The color variety of orchids cannot leave anyone indifferent. Especially many amateurs dream of growing blue or blue orchids, such as in the window of a fashionable flower department. Let's try to figure out whether this flower can really be considered a miracle of nature, and whether there are varietal blue or blue orchids.
How did they come about?
The first blue orchid flower was demonstrated at a tropical flower show in Florida by Silver Vase in 2011. After 3 months, Geest Orchideeën presented its version. After that, flower shop customers began to demand a flower. It should be noted that the representatives of Geest Orchideeën did not initially conceal from those who were interested that the novelty was obtained by chemical coloring and during the flowering period will regain its natural color. To date, the secret of staining technology that turns a white flower into a blue one has not been revealed. However, it is known that when painting, natural materials are used that do not adversely affect the plant.
It turns out that blue and blue orchids are not hybrid or varietal species, artificially bred, but only a successful PR move, and soft blue or bright blue flowers tint. Abroad, this variety is used as a decoration for celebrating an important event.
How to distinguish painted from real?
There is a difference between the real and the colored orchid. To distinguish two flowers, pay attention to a number of criteria.
- This flower has a stem of natural color without additional shades.
- Swipe your finger across the petals. If a trace of paint remains on the skin, then this is a painted specimen.
- If the soil in which the plant is represented has a natural color, then this indicates that they did not try to color the flower.
If you buy a painted blue orchid, then you should prepare for serious care of the plant. A flower that has been chemically exposed requires more attention and care.
How to make an orchid blue?
Currently, there are two known ways to give a white flower a blue tint at home. Staining through watering is considered the least traumatic for the plant, although the result in this case is not so successful, as the natural color returns to the flower after the watering ceases. And also the minus of this method is the coloring of not only buds, but also stems. To achieve a blue color, dissolve the dye in water. Keep in mind that a large amount of dye will give the flower a brighter color, but will bring a lot of harm to the plant. After that, the culture is watered as before.
A more effective method is staining by injection. This must be done very carefully so that the flower undergoes as little stress as possible. It is recommended that injections into the peduncle be done to cause minimal damage. Fill the syringe with dye dissolved in water and insert the needle into the selected part. When staining in one way or another, follow the recommendations of specialists.
- The water to which the dye connects should be at room temperature. Do not use boiled water; settling is more suitable.
- To reduce the risk of flower disease during the injection, sanitize the ink needle.
- For staining, give preference to chemicals that are sold in specialized flower or agricultural departments. It is allowed, instead of special paints, to use food coloring.
- You can stain an orchid by injection by inserting a needle into any part, but it is better to insert a syringe into the peduncle. The most traumatic option is the introduction of the drug into the roots.
Whatever method is chosen, remember that any procedure is very dangerous for this delicate flower. Staining methods can even lead to the death of a culture. After coloring, the plant will require very careful care. In addition, improperly performed manipulations can cause serious diseases. For example, if the roots or stem are damaged during the injection, pathogenic bacteria can enter. Therefore, after staining, regularly monitor the condition of the flower.
For many years, flower merchants deceived buyers by selling them blue and blue orchids. What was the surprise of the new owner of the flower, when after flowering he accepted his natural color. And these are not the most negative consequences, since some specimens did not at all withstand chemical interference and died. Currently, breeders have managed to breed several species whose color is close to blue. Hybrids belong to orchid families such as vanda, cattleya, phalaenopsis.
For beginner gardeners, phalaenopsis is more suitable, this variety is designed for indoor care and is not picky about growing. This species includes, for example, the Dutch hybrid Phalaenopsis Royal Blue, but its blue color will not last long. And also in 2013, species of phalaenopsis called “Aphrodite” were bred - this version is characterized by really blue flowering, however, the likelihood of such an instance getting into the home flower collection is negligible.
Another species, “Wanda Blue,” can also be found in nature, but its color cannot be called purely heavenly. Wanda flowers have a bluish tint and specks. The least preferred option for amateurs, since the flower requires serious care and the creation of certain conditions for successful cultivation. Cattleya orchids are not as picky about conditions as a vanda, although in their case certain rules of care must be observed. In general, this variety with beautiful and large flowers is quite taking root in the house.
Conditions of detention
Orchids must be kept in special conditions.
The grower should attach particular importance to this criterion, since the development and vitality of any orchid depends on it. To determine the plant’s need for light, it is necessary to study the natural conditions of the species. In winter and summer, it is recommended to put the culture on the west side, in which case the owner of the flower frees himself from the obligation to provide additional lighting. In addition, with this arrangement, the flower will avoid direct exposure to dangerous ultraviolet rays.
Another option for winter maintenance is the south side, at this time the sun's rays are not able to burn the plant. If the crop is in the southern part throughout the year, it is necessary to regularly monitor the degree of drying of the soil and adjust the irrigation regime. The least preferred place for the blue variety is the north side, however, in the presence of artificial lighting, for example, phytolamps, this arrangement will not be a problem.
According to experienced gardeners, the optimal daylight hours provides the most frequent flowering. If there is insufficient lighting, then the plant directs all the energy to the development of the leaves. You can determine the deficit of light by the light shade of the foliage, and its inner side in this case does not have crimson pigmentation. The duration of daylight hours for this culture is 12-16 hours, for immature or unhealthy specimens - up to 18 hours a day.
Too intense light is also dangerous. The sun's rays can provoke burns on the leaves of this fragile flower, so you can not leave the plant under direct rays. It is necessary to maintain daylight hours in winter, if the owner wants to admire the lush flowering. If this is not necessary, then you can leave the flower before the daylight itself begins to increase in accordance with the season.
If phalaenopsis is grown, then you should know that this is a heat-loving species, and therefore even the night temperature should not be below +18 degrees. Daily limits are 25.30 degrees above zero.
Non-compliance with the temperature regime threatens serious diseases or the risk for the plant to be attacked by pests. Both low and too high temperature indicators lead to such consequences.
In order for the flower to actively grow and develop, it is required to observe daily temperature fluctuations, which should correspond to 8-10 degrees. And also when setting the mode, it is important to pay attention to the phase of the plant life cycle. You can adjust the temperature based on the state of the flower itself. For example, during dormancy, the room should be cooler than during active vegetation.
How to care?
Blue orchids require careful care, proper watering and fertilizing.
The flower loves to eat plentifully in minerals, and therefore it is required to fertilize the plant at least 2-3 times a month in the warm period. In autumn, the frequency of top dressing can be reduced by 2 times, and in winter it is enough to feed a copy once a month. One caveat: nutrition on the root system is not enough, it is necessary that the fertilizer process is carried out according to the leaf. For this, special store mixes are suitable.
Another rule: salts that are used for fertilizer tend to concentrate in the substrate, and therefore it is important to rinse it with warm water once a month. Take advantage of a few more Phalaenopsis fertilizer tips from experienced growers:
- exclusively healthy specimens with a stable root system and normal leaf turgor are allowed to feed;
- during the flowering period, plants cannot be fertilized, since this procedure speeds up the metabolism, respectively, the duration of flowering is significantly reduced;
- in the so-called dormant period, the culture will require feeding once every 2 weeks;
- for a month you can not fertilize a newly transplanted flower or a young, still weakened specimen;
- observe all proportions indicated in the instructions for use of the drug.
When choosing a fertilizer for the blue variety in the store, give preference to the following products:
- "Dr. Foley" - due to the content of nitrogen and potassium, this mixture has a beneficial effect on the active growth of tissues and the overall development of the plant;
- Forte complexes - the product contains phosphorus, which contributes to long and abundant flowering;
- biofertilizer “Mr. Color” is intended for growing leaves and roots, has a positive effect on the development of peduncles.
Watering mode is determined by lighting. The more sun falls on the plant, the more often watering is carried out. On average, it is recommended to moisten the soil once a week. In summer, the number of procedures should be increased to once every 4 days.
A flower needs watering if its leaves began to change color or lose turgor. But it is also important to check the soil for dryness all the time. It is recommended to delay the watering session in cases where condensation is observed on the walls of the pot. When the flowering period begins, watering is best reduced. In this case, phalaenopsis will bloom much longer. For hydration, it is recommended to use boiled, settled or rain water, such water is soft and will not harm the root system.
Many gardeners are advised to water the plant by immersion. To do this, the entire pot, along with the flower, is lowered into a basin with water and left for a maximum of half an hour. Next, excess fluid flows through the drainage. Another way is the so-called shower. The specimen is “bathed” under a weak pressure of water, after which they wait until excess water drains and carefully remove moisture from the sinuses, which can provoke decay - blue varieties weakly resist putrefactive processes.
When growing blue species, it is important to maintain at an appropriate level and humidity. Household humidifiers, decorative fountains, wet towels hung next to a flower or just a nearby water tank will cope with this task.
For how to care for blue orchids, see the next video.