The common Phalaenopsis orchid comes in a wide range of colors. What you may not know is that blue, orange and green orchids are dyed to get their striking color. Many people buy these colored flowers in hopes that the flowers will be the same color the next time they bloom – and then are sadly disappointed when the flowers are white. In this material, you will learn how to dye orchids.
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Simple surface coloring or painting
Painting flowers may seem silly, but it is a way to color the flowers without damaging the plant. To surface color an orchid, remove a stem with flowers from the plant so that you are only treating the cut orchid and not the entire plant. The advantage of this method is that it works immediately and does not damage the root system or other tissues of the plant, since you are coloring a flower on a cut stem. You don’t have to paint the entire flower, you can just color the tips or edges of the petals to create an attractive alternative.
You can also enhance the natural color of a white orchid flower by applying a light coat of flower paint, such as Just For Flowers, to the back of the petals, making the flower look crisper and cleaner. This technique does not obscure the details of the flower, but enhances its overall appearance. In addition, spray painting can prevent cut flowers, such as those used in bridal bouquets, from wilting so quickly by preventing water from evaporating from the petals. While this won’t extend the life of the flower, it can keep them looking fresh a little longer.
Injection of dye through the stem.
The injection method is the most commonly used by florists, as it is considered the most effective coloring method. The dye is drawn into a syringe and injected into the stem of the plant, causing the dye to spread to the buds on the stem. When the dye is administered in this manner, the flower changes rapidly. Although the orchid is at risk of infection where the injection was made, this risk is usually mitigated by sealing the wound with wax. Florists take this risk because it is a quick method that results in beautiful, natural-looking pigmentation.
Tip. To color an orchid blue using the infusion method, choose a specimen with fresh buds that have not yet faded.
Dyeing orchids with food coloring
Blue ink is not suitable as a coloring agent for the infusion method for orchids, as it could clog the pores of the delicate plant as it dries. Despite the less pronounced coloring effect, you should use water-soluble food coloring. In order for you to dye orchids by infusion, you will need the following accessories:
- a syringe with an approximately 1.5 mm to 2 mm thick injection needle
- if necessary, a container for the dye
- rubber rings for temporary fixation of the infusion
- cinnamon for wound care
Procedure for dye injection
First of all, the selected orchid should have a white or at least fairly light flower color. A few days before the color injection, the selected plant should not receive any more watering water, and at most it should be sprayed with water. Then proceed as follows when coloring the flowers with the injection or infusion method:
- Dissolve the water-soluble food coloring in a cup of warm, soft water.
- Draw up the syringe with the dye solution or fill it into the infusion container.
- Choose an inconspicuous (poorly visible) site near the base of the plant as the injection site.
- Carefully insert the injection needle into the center of the stem. Be careful not to pierce the stem.
- Insert the needle into the stem at an angle downward and secure the syringe to it with a rubber ring.
- Apply gentle pressure to the syringe several times a day or allow the dye solution to drip from the infusion bag.
- Close and disinfect the wound site with a little ground cinnamon.
How to dye orchids blue: Instructions
To create the bright light or deep blue color, orchid growers inject blue dye into the orchid’s ear before the flowers open. After injecting the dye, it usually takes at least 24 hours for the flowers to change color. The necessary materials are quickly obtained. You will need blue food coloring such as Brilliant Blue FCF (E133), an infusion kit with container, and a white Phalaenopsis orchid. The procedure is the same as the one described above. The buds must not have opened yet when you start coloring. If the plant is already in full bloom, you will be bitterly disappointed with the result.
What happens when dyed orchids bloom again
When dyed orchids bloom again, the new flowers will be the color of the original plant. If you have a white orchid that was dyed blue, the new flowers will be white. However, if the flowers were in the bud stage during the dyeing process, they will bloom the same color as the dye, just slightly lighter. Although dyeing an orchid seems fairly simple, it is actually a labor-intensive process that requires precise skill. During the dyeing process, special care should be given to the plant, as it can be more sensitive to environmental factors such as temperature, light and drafts.