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What Do Tulip Colors Mean?


Every color and shade has a meaning in the language of flowers. Multiple tulips in a bouquet can express different emotions or send a message depending on the hue. While every flower color has a meaning, tulips themselves are special to receive the overall meaning of perfect love. Keep that in mind when it comes time to give a gift of flowers or grow the perfect flower bed.

Yellow Tulips

The sunny yellow can represent friendship, but it can also represent a one-sided love. The modern interpretation translates the bright color into happiness and sunshine, perfect for light, festive bouquets. Past interpretations mean an unrequited love. Even this isn’t so dour – an unrequited love has hope for a strong friendship. For your garden, try Tulipa “Sun Child.”

Red Tulips

Like red roses, red tulips signify passionate love. The tulip is the official flower for an 11th wedding anniversary, so deep red tulips can state your true love to your significant other for your special day. Red also signifies “belief in love,” and receiving a red tulip can be code for “believe me” or “believe in me.” For your garden, try Tulipa “Red Riding Hood.”

Pink Tulips

Pink is also a symbol of love, but more of a platonic or familial love. It’s a sign of caring, wishing happiness and expressing an attachment. Pink tulips are the BFF (best friends forever) color of the flower world. For your garden, try Tulipa “Angelique.”

Purple Tulips

Feeling regal? Purple tulips, like many purple shades, symbolize royalty and nobility. Giving purple tulips to a significant other denotes that they're the king or queen of your heart. It also signifies rebirth, renewal and growth. For a spring bouquet, it doesn’t get any better. For your garden, try Tulipa “Queen of Night.”

White and Cream Tulips

The clean white color represents a clean slate, humility, honor, forgiveness and starting anew. A white tulip can also express regret and can be given when offering an apology or presented at a funeral. It can be used to honor family members or given at a religious occasion like a baptism. White colors are often associated with innocence, and white tulips are no exception. A bride carrying white tulips represents purity and innocence. This version of the tulip color meaning ties in with cream tulips. Cream tulips are slightly darker than white tulips and can represent commitment, eternal bonds and deep love. A mix of both white and cream tulips would signify a wedding commitment. For your garden, try a white or cream variety in the Lily-Flowered Tulip family.

Orange Tulips

The happiest tulip color meaning is orange. These bright bursts of sunshine radiate appreciation, understanding and joy. Given to a significant other, it shows the strength of your bond and connection. For friends and family, a gift of an orange tulip can mean you enjoy their energy and are thankful for their presence in your life. For your garden, try a Tulipa “Orange Lion.”

The only color missing is blue. Gardeners cultivate and breed hybrid flowers, and (sometimes with a little help from a blue dye) a blue tulip has emerged that leans more purple than true blue. Its blue color has colloquially been dubbed to mean individuality and tranquility.

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