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Vile “Magic” Phalaenopsis

April 23, 2010

I finally got pictures of the newest vile thing – dyed Phalaenopsis orchids.

I first saw them a little over a month ago – on March 19, according to my comments on The Phalaenopsis profile at Plants Are The Strangest People. But I didn’t have a camera with me then, and when I went back to that garden centre a week later, they were sold out.

I went back there today, for some pots and saucers, and a bit of looking around, and they are back! Not blue like the last time, but pink and orange. Vile, I tell you, vile. Not quite as vile as the blue ones, because the colours aren’t quite so screamingly wrong, but vile nonetheless.

And I had my camera with me this time, and took a couple of pictures. No  great pictures, because I felt kind of awkward taking them there in the middle of the garden centre, so I was in a bit of a hurry, but pictures all the same.

I remember the colours as more intense than they appear in the pictures, which could mean I took pictures of the paler flowers, or the lighting was bad, or that my memory is rubbish. I’d prefer to blame the lighting.

The tags call them,  ‘Zauber-Phalaenopsis’ (‘Magic Phalaenopsis’), and explain that the ‘new flower colours were achieved through new growing methods’. Uh-huh, sure. New growing methods.

The kind of new growing methods I discovered when I was ten or eleven, and read somewhere that you can dye flowers by putting ink in the water. I remember walking down to the flower shop and buying a couple of white carnations, butchering ink cartridges in the bathroom sink to put some ink in the vase, then watching the flowers turn blue. (Ten years later, I found out that’s not just done by kids, but by cutflower growers, to get blue roses and probably other vile things.)

I’m fairly sure you could also dye live flowers by watering them with dye (ink or food colouring was what my childhood source suggested), though I haven’t tried it.

Although I’ve found a thread in a (German) houseplant forum where it was claimed the ink was injected directly into the stem. The poster doesn’t say how he found that out, but he also says it was ink. And it has a picture of the blue Phals.

Here’s another picture (click it, it gets bigger), on what appears to be a photography forum, they say it was turned blue by watering it with dye, but in a thread on an (also German) orchid forum, they said they found puncture marks in the stem, speaking for the “injection” theory. Which, I suppose, would be easier and quicker than attempting to dye by watering, since you can’t water orchids all that much…

In any case, vile, vile, vile, is all I can say.

But at least the tag does say that the next flower spike will have pure white flowers. Still a complete rip-off if you ask me – don’t remember the price, but I’m sure it was ridiculously high, and how many people do actually read the tag closely enough to notice they won’t get vile interestingly-coloured flowers when they get it to re-bloom, let alone figure out they’ve been dyed?

New growing methods… pfffff!

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Edited to add: I saw more of them at a DIY store in June. And yes, you can see the puncture marks. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2010 22:31

    Wow. That’s so many kinds of wrong. I’m sure they’ll make millions.

    Next: tiny water-activated speakers that will go “ka-BOOM” every time the plant is watered. Or reloadable confetti cannons hooked up to a light sensor. Or lasers. Something with lasers.

  2. April 24, 2010 07:18

    Exactly – the ka-BOOM is what’sd still missing. But I’m sure they’ll come up with something.

    Only how will we take pictures of the ka-BOOM…?

  3. May 1, 2010 02:16

    Those are…horrific.

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