Flower Meanings Explained

Published: Friday 4 June 2021

Gifting Flowers? Be Careful, Your Flower Choice is Saying More than You Think

It isn’t until you’re halfway to work that it hits you, the reason for her long sighs and those dagger eyes. It is her birthday and for the second year in a row, you have forgotten to remember. You kick yourself and decide to make it up. Perhaps an impromptu lunch date and some beautiful flowers will help it appear that you staged the whole morning. 

Pleased with yourself, you stop at a florist on the way and without much thought pick up a lovely bouquet of orange lilies for her. This ought to do the trick you think. Not only is the bouquet bursting with freshness and looking gorgeous but it’s also not clichéd, like a bunch of roses might be. Patting yourself, you do a happy dance as you walk to your car.

Wait! Would you still be as confident if we told you that your bouquet of orange lilies signify nothing but hatred towards the receiver? That your chosen flowers could make you spend the night on the couch?

That’s right, flowers can send a strong message.

Besides looking pretty and smelling wonderful, flowers can have distinct meanings and thanks to the internet, it’s not too hard to find out what your choice of flower signifies.

So let’s spare you the agony of finding out the impact of a wrong flower first hand and help you decode the secret language of flowers. As more and more people are finding out, sending the right flower to the right person can go a long way and with a little help from Jodie McGregor Flowers, picking the right flower is a breeze.

Here is what some of the most common picks of flowers say:


The go to choice of flower for many, did you know a red rose signifies courage in addition to passion and love? But you don’t always have to stick to red roses to imply love, lilac roses are a different look but portray the same meaning.

Contrary to what most believe, a white rose does not denote friendship but instead symbolises unity, sincerity, innocence, purity and youthfulness. For friendship, your pick should be a yellow rose.

If you are sending flowers to celebrate a business union then peachy, apricot roses are the best choice as they indicate the closing of a deal and optimism for the future. Similarly, all your thank you notes are best attached with a pink rose as pink denotes graciousness and gratitude.

Thus, though distinct from one another, all the rose colours communicate positive vibes with desire being the common theme. Favourites at Jodie McGregor Flowers include the Mondial (a white tonal rose, verging on a cream and with a feint hint of lime), Cherry O (a nice, deep pink), Cherry Brandy (apricot rose with tips of red) and Carpe Diem which is a gorgeous, tonal peach frilled rose. 

Likewise, if you wanted to show arrogance and an ‘I am walking on air’ feel, then yellow lilies would be your pick.

Thus be warned, the simple lily actually hides a myriad of meanings amongst its blooms. If the meaning is important, staying away from the orange tiger lily might be an idea. 


The most varied of flowers in terms of the diversity in its meanings, lilies can be a tricky purchase for a novice. The most commonly picked of the lilies is the white oriental lily which stands for purity, much the same as a white rose. Long lasting and highly fragrant too, it’s an incredibly popular choice.

However, do not gift all types of lilies with the same ease as a white lily, the meanings might not be what you expect. While tiger lilies can be symbolic of pride and wealth, often finding a place in offices and homes, orange lilies might not find many takers if they knew what else it stood for. It’s not often that you imply hatred through flowers, but if you had to, then the orange lilies would be your flower of choice.


Carnations today are a hot favourite, especially during Mother’s Day, but we guarantee you did not know that each colour of carnations have a different tale to tell. It’s pink for remembrance, red for admiration and white for innocence (I know, who would’ve thought?)

You might want to keep aside the yellow carnations though, as they imply rejection, refusal and disdain. Keep this in mind the next time you want a mixed bouquet of carnations and you could avoid sending a very confusing message. One of the reasons the yellow carnation isn’t a favourite at Jodie McGregor Flowers. 


Have a crush on someone? Ditch the roses and pick some lovely gardenias instead. Unknown to many, these beautiful flowers signify secret love, ecstasy and desire. That’s right, send your secret love a bunch of gardenias and watch the magic unfold.


Each flower and its varying colours can have so many different meanings and feelings behind them, it’s hard to choose the right one. Sometimes it’s easiest to just go with your recipient’s favorite flower and color. But if you don’t know either of those, it may be easier to just choose based on one of these feelings or messages you would like to send. Have a look below.

Admiration – Daffodils
Beauty – Orchids
Beware – Rhododendrons
Calm - Lissianthus
Friendship - Chrysanthemums
Nobility - Magnolias
Perfect Lover – Tulips
Promptness - Stocks
Purity and Innocence – Daisies
Rashness – Hyacinths
Shyness – Sweetpeas
Spitited - Freesias
Thanks - Hydrangeas

So there you go. Now that you know the language of flowers, its time to pick the right ones and let them do the talking. And if all else fails, you’re unlikely to come across someone disappointed to receive a beautiful mixed bouquet with a lovely handwritten message now are you?

Browse our online flower range to find the perfect flowers, delivered to your door.

Have a crush on someone? When they’re in season you might want to choose some lovely gardenias. Unknown to many, these beautiful flowers signify secret love, ecstasy and desire. That’s right, send your secret love a fragrance filled overflowing bunch of gardenias and watch the magic unfold. But remember, these beauties are one of the wonders of the flower world and extremely seasonal, coming in both summer and autumn.