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I am going to give some of a new gardeners here a bit of advice and beware.   Beware of stem dyed cut flowers or  dye watered flowers.   Ever recall that celery experiment we did as children, where you shoved a stalk of celery into food coloured water and watched as time passed the celery would turn colour?  Well this  works  very very well with some flowering plants. Often plants that have a need for lots of  water or have  high transpiration rate.  We often know those BLUE deep true blue roses are fake. The blue rose is actually more of a lavender purple with blueish undertones. Or purple with a blue cast. Blue in flowers is  not a common colour. They also do this to get those neat blue carnations.  And blue cut orchids. The dye will tint the white areas of the flower blue.  Other colours have a blue cast but yellow will look greenish.  They also do this trick for many other vivid colours.  Like say for example, vivid green carnations on st Patrick's day..   These do look nice and sometimes it is cool to  give a theme arrangement. I just deeply disagree with the fact people peddle these like they are really that colour.
  You would be surprised how many people think  those are real. Basically they water the rose /or  cut the roses it is developing into nice clean water saturated with blue dye.  And then I get asked at work. Where can I buy one of those  really blue roses for my garden?  What gets me is the outrageous prices these" BLUE" flowers get. Sure it's pretty and some work is involved but the price is almost entirely gimmick profit.  But the real rip off is showing up in Phalenopsis  Orchids being sold under the "Blue mystique" name.  I belong to multiple orchid societies, And  I help Judge orchids in shows. Blue is the rarest colour in orchids. Only a  select few orchids are true blue. I have grown hundreds of orchids.  These blue phalenopsis have  a bright blue flower but upon closer inspection you will notice  the flowers have uneven watery distribution of the blue tint.  Often darker blue around the edges of the sepals and petals. The leaves may have dark blue green streaking. A  guy was trying to sell these for over 50 dollars! I just think it's a sin. Because later flowerings will have  less blue colour or none at all.  Basically they take a  so-so quality white orchid. One not worth that much money,  do this treatment then ask for a high price for these amazingly blue orchids. Hey it's cool but also really deceptive and sad if a person buys this and assumes hey if I can bloom this again, I will have this beautiful blue flower next year. Just  a heads up. Even in the gardening world there are some real shady practices we need to be aware of. 


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 14th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
Yes terrible marketing. Bet you noticed the blue green streaking or the strange un even blue tones. Now orchids Come in a Dazzling array of colors and shapes. There are some nice near blue/purples even black orchids now but true sky blue only exists in a ultra rare hard to grow few orchids. Do be aware there are " Blue vandas that are very close to blue but not quite that sky blue we seek so much.
Mar. 10th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
This is an excellent type of post. Maybe people in the community should do some semi-regular buyer beware type posts because seriously shady folks make money off new gardeners who have plenty of enthusiasm but limited experience.
Mar. 10th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, thank you! As a new gardener I would not have known. I did know blue was a fairly rare color for flowers but if someone told me they'd developed a blue variant of an orchid I likely would not have questioned it.

I have been thinking about trying to turn my hydrangeas blue though. It messes with my head that apparently you make the soil more acidic for blue, and basic for pink? Just the OPPOSITE of litmus paper?
Mar. 14th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Yes adding Soil acidifying things like oak leaves pine, needles, Sulfur, Aluminum sulphate. Will change Pink Hydrangeas blue. Except the Peegee types Or Anabelle type. Some will turn more blue then others so try a variety Like Nikko pink Or Nikko blue.
Mar. 10th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
As a random side note...
Am I the only one who read "blue roses" and immediately thought of The Glass Menagerie?
Mar. 10th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
Re: As a random side note...
No, I too am forever doomed to associate blue roses with The Glass Menagerie.

Mar. 11th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
Sadly, unscrupulous mail order/online nurseries don't even bother to do that much- they just tune up the photos in PhotoShop. I can't name the number of seeds I've bought that were touted as 'blue' or 'red' only to find out they are purple or orange instead. And it's even worse when I've sold the baby plants as that! It makes *me* a liar, too!
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
Well, you helped me out. Blue is my favorite color and I was certainly going to spring for some blue flowers as soon as I could afford them. Disappointing but thank you very much.
Mar. 11th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: :(
Bachelor's buttons. Lobelia. Morning glories. Iris (particularly Dutch and reticulata irises) There are some honestly blue flowers out there, but not all that many.
Mar. 11th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
Re: :(
Mar. 11th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Ooohh I had no idea about the orchids! Thank you so much, you just saved me a lot of grief and money.
Mar. 12th, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
Walmart is even guilty of misleading.
They were selling a LAVENDER double Peony with a doctored photo.
I waited two years for it to bloom....It was just a single pink flowered one... To my knowledge,only Tree Peonies,are a true Lavender...I was niavee....
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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