Roses: Everything you need to 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?

Pink Roses

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.

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

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

Spray Roses

Sweetheart rose

Garden rose or old fashioned rose

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.

  1. Remove your roses from their wrap and pull off any leaves that may sit below the waterline in your chosen vase.

  2. Take some scissors and carefully trim the stems diagonally. This ensures the cut flowers can continue to lap up the water they need.

  3. Fill your vase with fresh water and throw in any flower food that came with your roses.

  4. Arrange your bouquet in your vase and top it up regularly with fresh water and remove any leaves or petals that are wilting.

  5. 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

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.