Monday, January 24, 2011

The Blue Orchid

One of the most-talked about products unveiled at last week's Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was Silver Vase's blue orchid, 'Blue Mystique.' You've probably seen 'Blue Mystique' by now and cast a hate-it or love-it judgement. Personally, I think it's interesting. It's not something I'd buy for myself -- no, I'm not much of an orchid lover -- but at least a few growers seem to be casting 'Blue Mystique' aside as "the next painted poinsettia," or a product that's going to taint an otherwise healthy, existing market.

If you're a blooming potted grower, the more appropriate question than "what do you think of 'Blue Mystique,'" is whether or not there is indeed a market for it. Put aside your personal feelings and consider whether or not consumers would buy into blue. I've already heard one potential marketing approach for 'Blue Mystique' in "It's a boy!" Surely, there are other possibilities blue can build on.

My point is growers sometimes base their buying decisions on their own preferences when they should be basing them on the consumer's. I remember having at least a few conversations with greenhouse industry folks -- Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners' director of marketing & public relations, certainly is one -- who point out the backward decision-making that takes place in our industry at times.

Arguably 95 percent of the people doing the growing (a.k.a. product selection) are men, while arguably 95 percent of the people doing the purchasing are women. Wouldn't it make sense, then, to keep the consumer in mind? And buy based on the consumer's preferences rather than your own?

Most growers, I'm sure, keep the consumer in mind when they select product. It just makes me wonder if enough are dismissing new, much-talked-about products without having a rational conversation about that product's potential for their business.

42 comments:

  1. I agree with you Kevin we have to look at the consumer's point of view and so far it is a big hit. WE have to keep an open mind when selecting new products and certainly keep on top of what's new...Europe is certainly the trend setters and we will surely follow what works for them and bring those ideas to North America. Thanks for your support. Carmen, SV

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  2. Has anyone mentioned how these will flower NEXT year? Based on the info, the next time these will bloom in whatever color GENETICS determines, correct?

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    1. Yes, mine has just flowered white!!!!

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  3. I got one yesterday (Rural NW Illinois). They are very pretty, but I was saddened when I realized that they weren't genetically blue; rather, injected with blue dye. Eye catching is an understatement.

    I have several orchids at home, some purchased in good health and full bloom and some nursed back to health from the discount-almost-in-the-trash shelves at hardware stores. I'll be curious to see how much blue dye is left in its roots for the next blooming. This one was in very good health, so it'll still be a decent orchid even if it isn't blue in the future.

    Scott (Illinois)

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  4. I saw the blue orchid at my grocery store and did a double-take. Could this be a painted version as they are doing to pointsettias? I don't think so. I have grown orchids for twenty years and like plaleanopsis so of course how could I resist. We will see about "next year". Read about the Silver Vase Nursery and they seem to be on the cutting edge. Interesting to say the least.

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  5. I don't agree with a couple of points, Kevin. I'm a merchandizer (the little guy) often in touch with the consumer. I think it's a bit too early to judge the Blue. If we can take Hydrangeas and chemically turn them various hues, even blue, why not an orchid? Lots of folks are fans of blue (I am). I understand there are purists in every venue. More of the average consumer is now purchasing orchids than ever before due to easier care and color variety. Next, while I agree men should also be buyers, women buyers do represent a larger portion of spending market. It's more often women I see buying, though more men of various ages are showing for such items as orchids. In any case, I can't wait to have these on the shelves. I'm tired of seeing the same old traditional hues. Maybe I'm being a bit selfish too. It's time for something new and fresh. Let's see how Blue does.

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  6. Don't forget the 'wow' factor. Impulse buy!

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  7. I was very upset when my BLUE orchid started turning white. If I had wanted a white one, I would have bought a white one. I'll never buy anything with a Silver Vase tag again. I feel this is marketing/consumer fraud.

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    1. I agree with you, marketing/consumer fraud.
      I bought a blue orchard and it too has re-bloomed white.. I was very dissapointed :-(

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  8. Americans will buy anything! Orchids don't come in electric blue, people! These are white phalaenopsis injected via small syringe with blue dye (standard household blue food coloring will work) at the base of the flower spike a few days to few weeks prior to the buds opening (time prior and amount of dye used, depending on the amount of color desired). The really shameful thing about this is that this is something that's been done in the flower world for probably at least a hundred years. Carnations, people--you can color your carnations any color you want this way in dyed water. Of course you're upset when your blue orchid turned white, because that's it's true color!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

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  9. I saw them in the store the other day.At first I thought they were fake.The lady friend I was with loves anything blue so at first I walked by knowing she'd have to have it.The more I thought about the unique color I had to show them to her.She loved them and realizing they were real I wanted one right away.Two days later we went back and I got each of us one.I hope they stay blue as their web page says they will.We love them at this point and will if they stay blue.If not I'll be hearing about it cause it changed.

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  10. I think they are beautiful, however at $40 a pop for a plant that will not continue to produce blue blooms, it is a bit excessive...i may as well buy carnations and water them with blue food coloring...I think charging people more than twice the regular price for a plant that is dyed is completely unethical.

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  11. It is as unethical as charging a 100k for a Bentley, it is called supply and demand, you are just upset because you want it and you cannot bring yourself to pay $40 for it. Wait until they go on clearance or the new factor wears out and the price starts to come down. With big box stores selling them the price will soon be pushed down.

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  12. I have a blue one and have been watering it with blue food dye, however the flowers come our very pale blue/white. Disapointed as already have a pure large white in flower.

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  13. WELL NOW!Some people are so disrespectful with the answers here!just because you know about a subject & other's DO NOT no need to treat them as if they have an IQ of 1

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  14. I bought a double spike blue orchid in July (Lowes). It had approx 10 beautiful blue blooms on it. All of the blooms finally dropped off about two months ago. I let it continue growing and one of the spikes began producing new buds. One of the buds opened last night and the new flower is white. The label on the plant says:
    "4 Quart Blue Orchid Double Stem". I think this is false advertising because it's really a white orchid and should be labeled as such.

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  15. yes I too purchased one of these wondering what color the new blooms would be. I bought it last June. Right now it is very healthy and full of white flowers and buds...I've been watering it with blue water but the only thing that turned blue were the roots. oh well - it's still a very healthy beautiful flower.

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  16. so, ok, i got one blue diamond orchid to join my orchid family,and now that i was apparently suckered in, how do i keep the blooms blue?

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  17. I agree silvervase is a fraud I will not buy anything with that lable again.

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  18. it's a trick.
    i've been tricked.

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  19. ok, Mine's turned white! ARGH! The first new bud has opened (out of about 30 more to come) so what exactly do I need to do, where and how to inject the dye, to make it change color? Or is already too late? thanks!!!

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  20. I had a blue orchid last year & was so excited when it started to re-grow. It was blooming this morning. It is white :(

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  21. this year the tag does say it will bloom again in white, so no deception. I did see two punctures about an inch apart in the lower part of the blossom stem which is where they were injected.

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  22. it cant be injected with dye! they say with a little bit of magic they turn blue. I also feel deceived about this practice. If I wanted a white I would have bought one. Now I gotta try and find a syringe and inject this thing myself to keep it blue for years to come. Now what are my neighbors gonna think when they see me shooting up my plants???

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  23. Who cares what the neighbors think, just tell me where and how much food dye to inject over how much time to keep it blue?

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  24. I had my Dad at the optometrist's office about a month ago and saw my first 'blue' orchid. When I commented on the color, the receptionist said they water w/ blue food coloring. I can see the theory, 'you are what you eat'. I just wander how much to mix in the water and if there is a stronger 'dye' that wouldn't hurt the plant.
    I've been watering my blooming orchid for a month w/ blue food color mix, and I think it might be a deeper pink....

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. Come on everyone knows that blue orchids are dyed as are green carnations and blue carnations . if you read the card that comes with,it tells you they are white flowers. So I believe most of the time if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, usually it is a duck.No disrespect meant but I bought 1 and love it white or blue and don't feel like I was cheated or misled. Got what i bought a blue orchid that was really white. Happy dying next time try a different color food coloring.

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  27. Blue Mystique Blue Orchid says and I quote with a little bit of magic we turn a white orchid blue! New blooms will be gorgeous white. If we would read labels before we buy it would be a lot better no disappointments.

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  28. They changed the label after there were a lot complaints

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  29. I bought a blue diamond orchid and I am wondering what I have to do to keep it blooming in blue. Some are saying to inject it at the stem with blue food die and some are saying to just water it with blue food dye; so which method is correct?

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  30. concerning the blue orchids i did receive one as a present and of course did not rebloom in blue i tried adding dyed water starting before buds developed and during and had white blooms, so if it is to be injected would you really inject it in the roots and if so would it not make the plant subject to fugus and molds? and what kind of dye? ANY suggestions?????

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  31. Plain old food coloring from the grocery store in a tiny syringe, inject directly into the stem before the buds open.

    Don't put the dye in the watering water, nothing will happen. It has to be injected for it to take (unless it is cut flowers).

    No big mystery.

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  32. These blue orchids are white orchids with blue dye injected into the phloem (I believe). The dye has to be taken up by the plant and incorporated into the bud. Orchids don't need human intervention to make them more beautiful.

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  33. First time i visit your blog.your posts and the love we share for Blue Orchid...

    flowersnext.com

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  34. Here is how I dyed a white orchid blue. I have posted it on you tube. William Rasmussen.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doNSJJvfavQ

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  35. I bought one today. I was soo disappointed when I read the back of the tag, which was inside the wrapper. I would never had bought it if I had known the next time it flowers it will be white. I feel like I was ripped off.

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  36. How I colored my orchid blue, go to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygtvrhhZof8

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  37. this year the tag does say it will bloom again in white, so no deception. I did see two punctures about an inch apart in the lower part of the blossom stem which is where they were injected.

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  38. I grow a lot of orchids. When I saw this blue orchid I said to myself that I would have to look this up on the computer. And lo and behold!!!! I've been doing it since with different colors of food color. What a neat idea. Thank you for coming up with this......lol

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  39. I recently bought a blue dyed orchid,in this case there was an area on the main flower spike near the base about where an area about 15mm long x 4mm wide had the "bark" removed causing a hollow depression about 1 or 2mm deep, this area area had been filled with a waxy blue substance which left a blue mark on my finger tip when I rubbed it, this is obviously the dye which is absorbed by the orchid and colours the bloom,anybody have any idea what was used?

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