THE MYSTIQUE OF THE BLUE PHAL

Blue Orchid

Blue Phalaenopsis Orchid

Since their introduction in early 2011, electric-blue phalaenopsis orchids have stopped in their tracks even those who would normally walk right past their super market’s or gardening center’s orchid display. Pros and cons have been enflaming retail customers, orchid experts and the flower industry ever since. Phalaenopsis, or simply ‘phal’, are the most widely available potted orchids, and hybridization has made their care easy and straightforward, even for beginners.

The purple-colored phalaenopsis violacea is native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Its hybrids are different shades of purple, rather than blue, as well.

Florida-based Silver Vase Nursery presented its Blue Mystique at the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in January.  In May 2011, Dutch Geest Orchideen received the Flora Holland Award 2011 in the Concepts Category, for their Royal Blue phalaenopsis and its shade of blue which the jury considered to be delightful.

During the growth process, the stalk of a white phalaenopsis orchid is injected with a blue dye solution. The intervention is performed in an environment that keeps the infection risk for the plant at a minimum. The blue color is absorbed by the orchid and creates a blue flower.

Subsequent flowerings will result in white blooms. The dye is not available to the public, nor are the exact steps of the procedure. Do-it-yourself dyeing is not encouraged, and at every home gardener’s own risk.

What has been upsetting Blue Mystique and Royal Blue Phal customers is that they believed to be buying a real blue orchid.  In response to controversy that has been picked up by the media, growers now use product labels to inform buyers that a white orchid has been treated in order to produce those magnificent blue flowers, and that future blooms will be white.

This simple gesture allows prospective customers to make informed blue orchid decisions. This is especially meaningful when evaluating the price of white versus blue phalaenopsis. While some may love the electric blue color just as much, others will plan to sell the orchid on Ebay once it returns to its true white nature. Others still might consider purchasing a real blue orchid from a specialty grower or decide on a bouquet of blue dendrobium instead.

Comments

  1. hi there I have just bought my first orhicd, after moving into my flt in Seoul. It is a yellow Phal. I watered her once or twice a week and placed her on my window sill which does not ever receive direct sunlight, but does have light all day.It seemed fine the first week with about 6 lovely blooms then within a few days all the blooms dropped off and the stem started turning yellow.As you may have figured I am a complete novice but I love my orhicd! I am looking at the care pointers on your site and want to know if I am right in saying that I need to water her more and change her location?Please help me I would love to care for her properly!

    • There is a possibility that you bought your Phal toward the end of its blooming cycle, when blooms fall off naturally and the stem turns yellow. At this point, you can cut off the stalk at one inch above its base.

      For orchid care advice, we also recommend the excellent Orchid Board blog: http://www.orchidboard.com/community/beginner-discussion/35853-phalaenopsis-orchid-yellowing-stem-wrinkled-flowers.html

      • I have a phals named moon glow valley, it was a vaenetinls present and there was a full moon. Anyway I have had her for about 2 years, and neever had any problems getting her to rebloom. This year she has a white sticky type fungus under the leaves, on the stems, on the buds, and flowers. The flowers are dropping way to early. I have reseached and can’t find anything relating to this. I have 3 more orchids that aren’t in bloom showing the same gunk? Please helpDesperate

        • The problem sounds like mealy bugs. Your plants will need to be treated. Mealy bugs also affect plant roots and soil, so the most effective solution is to unpot the plant, carefully discarding the contaminated soil and pot.

          Damaged root parts must be removed, then the plant needs to be pressure-rinsed to wash off the bugs, ideally using a garden hose. Next, a systemic insecticide for use against mealy bugs needs to be applied. It can be found at garden centers. For step-by-step instructions, we highly recommend a visit to http://en.allexperts.com/q/Orchids-727/white-mold-orchid-leaves.htm

          Another, less effective but also less invasive, option would be to wipe off all visible mealy bugs with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Treatment will reach neither roots, pot, soil, nor future hatchlings, so might need to be repeated as necessary.

        • Alex Leon says:

          If it is fungus get a anti fungus treament for orchids.

  2. Ok so I bought the blue mystic. And I bought it at the beginning of its blooming season. But it hasn’t created any new blooms. The way that I bought it, it had an enclosed pot and we would water it every few days 3 ice-cubes and its setting not in direst sunlight but it has sunlight through the whole day until the night. Now in my house it is about 80 degrees F in my house all day do u have ant tips to help me keep it alive and also there are two small roots growing out please answer asap

  3. Dear Lelia, The two small roots are a good sign – most phalaenopsis orchids in the wild grow on trees, with their roots hanging out. There will be at least a few months until the next growing cycle when a new spike will produce new blooms, depending on when the previous spike was trimmed. If it is left to turn brown before cutting, it might take a whole year. Phals like humidity, and like to be misted, even the green roots; no water should run off or accumulate on the leaves. Between growing cycles, fertilizer should be added with every watering. If you would like to consult the Blue Mystique producer’s orchid care suggestions, here is the address: http://silvervase.com/w/orchid-care.php

  4. Dragon 1945 says:

    I bought one of these from Tesco last Saturday. There was a label saying it was a Royal Blue Orchid. The label gave general instructions for keeping orchids. ( I have over 20 orchids in 3 varieties all different.) There was no mention anywhere that this was a dyed orchid.
    Years ago we used to stand cut carnations in coloured water to get blue or green carnations, but I was unaware that growing plants could be injected with dye. I already have 3 different white orchids and would not have paid £12 for this one if I had known it was a fake.

Speak Your Mind

*

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *