Roses Decoded | More than just a plant.

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Roses Decoded
More than just a plant.

When we think of Valentine’s day we often envision chocolate boxes, sweetheart candies, chocolate covered strawberries, and roses. Red roses are a Valentine’s day hallmark. Many couldn’t imagine not gifting these lovely flowers to those they hold dearest to them. Roses are the official Valentine’s day flower for good reason. 

For thousands of years red roses have come to symbolize true love and passion. As a result, they are the most popular flower to be delivered in the United States every year  on February 14th. Flower delivery, also called “floriography”, dates back to the 19th century and is known as the language of flowers. This method of sending a message through flowers is not as prevalent today as it once was. In Victorian times, sending flowers was the same as sending emails or text messages today. Flowers have held special meaning for thousands of years and “floriography” has been a way for people to send cryptic messages in traditional cultures in Europe, Africa and Asia. 

Many cultures across the world have used flower delivery, including roses, to send cryptic messages using the language of flowers

The language of flowers

The concept of a secret language expressed through flowers was extremely appealing to Victorians who were culturally reserved and a bit more rigid. Expressing high levels of passion or disdain outwardly was frowned upon by society. Victorianism was fundamentally about the repression of natural instincts. Floriography allowed Victorians to express their desires without having to say anything at all. 

The first popular book about floriography, The Language of Flowers, was published in France in 1819. This book inspired many different renditions in North America and Britain in the 1800s and offered more than 300 meanings for particular flowers and bouquet arrangements. Since then there have been countless other books and publications helping readers to decode the meaning of flowers.

With the publishing of the first books on floriography, Victorians became obsessed with using flowers to express their deepest desires, especially roses

During the 18th and 19th century Victorians not only sent roses to convey love interest, but they were very particular about the way the roses were sent. Roses became a way to have courtship without any verbal communication. When a man sends red roses with thorns it symbolizes that he feels love but there is also an accompanying fear associated with it. He sends them with thorns to acknowledge the difficulties that come with love but to also encourage hope. If the woman who received the them removes the thorns and sends them back to the sender, this meant that the sender had everything good to hope for. Red roses sent with no thorns were often considered a symbol of love and admiration without any obstacles or challenges. It can represent love, purity, and beauty in its purest form, free from any potential harm or difficulty.

Roses were not always used to convey love, sometimes they were used to signal the end of a love affair or to symbolize grief. With floriography, the meaning of inverted flowers represented the opposite of the usual meaning of a flower. So, if you received an upside-down red rose, it meant the courtship or love affair was over. Red roses convey love, but deep red or crimson roses signified death and were used for mourning or grief. A bouquet of white roses was also sent to people who are grieving. 

Man giving roses to a woman

Not all roses are red and different colors convey different messages. While red is associated with love, pink and lavender roses represent admiration and feminine beauty. Lavender was often also used to signal love at first sight and orange roses were used to show desire and enthusiasm. Friendships are symbolized by coral roses. Yellow roses throughout history have had a complex role in society. Similar to coral roses they can mean friendship but more often than not they were used as a symbol of jealousy, infidelity and decreased love. Yikes! Better not to send yellow flowers on Valentine’s Day!

Roses can have a large variety of meanings depending on their color, how they are sent, whether they have thorns attached and more

The tradition of sending red roses to say I love you is an ancient tradition that dates back thousands of years and continues to be celebrated globally. If you are looking to send roses (and chocolates) to someone this year, here’s a list of businesses that we recommend. They all offer delivery across the US.

Farm Girl

Farm girl has a variety of arrangements for valentines day. They ship coast to coast. Each arrangement is whimsical and unique. They also have a nice selection of houseplants.


Who said your roses have to be flowers? For those chocolate fans out there Chocogala offers chocolate roses handcrafted using the finest belgian chocolate couverture chocolates and ingredients. Their chocolate is also organic made with no artificial coloring , flavorings, preservatives and no added sugars. Now that’s what I like to call sweet!


Bouqs, is short for bouquet and they are one of the leading flower delivery services and it’s no wonder due to their creativity and business model. They partner directly with sustainable farms that minimize waste, recycle water, and protect workers’ well-being. This also means their flowers remain fresher and last longer. They sure know how to spread love.

Unlike flowers, taking care of house plants aren’t as simple as just putting them in water.

If you need some assistance keeping your house plants looking green and lovely, please reach out to get a HousePlantSitter expert to assist you and your plant family.