I just returned from the grocery store and they had blue orchids for sale; both dendrobium and phalaenopsis. These colors are not natural on orchids so I decided to find out how they are produced. How long will the colors last? Do they need any special care?
Blue Orchids are Not Real
The Vanda orchids are almost blue, but they are really a blueish-purple. A true blue color does not occur in orchids. The blue orchids pictured above have been dyed.
I think this dye job looks quite fake. The colors just don’t look real and the distribution of color is not even.
How Are Blue Orchids Made?
As the flower stem is growing, a food dye is injected into the flower stem. As water rises in the stem, it takes the dye with it and into the flowers. Within 24 hours you can see the dye in the flowers.
This is usually done on white orchids that have very little pigment in the flowers so that the blue shows well.
Any color of dye can be used. In the picture to the right you can see orange and green orchids which have also been dyed.
How Long Do Blue Orchids Last?
The blue flowers on the orchid will last until the flowers fall off. Any new flowers formed by the plant will revert back to the original color – probably white.
Caring for Blue Orchids
There is no real difference between these orchids and regular orchids, so give them the exact same care. Water them just like regular orchids.
The Bottom Line
Does the world really need dyed orchids? Orchids come in thousands of color combinations already – I just don’t see the appeal for these.