8 Popular Rose Colors for Sympathy Flower Arrangements


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Did you know there’s an entire language behind flowers? It’s true, humans have used flowers to share their feelings with their friends and family for hundreds of years. From subtle declarations of love to showing sympathy when someone needs it most, flowers help us communicate when words can’t. 

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One of the most common types of flowers is roses. Roses are amongst the most popular types of funeral flowers. With their sophisticated beauty and calming scent, it’s no wonder roses are frequently used to show your sympathy and support. 

However, just as no two roses are alike, no two types of roses convey the same meaning. The color behind the rose carries a lot of significance. Let’s explore what the eight most popular rose colors for sympathy or funeral flower arrangements mean. 

1. White

White roses are so commonly used not just for their appearance, but also for their symbolism. White roses are a representation of innocence and purity. They’re a sign of youth and are seen in a bride’s bouquet on the wedding day. 

Though most people recognize white roses from wedding flower arrangements, they’re also common with funeral flowers to show the purity of someone’s soul. They’re not only common amongst funerals for children and babies, but anyone who died too soon. 

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2. Ivory

Though sometimes mistaken for white roses, ivory is a warmer shade. It’s a cross between beige and white, lending more color to otherwise stark white arrangements. Ivory roses symbolize elegance and fidelity. 

These gorgeous flowers are often used in reference to someone’s lasting romance. They show devotion and fidelity, even after death. 

3. Pink

Though pink is generally thought of as a feminine, happy color, it also makes its way into funeral arrangements quite often. Pink roses are a beautiful symbol of femininity and nurturing nature. They’re commonly used for mothers, daughters, and anyone who loved the color pink. 

4. Red

When you think of roses, you likely think of the bright red, classic appearance. Red roses aren’t just popular around Valentine’s Day. They’re also frequently used in funeral flower arrangements. 

Red is a symbol of everlasting love. They add a classic image of beauty to any event, so they’re a popular choice. Most funerals choose a deeper red shade, which is more sophisticated and less over-the-top. 

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5. Yellow

In the Victorian era, yellow roses were a way to show jealousy. If you know the basics of funeral flower etiquette, you’ll understand why that doesn’t make a good impression to your recipient or the bereaved family. 

That said, yellow roses have a much different meaning today. Now, they’re a symbol of friendship and joy. For someone that was a trusted friend, red roses are a touching tribute.

6. Green

Green roses are a lighter, lime shade than the name might imply. Green is a color that represents abundance, life, and energy. Though our loved one might be gone, we can still feel their lasting spirit and memory. 

Green roses perfectly embody that idea, making them a gorgeous addition to any funeral arrangement. 

7. Peach

Peach roses are the most common choice for sending sympathy flowers. The color itself is warm and welcoming, and it seems to radiate positive energy that many need in a time of mourning.

The color conveys the meaning of genuineness and gratitude. It’s a way to show sympathy and be there for someone without overwhelming them. 

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8. Black

Of course, black is the color of mourning. These are some of the most common funeral roses because most people choose black when they think about paying respects after a passing. 

However, black roses aren’t always about death. They’re also a symbol of new beginnings and life changes. They’re bold, courageous, and eye-catching. As such, they make a great option for those going through grief. 

How to Choose the Best Rose Color

How to Choose the Best Rose Color

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to selecting the best rose color for your needs. It’s all about considering the recipient and the meaning behind the gesture. As you can see from the list of colors above, roses come in all colors and convey a world of meaning in a single petal. 

Because it can be hard to know where to begin, ask yourselves these questions:

  • Are these flowers going to the funeral home or the family?
  • What were the deceased’s favorite colors?
  • How would you describe the deceased person and his or her legacy?
  • How traditional is the family?
  • What message are you trying to send?

It’s all in the intention behind your gift. If your heart is in the right place, you’re already on the right track. Recipient flowers in a time of grief is a form of support. They’re a small glimpse of brightness and life in an otherwise dark time. No matter the meaning behind your flowers, they’re sure to be appreciated. 

You also don’t need to limit yourself to a single flower color. It’s common to find multi-colored roses that represent more than one thing in a single stem. You can also make your own bouquet or request one be made with several types of flower colors in one. 

How to Arrange or Send Flowers for a Funeral

How to Send Flowers for a Funeral

Whether you’re in charge of planning the funeral or sending flowers to someone after a loss, there are many different ways to use flowers. You’ll want to know how to send flowers to a funeral the right way, which means knowing the purpose behind the flowers. 

You can use flowers in the following ways:

  • Wreaths: They’re commonly arranged into stunning wreaths used for decoration or placed on the casket.
  • Decoration: Funeral flowers are also a decoration in themselves, arranged in bouquets for display at the church, funeral home, or another venue. 
  • Sympathy gift: Finally, flowers are sent by friends and family to the home of the bereaved and also to the funeral home for use during the service. 

If you choose to send flowers, make sure you plan to have them delivered in time for the service. Send them directly to the funeral home or church to avoid the family needing to bring them there themselves. You can also send them with your sympathy card or message directly to the family’s home. 

Before sending anything, be sure to check whether the family requested something in lieu of flowers. They might ask for a donation, assistance, or another way to honor the memory of the deceased. It’s also important to note that flowers are not always appropriate depending on the family’s religion. In Jewish funerals, for example, flowers are not typically given.

Express Your Sympathy with Flowers

Since the Victorian era, humans have used flowers as a way to express complicated feelings. After a loss, it’s not always easy to put your sympathy or grief into words. Flowers bridge these gaps while offering a glimmering symbol of hope. 

Whether you’re gifting flowers to a family in mourning or sending funeral flowers for a memorial service, keep these meanings above in mind. Roses are one of the most common flowers for a reason. Not only are they beautiful and timeless, but they carry a world of significance in each petal. What will you say with your next bouquet? 

If you're looking for more sympathy ideas, read our guides on what to say to a Muslim friend when someone dies and the best flowers for graves

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