The Meaning of Lilac Roses

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Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Few flowers have been as romanticized as the lovely rose (Rosa, USDA plant hardiness zones 3 and above depending on type), but lilac roses' meaning is a bit different from the other colored plants. If you are considering buying lilac roses for your yard or purchasing them as a gift for a friend, it's a good idea to become familiar with the symbolism behind this colored bloom.


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Lilac Roses Meaning

Generally, lilac roses are thought to mean life. People associate this light-purple hue with eternity, longevity and happiness. In general, the connotation is not just a long life but one that is filled with joy, health and satisfaction.

This differs from other colors of roses. Most familiar is the red rose, which symbolizes passion, or yellow ones, which mean friendship. Dark-pink roses are typically used to say thank you, while a pale-pink one is gifted on occasions requiring sympathy.


White roses have historically symbolized purity, chastity and innocence. They are often used for religious or cultural ceremonies, like baptisms, weddings and confirmations. Lavender roses are said to symbolize love at first sight. Orange roses mean enthusiasm or passion, and they are often given at the start of a new venture or relationship.

When to Gift Lilac Roses

Simply knowing the meaning of a lilac rose may not be enough to help you decide when to gift one. After all, "life" is a bit vague as far as a symbol. Experts suggest that lilac roses make great gifts for the birth of a child or at a baptism. Either scenario involves a new life coming into the world, and a lilac rose can be a beautiful representation of your wish that the little one have a long and happy life.


Lilac roses are also a great gift for someone overcoming an illness or someone who just had surgery. The flowers send the message that you are hoping that the patient will heal quickly and feel better soon. In addition, these flowers suggest a wish for fewer illnesses or injuries throughout the rest of a very long life.

You might think of red roses when considering events like anniversaries or weddings. However, a lilac rose can be a beautiful alternative, particularly for someone who loves the color purple. In these situations, the lilac rose can symbolize the health and longevity of the relationship. Giving someone a lilac rose is a great way to remind the person that you want your relationship to go the distance and be filled with joy.


Care of Lilac Roses

Are you growing lilac roses at home? You can care for your roses in much the same way as you would care for roses of any color. However, some rose varieties do require unique care, so be sure to check the plant information card that comes with yours for more details.

Plant dormant roses in the garden within one month of purchasing them. If the plants have already grown leaves, you can care for them in their containers for up to a year. Plant the rose in a hole that is 4 inches wider than the pot in which it was sold and fill the hole halfway with soil. Then, water the plant thoroughly before filling the hole the rest of the way.


Roses need loamy soil that is well-draining, and a pH of 6 to 6.5 works best. Roses require protection from wind, and they also need their space. Leave 24 inches between a rose and any other plants or walls. Roses need full sun with at least six hours of sun each day.