violet, instead. But don't worry, we totally understand why you'd think a red rose would represent that month because it's heavily linked to Valentine's Day.
3. Rosa is the scientific name for the flower
Someone was feeling lazy that day, huh? But the flower comes from the plant family Rosaceae that features thousands of species of flower!
4. The tallest rose ever grown was 18ft 8in!
That's two and a half times as long as a queen-size bed and was crowned the tallest by the Guinness Book of Records in 2017.
5. A rose has been into space
Scientists sent a rose packing into space to learn more about how gravity affects scents. The rose came back with an entirely new smell that they say could not have been made on earth! Some would even say it's… 'out of this world'.
6. Roses don't have thorns
That's right, they're not thorns but are in fact prickles. What's the difference? Well, prickles are easier to remove and grow on the surface, thorns have roots that go deep into the plant. The more you know!
7. Roses are edible
While you likely won't take a nag out of the flower's head – or maybe you will, up to you – the petals do make a lovely addition in salads, cocktails, jams or infused in water for a sweet, perfumy taste.
8. Giving one rose means 'love at first sight'
Maybe avoid dishing out one of these on that first date, if you don't want to scare them away.
9. The rose is the national flower of the USA
While you may associate roses with England (the English rose is actually the Tudor rose) the flower was assigned the role representing the United States in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.
10. There are over 4,500 songs that feature the word rose in the title
And that's on Spotify alone! Seal's classic Batman theme tune 'Kiss from a Rose', Paramore's newer 'Rose-Coloured Boy' and Bon Jovi's crooner 'Bed of Roses' all feature, of course.
ROSE COLOURS AND THEIR MEANINGS
Roses are red, violets are blue but did you know different rose colours have different meanings too? Yes, we were trying to make that rhyme #sorrynotsorry.
While we know that red roses are the ultimate symbol of love and lust, what do the other colour variations represent?
What do they mean? Pink roses are said to mean gratitude and joy or can be seen as a sign of admiration.
When to give pink roses: We think pink roses make for a great thank you gift for a friend or loved one. Send them a bouquet featuring just vibrant pink roses or mix them in amongst white chrysanthemums and hot pink gerbera daisies for an arrangement they'll love.
What do they mean? Orange roses are said to represent passion and enthusiasm.
When to give orange roses: Present a close friend with a bunch of orange roses to give them a boost before an important event.
What do they mean? Yellow roses were once quite negative when it came to their meaning and were said to represent jealousy and cheating lovers. Eek! Nowadays though, we see them as simply a cheerful colour.
When to give yellow roses: No need to save these blooms for spurned lovers. Instead, give them to someone who needs cheering up.
What do they mean? Like many white flowers, white roses are said to mean purity and innocence. They're also said to symbolise new beginnings and everlasting love. This is why they're such a popular choice for wedding flowers.
When to give white roses: Give a bunch of these to a blushing bride or groom on their wedding day to let them know you want their love to last. Or, send them to a diva a la Mariah Carey who supposedly demands hundreds of white roses in her dressing room.
What do they mean? Lavender roses are said to symbolise enchantment and love at first sight which is apt because their pastel shades are pretty enchanting.
When to give lavender roses: This colour of rose is perfect early on in your relationship when you want to let that other person know just how keen you are.
What do they mean? Peach roses are said to symbolise modesty, sincerity and gratitude.
When to give peach roses: Like pink roses, many people opt for peach roses when they want to say thank you. We'll accept them whatever the occasion though!
Yellow RosesWith Red Tips
What do they mean? This rose colour represents a friendship that is turning into love. The changing colours symbolise your changing feelings, going from a neutral yellow to a romantic red.
When to give roses that are yellow with red tips? If you want to finally tell your friend that you want to take it to the next level, this rose colour is the ideal choice. Good luck!
What do they mean? Needless to say, these don't grow naturally but are achieved by taking cut white roses and placing their split stems in different coloured dyes. However, they're truly lovely and are believed to simply mean happiness and joy. That's certainly what their many colours make us feel!
When to give rainbow roses: There's no wrong time, just whenever you want to spread a little happiness.
CAN YOU GET BLACK ROSES?
The inner emo in us wishes this were possible but sadly, there are no black roses that grow naturally.
An internet rumour once suggested this was the case, claiming that black roses grew in a specific region in Turkey but this myth has since been debunked. Such a shame. We'll stick to growing our own on our Animal Crossing island.
Number of Roses and Their Meaning
As well as the colour of a rose, the amount you give also says something different each time. We know, these flowers use a whole other language! Here's what the number of roses in your bouquet say to the person receiving them:
1 rose Love at first sight.
2 roses Deep love.
3 roses 'I love you.'
4 roses 'Nothing will come between us.'
6 roses 'Please be mine'
7 roses You are infatuated.
9 roses Your love is eternal.
10 roses 'You're perfect'
12 roses True love
15 roses Asking for forgiveness.
19 roses 'I'll wait for you'
50 roses Unconditional love
99 roses "I'll love you until the day I die"
100 roses Devotion
Of course, you don't have to rigidly stick to these 'rules'. You could buy your partner a rose for every year you've been together, or match the number with a colour to send a special meaning. So, three pink roses are one way of telling a friend that you love them. Cute!
WHICH TYPES OF ROSES ARE FEATURED IN BOUQUETS?
When it comes to those lush bouquets of roses, we've rounded up the varieties that are most likely to play the starring role:
Hybrid Tea Rose
These are modern roses, with thick, velvety soft petals and deep, rich colours. When you think of a rose, this type is likely the one that comes to mind.
What could be better than more than one rose? Lots of lovely smaller ones clustered together on one stem, of course. Spray roses are the smallest type of rose to feature in bouquets but add instant fullness and beauty to any arrangement.
This type of rose is typically smaller in size but no less beautiful. The centres of sweetheart roses aren't quite as defined as your usual hybrid tea rose but they're a firm favourite for buttonholes and corsages for weddings.
Garden Rose Or Old Fashioned Rose
These fluffy, almost peony like roses add fullness to bouquets and look particularly pretty in soft shades of pink. This type of rose is thought to date back to the 14th century – we're talking the late Medieval times!
HOW TO MAKE CUT ROSES LAST LONGER
Want to extend the life of those beautiful blooms? A fresh bunch of roses should last between 7 and 14 days, depending on how well you care for them.
Whether you've been gifted a big old bunch of red roses from that hopeless romantic or received a thank you bouquet from a friend, here's how to make your roses last a little longer.
Remove your roses from their wrap and pull off any leaves that may sit below the waterline in your chosen vase.
Take some scissors and carefully trim the stems diagonally. This ensures the cut flowers can continue to lap up the water they need.
Fill your vase with fresh water and throw in any flower food that came with your roses.
Arrange your bouquet in your vase and top it up regularly with fresh water and remove any leaves or petals that are wilting.
Change the water every few days to keep your roses happy, avoid draughty spots in your house and don't place them in direct sunlight. Easy!
Uses for Roses
Hey, these flowers aren't just pretty faces. Roses have been used for thousands of years for everything from scents to medicine. Here are just a few examples:
To send a message – Use the tips and guidance above to send a loving message with roses.
Decoration – Obviously, roses are the ideal choice when it comes to decorating a space. A vibrant bouquet in a vase, a selection featured in a DIY flower wall, a scattering of petals across the floor or dinner table – they're the perfect floral feature. Or, simply plant them in your garden to enjoy as an ornamental flower. You do you.
Scent – Many of us can spot the telltale scent of roses, which is commonly used for everything from room sprays to diffusers to perfumes and body wash.
Salves and oils – Rose is soothing on the skin, with many people taking the flower's petals and adding it to oil to infuse its healing properties. That's definitely one way of making that bouquet last longer!
Arts and crafts – Dried rose petals are the perfect addition to your arts and crafts from those bath bombs you make at home, to hand-poured candles to flower pressings that can be featured on homemade cards.
Edible toppings for bakes – Made your own cupcakes or a cheesecake that needs a little pizazz? Throw on some dried rose petals for that fancy finish. Mary Berry would be proud.
Enjoyed learning more about this incredible flower? Take a look at our wider guide to flower meanings, as we deep dive into the likes of sunflowers and carnations.