The Meaning and Popularity of Red Roses on Valentine's Day

The purest and most reliable symbol to express deepest sentiments, it is nature's poetry wrapped up in velvety yet delicate petals.

By: THURSD. | 06-04-2024 | 6 min read
Roses Valentine
Valentine's Day

Have you ever wondered why red roses are given on Valentine's Day? Digging into the significance of this holiday can open your heart even more when you learn why red roses are considered the universal symbol of love. Whether you're gifting a single red rose or a bouquet to your loved ones, each number of red roses has a different meaning.

Though for some gifting chocolates, romantic-filled cards among other gifts seem normal, Valentine's Day cannot be complete without a bouquet of roses, particularly red roses. Why is that? Read along to find out.

The popularity of Roses During Valentine's Day

Dear February 14th, what is the real meaning behind the millions of roses loved ones receive on this day and what is the hidden meaning behind the number of roses in a bouquet? This and many other doubts will be given to you as a symbol of Valentine's love. On top of all Valentine's Day, roses take center stage, shipped from all over the world just in time for you to have that desirable bouquet. Roses are the purest and most reliable symbol to express intense emotions, it is nature's poetry wrapped up in velvety yet delicate petals.


Valentine's Day 2024
Picture by @The Girl Next Door


For thousands of years, roses have been used to mark and celebrate key occasions, including but not limited to; anniversaries, weddings, funerals, baby showers, and even graduation ceremonies. It became customary practice during the Victorian era to send secret messages through the medium of flowers. Sending flowers became a common way for lovers and admirers to send private messages that were thought impolite to share publicly at the time due to Victorian decorum. The sender used the language of floriography to give meaning to flowers. They inspired many of the stories, myths, and legends used to interpret each flower. When the situation demanded it, the meaning was invented to fit.

The History Behind Red Roses on Valentine’s Day

The tradition of presenting roses on Valentine's Day has various origin legends, all of which are founded in Greek mythology, as is the history of Cupid and Valentine's Day. Some traditions suggest that the first red rose was created when the Greek goddess Aphrodite was scraped by the thorn of a white rose, causing that rose to turn red. Others say the first red rose blossomed on the spot where Adonis, Aphrodite's lover, died and the goddess wept.


Valentine's Day 2024
Rose Red Naomi by @Porta Nova Roses


In terms of the history of Valentine's Day roses, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of a British ambassador to Turkey during the 1700s, is an early figure sometimes associated with the relationship between roses and romance. Lady Montagu wrote letters home enthusing over a kind of Turkish flower language, or the technique of attributing various symbolic meanings to certain flowers. However, the concept of 'flower languages' caught on, particularly in 19th-century England, and roses were progressively more closely associated with passionate love during that century.


Valentine's Day
Rose Premium Class by @United Selections


What is in a color though? Red involves courage, danger, and sacrifices and is often associated with intensity, passion, sexuality, and love. Based on the significance and meaning of a red tone, it is with no surprise that red roses are vital in celebrating your loved ones and expressing your deepest and genuine sentiments during Valentine's Day.

The Meaning Behind the Number of Red Roses in a Bouquet

This is where the real significance of red roses comes in. Giving one or giving twelve red roses have different meanings and you're about to get detailed info so you can decide how many red roses you want to gift on Valentine's Day.


One red rose for Valentines Day
Picture by @Redlands Roses


A single rose is often gifted to those you love, which indicates ‘love at first sight’. If you're in the mood to gift two special red roses, take into account that two single roses are given to those you are deeply in love with. How about three? Three roses mean a deep 'I love you'. Continuing with the significance of red roses, it's time to get into the bouquet love that so many adore worldwide when Valentine's season comes around.


Red Roses from Rosaprima
Photo by @rosaprimaroses


A dozen is like picking the best heart from a Sweetheart candy box; it means 'be mine'. If you’re proud of someone, 14 roses are the number to choose from, and on the other hand, if you wish to tell a loved one to ‘stay beautiful, or 'I'm yours', gift them with 18 roses, a symbol of sincerity and trueness.

Now the moment you've been waiting for: the significance of 24 roses in a bouquet which is the most traditional gift to ever exist for Valentine's Day. By gifting two dozen red roses you can let a special somebody know they’re always on your mind with a gift of 24 single rose stems. Moving on to higher numbers, if you hold a genuine love for a special someone, 40 red roses is the number to choose. When you know of unconditional love, 50 red roses symbolize this never-ending love.


One hundred red roses
Photo: Signature Flowers


Last but not least, the love gets extremely real when someone gets gifted 100 red roses. One hundred red roses represent a gesture of true and passionate devotion to someone, precisely to say my love for you knows no bounds.

Valentine's Day Preparation, Growers' Perspective

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? the run-up to Valentine's Day, the growing intricacies span 8 weeks before the month of love kicks off, rose growers around the world kickstart the pruning to get the flushes in time for Valentine's Day orders around the world. Shipping these beauties to different parts of the world, gets even more complicated logistically, for any grower prior booking with airlines is crucial to ensure your roses arrive just in time at your clients' destination for Valentine's Day celebration.


Gifting red roses for vday as a universal symbol of love
Photo: Interflora

Florists, wholesalers, retailers, or even unpackers rely on the growers to deliver committed quantities of roses a week to even two weeks before Valentine's Day, giving every player within the floral supply chain enough time to package and finally sell these roses to the end consumer. The amount of work that goes into rose production, logistics, and eventually floral arrangement and packaging make such a gift priceless and worthy of gifting the same to your loved one.

Sparking Love With Red Roses

Nothing sparks love and romance like red roses do, and it is hands down a true classic when it comes to declaring your love and longing for another. Besides Valentine's Day, a red rose is also a great gift for special days like Women's Day and is one of the most wanted rose colors for Mother's Day. Gifting a rose is the simplest yet most universal gesture of telling someone how much you love them without actually saying a thing. Plus, who doesn’t love being surprised with beautiful red roses on Valentine’s Day?  


Valentine's Day
Red Rose Rousseau is a Symbol of Love by @deruiterinnovations


Now that February 14th is right around the corner, it's time to ignite thoughtful connections between you and your beloved. Happy Valentine's Day!


Header Image by @maryflormilano Featured Image by @deruiterinnovations.



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