Clear Water, Colorful Flowers

Get your vases ready! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and those cut flowers are going to need a good drink of water. But why stick with red roses? Sure, they’re the obvious pick for February 14th, but roses can be great picks for other occasions, too. Change the color, and this flower can say a lot more than “Be Mine.” Follow these tips for color meanings, and you can share roses all year long!


The go-to color for Romance, Love, and Passion. Red also represents Courage and Respect, but no doubt about it—a single red rose means “I Love You.”


This bright, happy hue represents Friendship. Yellow also symbolizes Joy and can be a great pick for cheering up a friend or co-worker who’s having an otherwise gloomy day.

Light Pink

To show Admiration, grab a light pink bouquet. This color combines Grace and Elegance and is perfect for doting on daughters and nieces.

Dark Pink

For saying “Thanks,” dark pink roses are your best bet. This kind of bouquet represents Appreciation—a great choice for Mother’s Day.


It’s the color of Virtue and Reverence. We typically see white roses at weddings and memorials, but when paired with a red rose, the two colors represent Unity.


A bold color to express Enthusiasm or say, “I’m proud of you!” Orange roses (or yellow roses with red tips) can also mean a friendship is turning into love.


Traditionally linked to Enchantment and Regality, lavender can be an unexpected color choice for a rose. It’s the only shade that can say, “You have bewitched me, body and soul!” Now that you know what the colors mean, how do you keep those petals looking pretty? Whether you’re tending to Valentine’s Day roses or an everyday flower bouquet, clean water is key. Unfiltered tap water has chlorine and “hard” minerals that aren’t good for houseplants or cut flowers. Purdue’s Department of Horticulture recommends using tepid or room temperature water that’s gone through a filtration system like reverse osmosis. With clear, filtered water, your flowers—of any variety or color—should enjoy a long and attractive life!