Orchids, without a doubt, are responsible for some of the most stunning and unusual blooms in the plant kingdom. A serious orchid grower probably wouldn’t buy the blue-flowered orchid you may get in the floral section of your neighbourhood store.
The flower itself is a genuine orchid. The blue hue of the flower is not natural. Common phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids do not naturally produce blue blossoms, but they can be dyed any colour you like.
Find out everything you need to know about blue orchids and other blue flowers before you make a purchase.
Designing the Blue Phalaenopsis
The usual white flowered orchid in this species is P. amabilis, while in 2011 the first artificially blue-flowered phalaenopsis was introduced. The electric blue colour of these hybrid orchids is achieved by injecting the spike with patented dye solutions after the flowers have opened. If the flowers are still in the bud stage when the dye is injected, the resulting blue hues will be paler than if the petals had fully opened.
Fewer than 10% of all genus- and species-identified flowering plants have blue in their colour spectrum.1 Although certain plants are said to have blue flowers, the actual colour of the blossoms is more typically a purple or lavender.
Botanists and horticulturists have mainly failed in their attempts to genetically engineer plants to generate blue blooms. In spite of this, some blue-flowered phalaenopsis orchids were spotted at a 2013 Japanese orchid display.2 Even though these orchids have been genetically engineered and patented, you won’t find them at your local flower shop any time soon, and they won’t look anything like the blue phalaenopsis you’re used to seeing.
The Proper Way to Water a Blue-Dyed Orchid
The Phalaenopsis orchid is a great choice for new growers because it is low maintenance and comes in a wide range of vibrant colours. The blue-dyed blooms are a one-time thing, but if you really like them, you can probably keep this orchid alive and it will rebloom with white flowers.
The xylem of the stem is where the water carrying the dye begins its journey to the blooms. Because they are not permanently fastened, water-based dyes can spread and colour whatever they come into touch with. If you buy a blue phalaenopsis orchid, take care to avoid watering it too often.
Since dye formulae are confidential trade secrets and protected by patent law, consumers have no way of knowing if the dye they are using is safe or not. Keep the plant out of the reach of children and pets to be safe.
Orchids require careful attention to hygiene and the use of sterile equipment and procedures. The risk of bacterial or fungal infection, illness, and insect invasion increases if a cut is made in the flower spike. The health of your other plants could be at risk, even if you intend to eliminate the plant once it blooms. Keep an eye out for symptoms and put the orchid in quarantine if needed.
Information Critical to Your Understanding of Blue Flowers
There are a handful of extremely uncommon plant species that really bloom with blue blooms. They are notoriously challenging to acquire and cultivate because they are indigenous to Asia, Africa, and South America. Listed below are a few of the species now recognised by science.
- The most common, and the one with the most authentically blue blossoms, is the Vanda coerulea. This winter epiphyte grows best in a chilly environment and can be found in China and India. From this species, several hybrids have been grown fruitfully.
- Thelymitra crinite is the “true blue” orchid, also known as the Queen Orchid, the Lily Orchid, and the Blue Lady Orchid. It is native to the southwest regions of Australia and New Zealand. The flowers open in the morning and close in the afternoon.
- A microscopic epiphyte native to New Guinea, Dendrobium cyanocentrum ‘Black-Blue Spurred Dendrobium’ blooms with lavender-blue flowers in the shape of stars in the late winter and early spring.
- Boella coelestis is a species of blue orchid native to the Andean area of South America. Each flower can have anywhere from 6-12 leaves, and the full bloom can be up to 4 inches across. Without a greenhouse, it is practically hard to provide the low light and extremely high humidity (80-100%) that the orchid requires.
- Native to South America, the small, fast-growing epiphyte Acacallis cyanea ‘Dark Blue Acacallis’ can often be found growing partially submerged in rivers. From late winter to early summer, this plant displays its fragrant, spectacular flowers, which have white petals with blue and purple overtones, and a yellow and plum lip.
- Orchid whose natural range includes the mountains around Capetown, South Africa is known as Disa Graminifolia ‘Ker Gawl. ex Spreng., syn. Herschelianthe graminifolia’. Its grass-like leaves are home to fragrant blooms that have mauve-purple and green petals, vibrant blue to violet-purple sepals, and a purple-violet streaked lip. Winter is when flowering begins.
Can you get different coloured orchid flowers?
Multicoloured blossoms and additional blue and purple tones are driving the growth of the market for common orchids with dyed flowers.
Are orchids with coloured blossoms unusual?
In fact, the method wasn’t implemented until 2011 and has since expanded. Orchids with artificial dyes can be found in any number of retail locations, including supermarkets, warehouse clubs, garden centres, and even online.
How dangerous are orchids that have been dyed?
Water-based dyes can contain a wide variety of chemicals; while some farmers use colouring safe for human consumption, this is not always the case.