Blue Flowers: Dyed or Natural

This morning I was asked about my thoughts on blue orchids.  There is a bride that is trying to come up with her look for her beach wedding, and wondered about combining white lilies with blue orchids.  Hmmm well needless to say, that question inspired today’s blog topic.  What flowers are available in blue, and should you ever dye them to get the color? UH……………………..

Ok, in the natural flower world, there are very few truly “blue” flowers.  What normally comes to market in blue will usually consist of Belladonna, Hydrangea, Asters, and Delphinium.  There are some species of roses that have a blue cast, and a filler called Misty Blue…a relative to the Caspia family.  I am sure there are a few others that escape me…but those are the most well-known, and often used, naturally blue flowers in design work.

This morning’s question was centered on blue Dendrobium orchids.  Blue you ask?  Do they come in blue?  NO!  “But I’ve seen them,” you say?  Yes, you have probably seen them in various arrangements in floral shops from time to time, and in wedding photos. I’ll refrain from being catty on that one.  The bluish/purple orchids you are referring to, are dyed.  Dye is put into the water, and when the orchids or any white flower for that matter under the same process, sucks up the water………their petals turn that color!  Not rocket science, but it works.  Does it look good?  In my opinion…and just my opinion……..NO.  And there are other, more important issues to consider when using a dyed flower, and you are not going to like the outcome.

Other than the fact that I am not a fan on how a dyed fresh flower looks, there are potentially devastating outcomes if not handled properly.  If you are a bride that

If you are contemplating mixing a dyed flower with another white flower in your bouquet, here’s what you can expect.  If you mix a dyed flower…say blue Orchids with white Roses, and put them in a vase together, you are taking the risk of your lovely white Roses, sucking up the blue dye that will absolutely tint your water the same color.  I am not guessing this happens…..I’ve seen it happen!  You also take a very big risk in the dye coming off of any damp petals or stems on to your white wedding gown, and that would be the biggest tragedy of all!!  You do not want to take that chance!!  Also if you use the dyed blue flowers with any white flowers in your centerpieces together………well……you get the picture!!

All in all, blue is a tricky color to work with in the floral world.  I have designed, and seen, some absolutely lovely bouquets using NATURAL blue flowers.  Keep in mind that some blue’s can be very dominate in the bouquets…so balance is the key.  I frankly like to see the softer blue’s in bouquets and if a darker blue is needed…use it sparingly and maybe just as an accent in the stem ribbon wrap.  Like I’ve blogged about before, think about what the camera lens picks up.  Always remember that dominate colors will show up first in your photos…so be careful here.  If using a real dark or bright dominate color…..you might want to use it mono-chromatically…meaning just that color, or various shades of that color together.  But if balanced correctly…any dominate color will enhance a bouquet…not take it over!

All in all, if you can avoid it, do not consider dyed flowers for your bouquets or centerpieces.  Honestly…they look dyed most of the time.  If you have your heart set on a dyed flower, be sure to keep them away from other white flowers in water, and be sure that they do not have any chance to bleed onto your dress!!!  You are not going to get that out!!  Stay with the natural colors if you can, and I think you’ll be much happier with the outcome!  🙂

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2 Responses to Blue Flowers: Dyed or Natural

  1. annmacmullan says:

    Agree! Yesterday I was looking for some quick flowers from a grocery store and thought I’d stumbled upon a really gorgeous deep purple blue thistle…I touched the spiky bloom and my fingers turned purple! Yuck!

    Have you ever heard of Tweedia? I just learned about this true blue star shaped flower that’s small and filler-like but packs quite a colorful punch!

    I vote Natural, all the way.

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