There are very few things in nature that are truly blue. Even the color of the sky is more a trick of our eyes than a real color. Yet, for centuries, people have imagined the beauty of a blue rose, despite the fact that no such thing existed. Thanks to science, it does now.
Even though blue roses have moved from the realm of fantasy into reality, they have maintained their air of mystery and unattainability, and people are just as obsessed with them as ever.
But how exactly were blue roses created and what do they mean? Read on to find out.
Where Do Blue Roses Come From?
Blue roses have been mentioned in writings from as far back as the 1100s CE, both as a real thing and as a fantasy. However, any real rose that was described as blue would have been closer to violet or purple, or not a rose at all, because blue roses do not exist in nature.
There are some obscure records that suggest that roses may have been dyed blue at some stages in history, and that may be true, as we still use this method today to create cheaper versions of blue roses.
There are very few plants or animals at all that actually contain the blue pigment called delphinidin in nature, and in order to create blue roses, scientists had to genetically modify roses to carry this pigmentation.
In 1990, a project began to create a true blue rose, and although, after more than a decade of research, the scientists were able to produce a blue rose using blue pigment extracted from purple Petunia flowers, it was not a true blue and the project continued.
In 2018, the first true blue roses were created, though not by the same team of scientists.
You might be wondering, since it’s so hard to create blue roses, why you’ve seen them so readily available at weddings and other functions. The truth is that not every blue rose you see is actually blue.
In fact, most, if not all, of them are not blue at all. Real blue roses are expensive and rare, so florists will often dye white roses blue so that average, everyday people can afford them, too.
What Does a Blue Rose Mean?
Because of their role in fantasy for centuries before they were actually created, blue roses have maintained their mysterious and rare connotations.
As such, their meanings are generally not specifically romantic, and they can be used as a gift for anyone you care about.
There are many potential meanings for blue roses, some of which depend on the precise shade of blue. Here are some examples of possible meanings for blue roses.
Mystery and Secrecy
Naturally, blue roses are still used to symbolize mystery and secrecy, because, for so long, they did not real exist and were just an element of fantasy. You could give someone blue roses as a promise that you will keep their secret, or to show them that you find them intriguing and mysterious.
Harmony, Peace, and Hope
Lighter blue shades are generally used to express wishes of peace and harmony in the life of the receiver. As such, you could gift them at just about any time, including birthdays, weddings, and other rites of passage when you wish someone peace.
Light blue is a color of sensitivity, and it would be difficult for anyone to mistake that when receiving a bunch of light blue roses.
Imagination and Dreams
Blue roses in darker shades have a more mysterious and fantastical air about them, and their meanings tend toward thoughtfulness, imagination, and the realization of dreams. So if you want to tell someone that you hope all their dreams come true, a bunch of dark blue roses will be the perfect gift.
Blue roses are also seen as a symbol of personal development, denoting things like individuality, determination, and self-acceptance, so you could gift them as a way of congratulating someone who has put a lot of effort into changing themselves for the better and succeeded.
This could include people who have reached their weight loss goals, finished studying, or completed a rehab program. The possibilities are endless.
Goals and Dreams
Blue roses can also be a symbol for making dreams come true or reaching goals. You could give them to someone who is starting out on a journey of self-betterment as a good luck wish, or you could give them as a congratulatory gift to someone who has reached their goal and is about to start living their dream.
Because blue roses were just the dreams of poets and scientists for so long, many of those who work in the floral world may still think of them as unobtainable. They are certainly rare and expensive enough to still be out of the reach of many of us.
Blue roses don’t generally have significant meaning in terms of romance, but the fact that they were so hard to create means that they can be used as a symbol of unrequited or unattainable love.
You could give them to someone whom you have feelings for but who you think is out of your league.
You could also use blue roses to express the rarity and uniqueness of your special relationship, showing your significant other that you never dreamed of being part of something so special.
They may also have a hidden meaning when it comes to romance. By gifting someone with a bunch of blue roses in a romantic situation, the giver might be expressing their wish that the receiver will fulfill all of their greatest fantasies.
I don’t recommend using them this way, however, as putting so much expectation on one person is not how you create a healthy relationship.
While blue roses themselves do not generally have a negative meaning, a damaged, broken, or dead blue rose is sometimes thought of as a bad omen among more superstitious groups.
In some cultures, a blue rose is seen as a symbol of royalty. This could be because royal blood is referred to as blue, or it could be because the rose is rare and expensive, only to be afforded by royalty.
What Do Blue Roses Mean When Combined With Other Colors?
Although there are many possible meanings for blue roses, you can make your message a little more clear if you combine your blue roses with another color. Here are some examples of bouquet meanings when blue roses are combined with other colors:
- White and blue roses represent innocent, pure love, beauty, peace, and serenity – Example: gift them to someone you care about who has been through a lot and deserves some peace.
- Yellow and blue roses denote platonic love – Example: give them to your best friend to show how much you love and admire them.
- Pink and blue roses tell a person that you find them to be unique and interesting in a romantic way – Example: give a bouquet of pink and blue roses to someone whose unique personality you admire and love.
- Red and blue roses show both love and mystery – Example: give these to someone you love and admire without telling them who the roses are from. The perfect “secret admirer” gift.
Blue roses have long been an element of fantasy and imagination, and writings of them go back to the 12th century. This air of mystery and unattainability has continued into the modern day, and blue roses are considered very rare and special.
They do not exist in nature and have been created through decades of research and genetic modification using the blue gene delphinidin extracted from purple Petunia flowers. Starting in 1990, the Blue Rose Project produced its first blue roses in 2002, but the first true blue rose only came about in 2018.
Because blue roses are new and have so much history in fantasy, their meanings are generally specific to individual cultures. However, the shade of blue can also affect the meaning, with lighter blues denoting peace and harmony while darker blues represent imagination and the fulfillment of dreams.
Other meanings for blue roses include mystery and secrecy, personal growth, and romance, though romantic love is not one of the main meanings of blue roses. They could denote unrequited or unattainable love, or they could be used to express the uniqueness of a special relationship.
Combined with other colored roses, blue roses can be used to give a more specific message to the receiver. Combined with white, they represent pure, innocent love, with yellow, deep friendship, and with red, mysterious love. Combine blue roses with pink for the one you love to show them that they are special and unique.