Blue or blue orchids do not exist in nature. Plants of the orchid family lack the gene encoding the synthesis of blue pigment. But sometimes an orchid of just this shade is required for design purposes. This material will tell you dying orchids blue at home.
Methods for dying orchids blue
There are two main ways to make orchid flowers blue. The first gives the surface color of the petals. For this, special floristic aerosols are used.
The second method delivers the pigment to the flower from the inside, through the plant’s conducting system. Such delivery can be carried out in two ways:
|Flower coloring method||Methodology||Efficiency evaluation|
|Surface||A paper “collar” is fixed on the flower under the peduncle;· A jet of aerosol floral paint is directed onto the petals.||Advantages:· Staining does not take much time;· Staining occurs without mechanical damage to tissues;· The color is intense, persistent;· The dye remains on the surface of the petals and does not penetrate into the tissues of other organs.|
Disadvantages:· Needs accuracy and precision when spraying paint;· Flowers are evenly colored blue, look artificial;· The life span of flowers decreases;· Newly blossoming buds require repetition of the staining procedure.
|Delivery of pigment through watering||The dye dissolves in irrigation water;· The solution is poured into a deep container;· The orchid pot is set in the solution for 15 minutes.||Advantages:· The dye is delivered to the flower without mechanical damage to the tissues;· Not only processed flowers are stained, but also closed buds.|
Disadvantages:· Along with flowers, orchid roots, leaves, bulbs, and peduncles are stained;· The duration of flowering decreases;· Mixing with natural pigments in certain parts of the flower, the dye can give brown spots;· Uniformity, intensity, and durability of the color depending on the chosen dye;· The vitality of the orchid decreases.
|Delivery of pigment by injection||A special dye is drawn into the syringe;· The lower lateral bud on the peduncle is freed from the integumentary scales;· At an oblique angle in the kidney is injected dye||Advantages:· The pigment is quickly delivered to the petals;· Not only processed flowers are stained, but also closed buds.|
Disadvantages:· Infection is possible at the injection site;· The vitality of the orchid is sharply reduced.
Professional florists prefer to color orchids by injecting them into the peduncle. Despite the risk of infection, this staining method is considered the most effective.
Take a look at Dendrobium Orchid Potting Medium.
Choosing a dye for coloring orchids
For coloring orchids, flower growers are trying to use different chemical dyes – from stationery inks to food paints. Practice shows that plants react differently to these substances. The quality of staining itself is also different:
- Stationery dyes (ink, ink, gouache paints, etc.). The most problematic material in terms of plant safety. Stationery paints contain phytotoxic components – alcohols, viscosity and wettability modifiers, acids, etc. Coloring with such substances is guaranteed to lead to the death of the orchid.
- Food colorings. Most often, flower growers take paint for Easter eggs. Blue colors give dyes marked from E130 to E139. Most of them are products of coal processing or oil refining, therefore, they are also unsafe for plant tissues.
- Floristic aerosols. They practically do not have phytotoxicity, since they are applied only to the surface of the petals. For coloring orchids in blue shades, you can use the paint “Spring pro florist”: for light blue – “Soft blue”, for blue – “Royal blue”.
- Floristic liquid paints for fresh flowers. It is this product that is used by some unscrupulous orchid growers to give plants rare colors. The speed and quality of dyeing are high, due to the good solubility in water and the rapid spread of the pigment through the tissues. Complete coloring of the orchid flower occurs within a few hours after the injection.
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Among liquid floristic paints, the following have proven themselves well:
|“Vase Color”||Dyes available in 300 ml glass bottles. Can be added to irrigation water or used in pure form for injection. For coloring in shades of blue, the dyes “Light Blue” and “Dark Blue” are suitable.|
|Erelia||Dyes produced in containers of different sizes – from 250 ml to 5 liters. Can be used with irrigation water or injections. To obtain blue shades of various degrees of intensity, paints numbered 4, 7, 8 and 21 are suitable.|
how to look after a dyed orchid
An orchid that has undergone staining requires ideal keeping conditions. You need to understand that the plant is under severe stress, and it needs help to get through it with minimal losses. To help the orchid, you should pay attention to the following microclimate parameters:
- The air temperature is moderate, + 18-25 0 С. Drafts are completely excluded. Ventilation – only with forced ventilation.
- Air humidity is constant, at the level of 60-70%. Air that is too dry will further shorten the flowering period, and too humid will increase the risk of fungal contamination of the injection site.
- The moisture content of the substrate is moderate. Watering should be adjusted so that the substrate has time to dry well. Any problems with the root system will lead to the rapid death of the plant.
Spraying of colored orchids is carried out very carefully so as not to overmoisten the injection site. You do not need to give any additional fertilizing to a blooming colored orchid.
Florists reviews about plant paints
Florists who have experimented with the coloring of their orchids prefer professional floristic pigments:
“I really wanted to surprise everyone with a blue orchid. Even having killed one of her phalaenopsis with an injection of stamp ink, she did not calm down. I had another one with an ugly indistinct yellowish color, I decided to experiment on it. I took some paint from friends in a flower shop, with which they put roses, and injected it with a syringe into the peduncle. Phalaenopsis dyed well, evenly, along with the buds. The paint was called “Vase Color”.
Recommended for you ideal humidity for phalaenopsis orchids at home.
Expert opinion on the artificial coloring of orchids
When designing and experimenting with plants, do not forget that orchids are living organisms.
“Personally, I find the artificial coloring of potted plants to be gross violence against nature. Phalaenopsis was brought to the intensive care unit, which, after injection into the root collar, tried to remove the coloring solution both through gutation and through the stomata during transpiration. Drops of paint stood out from everywhere. The plant was never saved. Peduncle shots aren’t much better. Solutions spread along with the conductive system not only from bottom to top but also back. This is a very dangerous occupation.”