Friday, March 27, 2015

I Think They Dye Them....

I've been doing shibori (Japanese resist-dyeing) for decades now and I should have known a Dye Job when I saw one. I just wasn't expecting to find one at the garden center.

What's different about these two sets of phal orchids?

The orchids at the top of the first picture are the very same Phals you see in the bottom picture. Top picture, fresh from the garden center. Bottom picture, their next bloom, in my home. Whoa! What happened? What is in my gardening water??

I should have been clued in by the bright blue orchids that are being sold everywhere. They are dyed, duh. It's obvious. But I didn't realize that even the pinks and the purples are the result of dyes. The cloned orchids are "blank canvases" now, as you can see in the lower picture. They are pretty, but light-colored, so they can take any sort of dye the grower thinks is fashionable that season. Ingenious! And of course, most people throw their orchid away after it blooms and just buy another. Wacky me, I continue to grow them and they bloom again, in white and pale green!  Has this happened to any of you?


  1. It's not happened to me, but I've never bought a dyed orchid.The blue one and the bright purple ones are obvious, but the pink ones could theoretically be real because there are plenty of pink phals in all shades from light to dark. I see dyed orchids in stores all the time and they remind me of putting cut daffodils in food coloring or india ink when I was a kid and watching them turn all sorts of weird colors including black.

  2. I knew you would be far more savvy than me about dyed, cloned Phals, Ellen! I'm hanging my head in embarrassment. I knew there was no such thing as a bright blue or green Phal, but the pinks fooled me completely. Commercially, it makes so much sense, but I'm sort of grossed out by this practice; seems unfair to the orchids and the customers.