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Are Blue Orchids Real?

You’re walking through the supermarket when some stunning blue orchids catch your eye but are blue orchids real or are they dyed?

Are Blue Orchids Real? - Vanda Sansai Blue 'Acker's Pride'
Vanda Sansai Blue ‘Acker’s Pride’ Blue Vanda orchid at Ursula Kamlott’s private collection.

Phalaenopsis or moth orchids are the most common orchids you will see at the supermarket or florist shop.

These orchids do not come in blue so the orchids you see were injected with blue dye.

When these dyed blue Phalaenopsis orchids flower again the flowers will be white.

But as you can see from the picture above there really are true blue orchids and you can grow them for yourself. 

Blue Orchids Meaning

There are different meanings associated with the different flower colors.

While I am not sure what blue orchids mean I am sure they look absolutely stunning and that I want to grow them.

But I decided to do some research on what blue orchids mean and here are a few things I found:

Blue orchids symbolize rarity, uniqueness, and beauty, as well as spirituality. Gift this sweet bloom to someone you believe is beautiful in their unique and special way. https://www.kittysflowers.com/blog/orchid-symbolism-and-meaning-by-color/

The color blue itself is associated with peace and tranquility, blue flowers may also be used to convey these feelings. Blue orchids specifically represent power, beauty and peace, according to Online Flowers Guide. https://www.gardenguides.com/13426788-the-meaning-of-blue-orchids.html

Why Are Blue Flowers Rare?

I know that blue flowers are incredibly rare. I have grown lots of flowers and most “blue” flowers are really more of a purplish color.

So I decided to research why that is. Here is what I found:

Blue is the rarest flower color, seen on only 10 percent of the 280,000 flowering plants on Earth.

Among those who specialize in color analysis, it is sometimes claimed that, in reality, there has never been a true blue flower, nor will there ever be one.

This has to do with the fact that there is no blue pigment in the plant kingdom and colors that appear to be blue are actually permutations of violet or purple. https://www.thesmartergardener.com/why-blue-flowers-are-rare/

Can You Get Naturally Blue Orchids?

Yes, you can get naturally blue orchids. You can even grow them for yourself if you find the right varieties.

Watch the video below for more information on how you can grow blue orchids for yourself. 

If you saw a blue orchid at the supermarket and could not resist this video will show you how to care for it. 

There are some blue orchids but most are considered endangered and will probably not be available.

But take heart because there are blue Vanda orchids and you can buy them. They are a bit harder to grow than some other varieties though.

There is an accompanying article by Amanda Mathews the video creator and you can find it here https://orchideria.com/blue-orchids/

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True Blue Orchids

So there are 3 naturally occurring blue orchid species in nature.

Thelymitra Crinita Orchid

Thelymitra crinita orchid is the darkest natural blue that occurs in nature. It does not have purple or lavender tones at all.

It is native to Australia and occasionally it is sold online.

Thelymitra Crinita Orchid

Thelymitra crinita, commonly known as the blue lady orchid, queen orchid or lily orchid, is a species of orchid which is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelymitra_crinita

Bollea coelestis

This orchid really is not blue even though some say it is. It is native to South America. It is also very hard to grow so we will pass on this one.

Blue Vanda Orchids

If you want to grow blue orchids Vanda coerulea (Blue Vanda) is probably your best bet. There is some variation in this species and some cultivars have more purple while others are more blue.

I checked them online and they run from about $20 for a small plant to $40 and up for one closer to blooming.

So they are not terribly expensive. I wanted to buy one myself.

I went to a local orchid site at https://www.seattleorchid.com/ but all their blue orchid varieties were sold out at this time.

There were some on E Bay but they seemed more purple to me so I guess it will have to wait a while before I get one.

Blue Vanda Orchid

How To Care For Vanda Orchids

Vanda orchid care is very similar to most other orchids. However, they do prefer more light than many others.

They prefer warm temperatures and can bloom more than once a year. Some Vandas make very large flowers and can get quite large over time.

Vanda orchids are epiphytic and prefer a lot of air around the roots. They can be potted in a loose bark mix but are also grown in empty baskets or pots with the roots hanging down.

Some Vanda Orchids come with instructions to water them with ice cubes. I think this is really bad advice for a heat-loving orchid.
Is Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes A Good Idea? – Hydroponic Orchids

Here is a video that will explain how to grow Vanda orchids.

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Are Blue Orchids Real? Final Thoughts

The simple answer is some are and some aren’t. If you want to grow blue orchids you will want to try Vanda coerulea or Thelymitra crinita.

Thelymitra crinita orchid has true blue flowers but will be much harder to find than blue vandas.

Otherwise, you can buy a phalaenopsis orchid that has been injected with blue dye. Either way, you can enjoy blue orchids.

But just remember that dyed orchids will have white flowers when they rebloom.

Read more: Are Orchids Hard To Take Care Of? Easy Growth Formula

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