5 min read
Flowers naturally come in many different colors. Some pigments are far more common than others and account for common hues such as red, orange, yellow, and white. When it comes to blue flowers, these gems are far less common. The field of horticulture has been around for a long time. Using various methods, experts have been able to create many more blue varieties than are found naturally.
In this article, we are going to share where blue flowers come from:
* Naturally blue flowers
* Blue pigments in nature
* Creating a blue flower
Naturally Blue Flowers
Less than 10 percent of flowering plants produce blue flowers naturally. That’s a small fraction, but it shows that there are more blue flowers than you might have thought otherwise. Some of the most popular flowers, such as roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, and lilies do not naturally have any blue cultivars, so if you see these flowers in blue, there’s been some extra effort and science to get them that way.
Blue Pigments in Nature
Many flowering plants that produce blue flowers make some modifications to their red pigments to create blue hues. Blue pigments are naturally rare in flowers, but this hasn’t stopped scientists from experimenting. In the next section, we describe three ways of dying flower blue that you can try yourself, but here we examine some more scientific methods developed over the years.
A common way horticulturalists make blue flowers is to add different dyes to the growing medium of white flowers. Just a few years ago, a group of scientists came together to engineer a blue chrysanthemum genetically. For the blue chrysanthemum genetic experiment, genes from these flowers were combined with those from Canterbury bells and butterfly peas, which are both naturally blue flowers. This resulted in a combination of pigments and a successful experiment.
Creating a Blue Flower
There are many methods for creating blue flowers. Some are better suited for use by experts and horticulturalists, while others can be used easily by DIY enthusiasts. You might find yourself in search of blue flowers for various reasons. It could be for the décor of a wedding, themed party, or another special event.
You can make your blue roses by dyeing the petals of a white rose. With a bit of care and attention, you are going to have beautifully colored blue petals. The shade and intensity of the resulting roses are up to you. Three methods that exist to carry this out and which we are going to go through briefly are dyeing by absorption, dye dipping, and spray painting. For the best results, make sure to use the right dyes and paints. There are professional floral ones available that do not damage the flowers.
In the method of dyeing through absorption, there a few materials you need. These are flowers, dye, water, scissors, and a glass vase. Some optional extras include a de-thorning tool and flower preservative, which helps to keep your roses alive and vibrant for longer. For the dye, a professional powdered floral dye is the best, but you can also get away with standard food coloring, although the results are not going to be as great. For the flowers, make sure they are freshly cut white roses that haven’t been treated with or soaked in water. When the flowers are not dry, the amount of dye absorbed is slightly limited.
To start dyeing your roses, begin by removing the thorns from the stalks using a de-thorner of a sharp garden or kitchen knife. The reason for this is for general safety when handling the roses, but it’s important not to scar the stems. The powdered dye is them combined with warm water in a vase with stirring, depending on the packet instructions and how blue you want the result to be. You must then cut the stems at an angle using a pair of scissors and place these in the dye solution for absorption to take place. After soaking for 30-60 minutes, the color is going to have moved through the stem and into the petals, creating a beautiful blue flower. For darker and more intense flowers, you can let them soak even longer.
An alternative method to dye white roses blue is dye-dipping. The materials required for this include the white roses, blue floral dip-dye, a bowl, water, and some scissors. The dip-dye can be bought online or from a local florist and comes in liquid form. For this method, having some plastic gloves is a good idea because it can get a little messy. You should also protect your clothes and workspace from getting dye splashed on them. When choosing a bowl, find one that is deep enough to immerse the entire flower.
To get started, start by carefully removing the thorns as before. Into the bowl or bucket, add enough dye so that you can dip the flowers wholly. For a lighter blue result, you can add a little water to dilute the dye. Dip the entire flower into the dye for just 2 seconds while holding the rose by the stem. Shake off the excess dye and rinse the flower gently with water until the water runs clear. Allow the flower to dry well before you use it to avoid staining. Any dye left in the container can be reused.
The third method you can consider to dye your flowers blue is spray-painting the flowers. You are going to need fresh white roses, blue floral spray paint, and a drop cloth. This method can also be messy, so make sure you protect your clothing and furniture. It’s also important to use a well-ventilated space. The best results happen when the temperature is moderate and the humidity low. If you have a garage, this is a good, aerated place to spray dye flowers.
To begin, remove the thorns from the stem for your protection. Shake the spray can and then start spraying the flower and rotate is as you go. Point the nozzle towards the flower at about 15 inches, but you should follow the spray can’s specific instructions. Be sure to also spray inside the flower. When done, allow the flower to dry for at least an hour before using or adding a second coat.