Romantic Flower Alternatives to the Red Rose - Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Romantic Flower Alternatives to the Red Rose

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Love is a very splendid thing, and nothing says "I Love You" quite like a bouquet or arrangement of romantic seasonal flowers. Typically, a bright bouquet of red roses is the go-to gift for sending a message of love to your one and only. There is no doubt the person receiving the red roses will understand the message you are sending.

Red Roses

But a dozen imported red roses, wrapped or in a vase, are only one option of the many unique flowers you can choose that also convey romance and love. To help you understand the options available, we decided to profile 12 romantic flower alternatives to the classic red rose. The next time you have the opportunity to send flowers that require a gesture of love and maybe some romance, remember this list and get creative with your choice.

And don't hesitate to contact one of our floral designers to see what flowers are in season to help shape your decision. At Green Fresh Florals + Plants, we are here to help and will design and hand-craft an arrangement or bouquet inspired by your direction.

Pick one of these alternatives to the red rose.

Tea Time Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Tea Time Floral


Peonies are iconic with their large, thick, and rounded ruffled petals that convey a sophisticated, stylish look and feel. Alone or in a bunch, the peony is a show stopper that symbolizes prosperity, good fortune, and happy marriage. It should come as no surprise that the peony symbolizes romance and romantic love. Peonies are beloved in Chinese culture, and the very translation of the name means "most beautiful."

Peony blooms are also associated with honor and wealth. In stunning shades of pink and white (ideal for wedding arrangements), pink peony blooms convey romance while a white peony represents bashfulness, serenity, and innocence. A deep red peony is a symbol of wealth, prosperity, honor, respect, as well as love and passion. The season is late May through July/August for domestic peonies. 

Tranquil Vibes Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Tranquil Vibes Floral


The anemone, which opens its petals in the morning and closes them at night, has a colorful bloom with a dark, round center on a tall, slender stalk. It is an often-told story from Greek mythology that says Aphrodite shed tears of anemone petals after learning of the death of Adonis in Greek mythology. Anemone blooms are also known for their use in herbal medicines and are said to ward off disease and protect health. 

Your loved one can fear no evil and expect good luck coming their way if the anemone is part of a flower bouquet you choose. Red anemones are a symbol of love, romance, and joy. Blue and purple anemones are intended to symbolize beauty, honor, love, and respect. The white anemone is a favorite for both wedding and funeral arrangements as a symbol of purity, spirituality, and innocence. Last, but not least, the yellow anemone is a bright, bold symbol of happiness, optimism, and joy. We offer several arrangements where anemones play a leading role including our hand-tied flower bouquet


Anthurium Arrangement

Pink Flamingo Floral


This tropical bloom is exotic and shaped like a heart, making it a perfect choice for an arrangement to send a message of love. A classic tropical flower, the anthurium symbolizes hospitality, abundance, and happiness. The glossy, broad heart-shaped spathes and slender bright-colored spadices convey a powerful symbol of love. The anthurium is a long-lasting addition to any arrangement and depending on the color, can be used to express love and passion (red, burgundy, and pink), compassion, femininity, and motherly love (light pink) and innocence and purity (white).

Don't be surprised if you see the anthurium referred to by other names. It is also known as Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flowers, Bull's Heads, Tail Flowers, and Cock's Comb. The name anthurium comes from the Greeks and means "tail flower." You can see how we use this tropical bloom in the Tropical Blush Floral, and the Tropical Cabana Floral.

White Modernist Orchid Planting from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Modernist Orchid Planting


Sophisticated, elegant, and striking in their shape, the orchid is another exotic tropical bloom that conveys love and romantic sentiments. The phalaenopsis orchid, commonly known as the "Moth Orchid," is native to Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, and the Indian Subcontinent. The Moth orchid is grown in greenhouses throughout the San Diego area as well. They come in a colorful mix, including hot pink, deep orange, vibrant yellow, yellow cream, and white and are perfect for contemporary wedding bouquets and centerpieces. The bloom's broad, flat petals can be solid colors, speckled, or striped and are one of the most luxurious flowers to have in Valentine's Day arrangements. If cared for properly, the blooms can last for weeks and sometimes, months.

Orchids are delicate and graceful and can be used in arrangements or delivered as a blooming plant. The orchid represents not only love but also beauty, strength, and is a symbol of luxury. White orchids symbolize innocence and beauty while yellow signifies friendship. If you receive a pink orchid, it is a sign someone likes you, and to no one's surprise, red is a sign of love and romance. 

Red Modern Spring Tulips Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants


Red Tulips are a classic symbol of love and romance and one of the most popular choices for a Valentine's Day gift. Tulip sales account for 15% of the entire domestic flower sales volume and are easily one of the most popular flowers. In a bunch (typically ten stems) or as part of a larger arrangement, tulips are a more affordable choice if the long-stem red roses are a bit too pricey. Tulips come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, white, purple, blue and pink not to mention the variations with a combination of colors. The tulip's lazy, leaning stature adds to their beauty and elegance, especially as the temperatures change from morning to night. Of course, the color red conveys love, passion, and romance. White tulips signify purity and innocence as one might expect and are a popular color for wedding bouquets. Yellow tulips are a sure sign of the arrival of spring (and friendship) as are the deep purple and blue tulips that mirror the sky and sea and represent prosperity and health. We also use tulips in many of our hand-tied bouquets and arrangements. 

Sweet Hyacinth Floral



This fragrant flower blooms in February, March, and April primarily making it a popular Valentine's Day flower arranged in a grouping or part of a larger mixed arrangement. Hyacinth blooms resemble a star-shaped cluster. The blooms grow on a thick stem surrounded by long, slender leaves. The flowers can have single or multiple flowering blooms that will last up to 2 weeks if kept moist. Hyacinth is a genus of flowering bulbs native to the Mediterranean area. The stalks of flowers can reach a height of 6-12 inches. The majority of hyacinth bulbs come from the Netherlands and are poisonous if eaten. But let's not go there. 

In the Victorian era, the hyacinth symbolized sport. Greek myth involving Apollo, Zephyr, and Hyakinthos is said to be the origin of the hyacinth flower name. Bright and bold purple hyacinth blooms are a symbol of regret and request for forgiveness while yellow equates to jealousy. White hyacinth blooms represent innocence and love for someone while red is said to symbolize recreation and play/sport. 


Wild Hearts Designer Floral


Another exotic flower is the Protea, an old-timer as flowers go. The Protea flower has existed since prehistoric times. Greek legend has it that the bloom gets its name from Proteus, son of the Greek God Poseidon, known for his wisdom. The Protea is a different flower that comes in many shapes and colors. The King Protea exhibits a circular head with petals ringing the center to form a Dr. Seuss inspired bloom. Meanwhile, the smaller Pincushion Protea is the size of a little fist and has a center bloom enveloped by stalks that end with teardrops in bright reds and oranges. Protea blooms are grown commercially in California in Santa Barbara and San Diego.

The Protea is perfect to represent diversity and courage, given its wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. A symbol of change and transformation across cultures, the Protea is a genuinely original flower (or flowering plant). Their shape lends them to being used to provide extra flair to any flower arrangement. Like the anthurium, the Protea is often used in tropical arrangements or as an addition to more contemporary floral arrangements. 

Happy Daze Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Happy Daze Floral


The carnation is the workhorse of flowers. In the image above, the peach carnation sits above the primary focal point rose. It is but one of many blooms in this beautiful mix.

From funerals to weddings, the carnation is called on to convey emotions far and wide. The carnation is a symbol of bravery, safety, and strength, while each color has its special meaning. Carnations are said to communicate a desire, fascination, and curiosity to learn more about someone. Pink carnations symbolize gratitude and a mother's undying love, light red carnations represent admiration while dark red signifies deep love, affection, and romance. A fun fact: striped carnations (variegated) is said to symbolize, "regret for a love that cannot be shared." In France, the dark purple carnation is used as a sign of sympathy, whereas the white carnation reflects compassion in America. But the white carnation also symbolizes purity and luck and thus is often used in wedding arrangements. 

White Whispers Designer Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

White Whispers Floral


Hydrangea is an essential summer bloom in floral arrangements and grows as a shrub or climbing vine. It has small four-petal florets that are flat. The hydrangea flower has a variety of meanings, including genuine feelings and gratitude. Some have associated hydrangea with boastfulness or vanity because of their robust bunches of florets. 

Pink hydrangea symbolizes heartfelt emotion, gratitude for understanding, and apology after a Japanese legend where a Japanese emperor gifted them to the family of a girl he loved but neglected. White hydrangea is often associated with purity, innocence but also boasting or bragging. Blue hydrangea is symbolic of apology while purple hydrangea symbolizes a desire to understand someone better. It has also been suggested that hydrangea has a healing and therapeutic effect on people.

 April Showers Floral
April Showers Floral


Lisianthus is native to Texas and Mexico and has a history that predates the Victorian era. The most popular lisianthus looks similar to poppies (or tulips) while the other variety resembles peonies or roses. A symbol of creativity, inspiration, new ideas, and free-thinking, the lisianthus comes in a range of colors including violet, purple, pink, white each having their meaning. With tender petals and oval-shaped leaves, lisianthus is said to express appreciation, making it a perfect flower for someone you care for deeply. They are used regularly to signify a deep romantic connection. 

Beyond the romantic appeal, lisianthus is an excellent flower for sending appreciation as they are also symbolic of admiration, gratefulness, and charisma for a friend. The lisianthus is a long-stemmed flower making it a perfect part of any beautiful floral bouquet when you want to show respect, love, acceptance, and acknowledgment. The lisianthus is a local favorite because they grow in the flower fields north of San Diego. 

English Garden Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

English Garden Floral


Sometimes confused for peonies because of their multi-petaled bloom, ranunculus blooms are a staple of the spring flower season. This spectacular flower defines romantic and stylish and is a favorite for Instagrammers and flower photographers. The tissue-like paper full blooms wrapped tight on a long, slim stalk in a Pantone of vivid, bold colors make the ranunculus the perfect flower for romance and love. No surprise then that ranunculus is a symbol intended to suggest that the receiver is an attractive and charming irrespective of the color of the bloom. And no wonder that they are a staple in flower arrangements.

Like other flowers, ranunculus colors parallel the meanings associated with different flower colors. Red is a symbol of romance, love, and affection while yellow signifies happiness, joy, and positive feelings. If you're a fan of purple, you are a person of mystery, royalty, and beauty. Pink ranunculus symbolizes romance, love, and tender feelings. Combined with red and white, convey a mood of sensuality, affection, and connection.

Ranunculus come in more than 500 varieties. Asiaticus ranunculus is the most prominent cultivated variety and the one most often used in florals. Ideal for use in a variety of flower arrangements, the ranunculus flower is a common sight along side the flower fields north of San Diego. The bloom has a mildly sweet scent and is a protected plant in some regions of the world, including Israel. 

Dahlia Mix from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

12. Dahlia

This stunning bloom adds a contemporary flavor to any bouquet or arrangement in the months of summer. Don't limit yourself to trying to pick the traditional colors for romance and love when the Dahlia offers a bright, bold selection that will do the trick. The dahlia is named after Swedish 18th-century botanist Anders Dahl and is the official flower of Seattle, home to There are approximately 40 varieties, and related species include the daisy, zinnia, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers.

That's a wrap!

So, there you have it — a not too short summary of the top romantic flowers and a bit of background on each. You are sure to be safe if you choose a bouquet with a significant amount of the color, be it red, pink, or shades of burgundy and purple. Pick orange, yellow, or white if you are trying to send a message of friendship, enthusiasm, and abundance. 

We offer same-day delivery on all orders received by 2 p.m. and Green Fresh Florals + Plants delivers flowers across San Diego including to La Jolla, La Mesa, Chula Vista, National City, Coronado, El Cajon, Del Mar, Point Loma, and Rancho Santa Fe. Not sure if we deliver to you? Give us a call at 619-544-0504.

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