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Blue orchids are artificial for some, but a colorful highlight for many others. They are not naturally bred in blue, but artificially colored. The plant expert explains everything there is to know about it and how you can easily dye your orchid blue yourself.


The delicate orchids in white, shades of pink and lilac are usually rather inconspicuous in terms of colour. If you want to change this and set a strong color accent with your orchid, you can now get it in blue. In terms of price, they are usually well above the undyed orchids in the trade and you also do not get a guarantee that the color will last for a long time and remain strong. But you can also easily dye your specimen yourself or re-dye dyed plants from the trade.

Grower Orchids

Blue is a very popular colour, which is used extensively in furnishing and/or decoration at home. A flower as noble as an orchid in blue is particularly popular with flower lovers. The traders have recognized this and, after a brief boom in rose dyeing, have now also found ways to dye the sensitive Orchidaceae.

To dye

The cheapest variant of breeders is the simple coloring. This creates different shades of blue, ranging from a radiant, strong blue to light blue and turquoise. Reputable dealers use non-toxic paints. Dubious people often use a simple spray can from the hardware store. In terms of price, they are usually a few euros higher than the undyed copies.


It is more expensive with a coloring technique that comes from the hands of a Dutch breeder who has applied for a patent on it. The blue color is injected into the pathways of the flowers. A special type of paint is used for this, for which the patent is also being processed. However, other colors can also be used for copying.

On the German flower market, the very popular Phalaenopsis is often offered, which sometimes only costs a few euros and is injected for plants with a blue color, which customers are asked to pay 30 to 50 euros for. Other varieties are also available, such as the Anthurium andreanum or the Euphorba pulcherrima, which are roughly in the same price range.


Injected Color

Injecting blue color has a significantly longer or safer shelf life. Once injected into the pathways, it does not become weaker due to external influences, as can be the case with the colored specimens. The durability principle can be roughly compared with hair dyeing and hair tinting, whereby flower dyeing is equated with hair tinting because water can slowly wash it out, while hair dyeing only grows out with new hair, which happens with flower dyeing with new blossoms.


Orchids only thrive in a warm, humid microclimate. This is simulated by appropriately special cover pots, the special construction of which allows moisture to rise continuously right up to the blossoms. Depending on how high quality the coloring of the flowers was made, it often happens that an initially strong blue has faded significantly after just a few days and may have completely disappeared by the time the flowers wilt.

Others, on the other hand, only fade slowly due to the continuous supply of water. Here, the blue dye is diluted more and more with water, so that the color intensity decreases. The fact is, however, that in both process technologies the color generally only exists for the existing flower. As soon as a new flower appears, it will of course correspond to its original color.

spray coloring

Dyeing with a spray bottle is difficult because moisture mostly rolls off the flowers and therefore doesn't last. Some dubious dealers/growers therefore roughen the petals or put a layer of wax over them so that the color takes on. Unfortunately, this is only superficially the case and prevents the colored flowers from growing. In addition, the spray paint and pre-treatment damage the plant. Chemical paint penetrates the interior of the plant and destroys the flower.

Therefore, do not spend any money on a spray-dyed orchid and refrain from trying to do this yourself at home. Chances are they won't enjoy it for very long and will eventually have to throw it in the trash.

Do it Yourself

It is often not possible to find out which coloring technique was ultimately used for an orchid plant in the trade, unless you buy directly from a reputable breeder.

Therefore, when you buy a blue version, you don't know whether it will still be blue next week or whether the whole plant is still alive. That's why it makes sense to lend a hand with the usually somewhat more expensive orchids so that you know what to expect. You have a variety of coloring options, just like reputable breeders use.

color injection

Coloring isn't quite as straightforward after the Dutch breeder's development and color injection unless you're a nurse.

You will need the following accessories for this:

  • injection container
  • infusion set
  • blue water-soluble food coloring

For coloring, do the following:

  • Fill the infusion bottle with food coloring - dilute with water if necessary
  • in the case of powder, first dissolve in water according to the manufacturer's description
  • Food coloring must be thin enough to flow through the hole in the hypodermic needle
  • Hang up the infusion bottle next to the orchid with the opening pointing downwards
  • A suspension point that is above the plant is ideal (more flow pressure)
  • Insert the hypodermic needle into a flower shoot with the pointed side down
  • Do not puncture the stem
  • Fix the infusion needle to the flower stalk
  • insert the other end of the infusion set into the infusion bottle
  • Unscrew the wheel on the infusion set at least one full turn
  • optimal coloring time: as soon as buds appear

irrigation water coloring

Irrigation water coloring is a fairly simple matter. Either blue food coloring or ink is used here, which is filled into the water container every time you pour it. In this way, the blue color slowly moves through the roots into the interior of the plant. Stems and other parts of the plant, apart from the flowers, are not colored blue because the green contrast is too dominant.

However, this method requires a little patience, as the plant only absorbs the color with the respective amount of water without being able to soak it up and part of it ends up in the water reservoir and evaporates there.

water bath staining

In the water bath, the Orchidaceae takes on the color faster than with the watering technique. Here a water bath is prepared vigorously with blue paint. Again, ink and food coloring are your top choices.

How to proceed:

  • Take the orchid out of the planter
  • put in the water bath
  • without a culture pot, the plant absorbs the color even faster/more intensively
  • Roots should be completely submerged in the water bath
  • Waiting time: three to five hours, depending on the size of the plant and the desired color intensity
  • when the desired color nuance is reached, drain the plant well and repot it

vase coloring

Vase staining, which is particularly suitable for cut orchid blossoms, works in a similar way to water bath staining. To do this, simply fill the vase with blue ink or food coloring and distribute it well in the water. The color now reaches the petals via the flower stalk, where they quickly reveal the coloration. While a cut orchid flower stalk placed in pure water usually results in a drooping flower head after a few hours, experience with colored water has shown that the flower stays upright for days. There is no scientific explanation for this so far, but it has been proven several times in practice.

dip coloring

Dip dyeing may be an alternative to the dyeing methods mentioned. Here, too, a water bath with ink or food coloring is prepared and the orchid is dipped either upside down or just with the flower. The disadvantage here, however, is the inconvenience and the long waiting time until the petals take on the color. The latter only happens to a minimal extent, so that a strong blue cannot usually be achieved with this method. A delicate pastel tone is more obvious here.

coloring material

As already described under "Spray dyeing" in the "Durability" section, spray paints are in no way suitable for dyeing orchid blossoms. But other types of paint are not necessarily recommended or do not bring the desired effect.


Water-based dyes, such as water bath, pouring and vase dyeing, cannot achieve sufficient color intensity to achieve satisfactory coloring of the orchid blossoms. Brushing on the blossoms with watercolors does not work on the smooth sides of the leaves. The color would bead. Just a dip in a highly concentrated watercolor solution could bring at least a little color to the petals.

food coloring

Blue food coloring is best for coloring the petals. It is advisable to prefer liquid products to a powder here, as depending on the product quality, this does not necessarily dissolve completely and under certain circumstances fine granules could clog the narrow life paths in the stems. This would not only prevent the blossom from coloring but also cause life-threatening damage to the orchid, since no nutrients or moisture could reach all parts of the plant via these routes. Food coloring is basically non-toxic and non-toxic, so it does not affect plant life or functions.


Care must be taken when choosing ink for coloring an orchid, because there are different types of ink, not all of which are well tolerated by the sensitive flower.

printer ink

Printer ink, also known as inkjet ink, is usually provided with dyes that are usually not subject to a harmlessness test. In addition, chemicals are included so that, for example, printer heads do not clog and dries quickly on paper. Orchid plants can be very sensitive to these chemicals. For this reason, printer ink should not be used to color flower petals.

writing ink

The situation is different with water-based ink, such as that used for fountain pens and writing on paper. These are usually non-toxic and free of harmful chemicals that the Orchidaceae may not tolerate well. In a few exceptions, they contain slightly irritating preservatives. Here you should use a branded product such as Pelikan or Lamy to ensure that it does not contain any irritating substances.

solvent ink

A solvent ink, also called solvent ink, would be ideal for spraying or dip coloring if it weren't for the solvents it contains, which this ink can use to color smooth surfaces. Solvent ink is known, for example, as a stamping ink or for writing on glass or foils. However, the ingredients such as ethanol, spirit, isopropanol, methyl ethyl ketone or ethyl acetate are not suitable for getting into the supply cycle of a sensitive orchid plant. Here it is strongly advised: Steer clear of solvent-based inks!

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