If you do some research about orchids, you will get to know that there are 25,000 different types of them! These flowers vary in many ways in their appearance, and you may also know that there are many different colors of orchids that are available.
While white, pink, and red orchids are the most commonly seen ones, blue orchid flowers are more of a rarity. When you think of blue orchids, you might be met with a great number of questions such as, are they natural? How many types are there? Etc. Today must be a good day for you because we will be answering all the questions you could have about blue orchids.
What is the Blue Orchid Flower?
Orchids are very popular flowers, and they are used on various occasions. Their color plays a large role in determining where they are used and what they are used for. Unlike white orchid flowers, Blue is a very rare color in nature, and it is seen even less in flowers. Hence, blue orchids are considered to be very valuable flowers.
Although orchids have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and they were discovered about 4000 years ago, you could say that blue orchids are more of a recent discovery.
William Griffith, who was a botanist, was the first person to discover beautiful blue orchids in 1837. These wonderful flowers were found in Northeastern India, more specifically in the Khasia Hills of Assam. However, the botanist tried to transport the blue orchids to England, but they died at that time.
What Does It Symbolize?
Orchids can mean symbolize different things depending on their color. When you are gifting someone orchids, you want to choose the right color, so you can pass an accurate and wonderful message to the recipient.
While Orchids are popular, they are not the most common type of flower. Moreover, as blue is so rare in nature, blue orchids are considered to be even more of a rarity. That is why blue orchids symbolize uniqueness, as well as rarity.
If the giver is well-aware of the meaning behind this flower, then they are trying to tell the recipient that they are one of a kind. Additionally, blue orchids can also symbolize hope, eternal peace, and luxury. Blue orchids are not very common gifts because they are very hard to find sometimes, and can also be costly.
Keeping blue orchids around your space could you help you attain a bit of peace if you are stressed because that is what they represent, and their appearance is truly a wonderful sight.
Is it Possible to Grow It Naturally?
Because of its unique color, people often assume that blue orchids are made only artificially. But is that true? The answer is both a yes and a no. So, blue orchids do grow naturally, yes, but most of the blue orchids that you see in shops are usually artificially dyed.
The reason why natural blue orchids are not that available is that they are seen quite rarely in the wild. Hence, their cost is also high, which encourages florists to make them artificially. So, yes, most of the blue orchids you see in the stores are real orchids, but they are just dyed blue.
Natural Blue Orchids You Can Grow
After saying all that, we must come back to the point that there are still a few orchids that have the natural blue gene, and they are Boella Coelestis, Thelymitra Crinite, and Blue Vanda. We will be talking about each of these natural blue orchids, in brief, so you can see which one you like the most. So, then maybe you can choose to grow one!
You could say that the Boella Coelestis is close to what would be called a natural blue orchid, but the petals are more of a shade of violet. You can also see that the petals on this flower have white tips, and the inner portion of it is often lavender. A vibrant yellow crest can also be seen on the lip of the flower.
The size of this flower is about 3 and a half inches, so it’s neither small nor large, and the petals are arranged in a fan shape. The Boella Coelestis is held by light green foot-long leaves, which make the color of the flower pop even more. This type of orchid is native to Colombia and Ecuador and can be grown in both warm and cool climates.
The Thelymitra Crinite is a very rare flower, and you can think of it as the true blue orchid. This flower goes by many names, including queen orchid, lily orchid, and blue lady orchid.
This flower is a perennial herb and has one dark green leaf with it, which can be anywhere from 2 to 6 inches in length. The flower is about small to medium-sized, with the petals being about 0.6 to 0.9 inches in length and 0.2 to 0.4 inches in width.
What stands out the most is the eye-striking blue color of the petals; it is truly a rarity in nature. The shade of blue can vary between a paler and a more vibrant color. Thelymitra Crinites have a blue column which also has a yellow crest. That is not the only yellow thing they have; the anther of this flower is covered completely with tiny yellow glands.
Amongst natural blue orchids, the Blue Vanda is seen more often. This is the blue orchid species that William Griffith had found all the way back in 1837 in Assam. You may know this flower by the name autumn lady’s tresses or vanda coerulea.
Although this flower is the most common natural blue orchid, its petals are not exactly a true blue color. The color can be described as a bluish lilac color. They bloom in a fan shape with their 5 petals. This flower is still native to the Northeastern part of India, but it is also grown in abundance in Southern Yunnan, China.
How to Make Your Orchids Blue Artificially
As we have said in our previous sections, most of the blue orchids that you see in the market are artificially dyed and are not natural blue orchids. Most of the time, florists get phalaenopsis orchids which are easy to find, and then they dye them blue.
So, how are these orchids artificially turned blue? There are a few methods, and we will be talking about 2 of them in our article.
Injecting the Dye
First of all, you can inject blue water-soluble dye such as food coloring into the stem of the orchids. Then you will have to place the flowers in a container with water.
As the plant causes the uptake of water, the blue dye will be transported to the petals, and after waiting for some time, your white orchid should now look like a rare blue orchid.
Placing White Orchids in a Solution of Blue Food Dye
In a vase, pour in some lukewarm water, and then add your required amount of blue food dye. The measurement is that for each cup of water that you add, you will need about 50 drops of blue food dye.
Cut your white orchids’ stems in a slant direction, and then place them in the solution and wait. You will just need to wait around for some time, and then your white orchids will be artificially blue!
What are the Uses of the Blue Orchid Flower?
Since blue orchids are such beautiful flowers to look at, it is a must to use them for decorative purposes. You can try to include them in your garden to beautify your home, or you can put them in an elegant vase and place it in your living room to add a pop of color.
Besides its aesthetics, natural blue orchids actually have a few other good uses. The Blue Vanda, which we have discussed above, has some medicinal uses. The liquid extracted from this flower can be used to make eye drops which have proved to be useful in helping with cataracts, glaucoma, and even blindness!
Oil from some blue orchids can be beneficial for the skin. Blue orchid oil can be used to hydrate and bring back the radiance to dry skin.
If you are planning to grow blue orchids in your home, then you don’t need to worry very much about maintenance because they are tough plants. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need proper care.
Keep your blue orchid plant in a place with bright but indirect light from the sun, so a South or East facing window would be a good place to keep it close to. Water them once every week, and try to keep the air humid. Getting a humidifier can help you maintain the humidity at 60 to 70%, which is great for the flower’s growth.
Add fertilizer to your potting mixture once every two weeks when the plant is showing new growth, but as the plant gets older, fertilize it every two months.
For those of you who will be just keeping their orchids in a vase, there’s not much you can do. Just make sure they get some light and change the water every other day.
Where Can I Buy It?
The answer to this question depends greatly on one factor: do you want natural or artificially dyed blue orchids? If you are fine with the former option, then you will be pleased to hear that you will find them in almost any big flower shop.
However, it will be very challenging to find natural blue orchids like Thelymitra Crinites. You will have to contact special vendors who grow these flowers. People residing in Australia or the Northeast of India will find it easier to get their hands on the natural ones.
Natural blue orchids are extremely expensive in comparison to artificial ones, but they are also more beautiful.
Interesting Facts You Should Know
- Blue Orchids were first discovered in 1837 in Northeast India by the botanist called William Griffith.
- A blue orchid plant may be able to survive up to a whole century.
- They have very small seeds, which can make cultivation difficult.
- Once a blue orchid plant has enough blooms, it will hang and grow upside down.
- It may take up to 7 years for the first flowers to grow after orchid seeds have germinated.
- There are only mainly 3 types of naturally blue orchids, regardless of there being over 25,000 documented species of orchids in the world!
Common Issues To Be Aware Of
There are no major issues with the blue orchid flower or growing them. However, we would like to discuss a few things that you may want to know if you want to get blue orchids.
Struggle to find a Real Blue Orchid
Unfortunately, it is very common for vendors to sell artificially dyed blue orchids at a very high price by saying they are natural. Upon close examination, you should be able to tell which one is fake because the coloring on the artificially dyed one will not be uniform.
Tend to be Very Expensive
Since natural blue orchids are very rare, they are also quite pricey. If you want to buy a bunch of real blue orchids, then you will definitely be making your wallet a tad bit lighter.
Waiting for the Flowers to Grow
If you decide to grow blue orchids, then be prepared to be very patient because once your blue orchid seeds have germinated, it can take about 5 – 7 years for the first flowers to even show.
What Are Some Creative Uses for the Blue Orchid Flower?
There are many ways how you can use blue orchid flowers besides leaving them in a vase.
- Make floral ornaments with them. The unique blue color will definitely be an eye-catcher whether you use it in making earrings, a bracelet, or even a necklace.
- Use it to make a floral curtain for special events, but that would be one expensive curtain.
- Decorating a wedding stage with blue orchid floral arrangements.
- Juice of the Blue Vanda can be used to make a very potent eye drop.
Blue orchid flowers are truly one-of-a-kind flowers, and if someone gives you a bouquet of them, you should know that they are also signifying that you are a unique person.
Not many people have seen natural blue orchids because of how rare they are. So, if you have the opportunity and can afford to get them, do not miss out. If you are getting artificially dyed blue orchids, that is also great because all of them are just beautiful!