The Symbolic Meaning of a Bright Yellow Rose—And Why a Red Rose Is Different

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If you’ve ever been given yellow roses (or thought about giving them to someone else) instead of say, red roses, you may have wondered if the gesture carries any symbolic significance. After all, whereas a red rose is associated with deep passion, what is the meaning of a yellow rose?

Yellow Rose Symbolism

What comes to mind when you think of the color yellow? A brilliant, sunshine-filled day, perhaps? With this in mind, celebrity psychic Inbaal Honigman says that yellow roses represent joy, warmth, and a free-spirited vibe. Taking it a step further, Honigman ties yellow rose meaning to the chakras.

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“On the chakra system, which is an Indian energy technique which overlays the colors of the rainbow onto energy centers in our bodies, the color yellow is associated with the solar plexus,” she explains “This is an energy center—think of it as a spinning disk of light—which resides right over your diaphragm, between the bottom area of your ribs.” She goes on to share that an imbalance in this chakra can lead to a lack of joy.

“A balanced solar plexus chakra results in a happy individual, full of light, who can carry their own load through life,” she adds, pointing out that the color yellow is therefore associated with the very center of your life force, joy, and mental strength. In that way, receiving yellow roses could very well seem like the most romantic gesture possible, given it’s essentially saying that you’re vital to someone’s happiness. (Though, let it be known, you don’t need validation from another person, nor roses, to be happy.)

Yellow Roses in Relationships

Although many people associate love and romance with relationships, Honigman reminds us of the importance of joy in unions. “Receiving a yellow rose from someone means that they wish joy for you, and view you as a joy in their lives,” she says. “It's such a happy color, which reminds us of summer fields, long, sunny days, and sandy beaches. That's the energy of yellow.” And that’s the energy that should be welcomed into any healthy relationship—romantic or otherwise. If you’ve ever received yellow roses from a significant other and wondered if it meant they were losing their flame for you, think again. Instead, yellow roses are a soft, warm sign of happiness and appreciation.

A common modern interpretation of the yellow rose meaning, however, is that "it has been mostly the rose of choice representing friendship, happiness, and joy,” says psychic and creator of Psychic Reading Expert Christine Wallace.

Another Meaning of a Yellow Rose

Of course, like most things, a yellow rose meaning varies based on geography.

“Depending on where you come from it will mean different things to people,” she says. "The yellow rose [might] symbolize deceit or jealousy to the receiver of this gift—a sign from the heavens to be alert and watch yourself because there’s a traitor around; a two-facer, a liar, or a cheat.”

Yellow Roses and Death

Beyond sweet gestures in daily life, you may have noticed that yellow roses pop up fairly often at funerals, whether on top of a casket or nestled into an ornate wreath. According to Honigman, there’s a reason for this.

“The rose is a flower associated with spirituality—the balance of soft petals and the little thorns shows the balance of light and dark in life; It signifies promise and new beginnings, and has been used as a token of love—the many types of love—throughout many cultures and spiritual practices,” she says. As such, when a loved one passes away, yellow roses seem obvious.

“[At funerals,] what they really represent is bon voyage to our friends or family who have passed away—we are wishing them joy in the next life,” she says. “White and yellow roses represent a loved one who has passed that we were close to and will always remember.”

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