It’s no secret that roses are one of the most elegant and thoughtful flowers you can give as a gift. But did you know that different colors can convey different messages?
This article delves deep into blue roses meaning and symbolism.
Generally, a blue rose is a symbol of unrequited true love, love at first sight, unattainability, and rarity. Roses with a lighter shade of blue are more associated with feelings of hope, calmness, and peace. Darker shades of blue roses, on the other hand, are often linked to thoughtfulness, dreams, secrecy, mystery, and power.
In this article, I’ll be discussing everything related to blue roses including their origin, history, occurrence, meaning, myths, and production. So keep reading to learn more about these showstopping beauties.
What Is a Blue Rose?
The rose plant belongs to a genus called ‘Rosa’ of the family ‘Rosaceae’ and contains around 100 species of perennial shrubs. Flowers of this plant are widely referred to as roses, which is a synonym for one of the most classic shapes of flowers ever known to humans.
Roses are mostly native to Asia, but some species originated in Europe and North America. Their flowers bloom in spring, summer, and fall while the mature plant can grow as tall and wide as 20 inches.
Rose plants are well sought after thanks to their gorgeous flowers. They make for stunning houseplants and their commercial value is more than established.
Rose flowers exist in a wide range of brilliant colors. The uniquely beautiful shape of their petals along with their long stems and defined leaves make them as versatile as they’re a pleasure to look at.
Not to mention, roses tend to give a delightfully pleasant scent that provides a sense of joy and relief to anyone who catches a whiff. This very scent is widely used and replicated in an extensive range of products from perfumes and cosmetics to cleaning supplies and herbal teas.
So what’s a blue rose? Well, rose flowers come in a variety of colors. The most popular shades include red, white, and pink.
As the name suggests, blue roses are flowers with petals colored blue. They can be light or dark, but either way, they’re man-made.
Do Blue Roses Exist in Nature?
As I mentioned above, rose flowers exist in nature in a wide variety of hues. The most popular colors are red, pink, and white, but you can also find them in shades of orange, yellow, coral, purple, brown, and even green.
There’s a reason why I didn’t mention blue — it’s because blue roses don’t occur in nature. You won’t come across a rose with wholly or partially blue petals in the wild.
For this to happen, humans had to interfere. But before I explain this, let’s understand why blue roses aren’t a natural thing.
It’s actually pretty simple: roses don’t produce the pigment responsible for the blue color in plants, also known as delphinidin or anthocyanin. It’s not just roses though according to the University of Adelaide, less than 1 in 10 plants has blue flowers.
As such, if humans wanted to enjoy blue roses without having to resort to dyeing and pigmenting solutions, they had to find a way to make it happen in a lab.
Interestingly enough, scientists have made a lot of efforts to achieve this goal. In 2004, a Japanese team of scientists at the Suntory Global Innovation Center announced the success of the development of the first blue roses after more than a decade of experimentation.
This was possible through genetic modification of roses where genes responsible for producing blue pigments were isolated from blue flowers, such as pansies, and introduced into roses. The thing is, the resulting blue roses were more purplish than bluish.
This is where another team of Chinese scientists comes in.
Under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, experts from Tianjin University and the Institute of Microbiology have managed to produce blue roses by synthetically engineering a bacteria that can make genes with blue pigment-producing capabilities. Then, they injected these synthetic bacteria into a white rose and waited for the magic to happen.
That said, these blue roses are still unavailable on a public/commercial scale due to the complexity of the science that goes into making them and the cost of production. Still, we can expect the breeding of blue roses soon enough as scientists keep working on ways to facilitate the idea.
What Is the Meaning of a Blue Rose?
Now that you have a better idea of what a blue rose is and how it came to exist, it’s time to take a closer look at the blue roses’ meanings.
- A blue rose can be a symbol of romance, but it’s often in the form of unrequited love or impossible love.
- A blue rose can also represent love at first sight in its purity.
- Blue roses are a symbol of unattainability and rarity due to their non-existence in nature.
- Roses with a lighter shade of blue are usually associated with feelings and sentiments of calmness, hope, and peace.
- Darker shades of blue roses are often linked to thoughtfulness and dreams. They can also symbolize secrecy or mystery. Additionally, they can represent complexity or power.
Since a blue rose is a fictional concept, using it in arts such as paintings can be regarded as a sign of creativity. It’s a way of breaking out of the conventional color schemes of flowers and introducing something more bold and surreal that seems like it should exist.
The use of the blue rose concept in literature and works of fiction often indicated a magical sense of impossibility. It represents a beautiful rarity that feels majestic and mysterious.
Blue roses are associated with a popular Chinese legend. The story involves 3 men trying to impress the daughter of an Emperor by gifting her a blue rose.
The first man painted a white rose blue, the second man carved it from a sapphire, whereas the third man asked a wizard to make an illusion of the blue rose.
All 3 attempts failed to impress the bride, who was in love with the gardener’s son. He gave her a white rose and she declared it a blue rose. With the help of her father, no one questioned her word and they lived happily ever after.
How Can You Make a Blue Rose?
We’ve already discussed the scientific efforts dedicated to producing blue flowers. While still not achievable on a global and commercial scale, florists worldwide are selling blue roses like it’s been there all along.
So how do they do it? Where do these blue roses come from?
The secret lies in a few dyeing and pigmentation methods that florists and coloring experts apply on white or light-colored roses to make them blue.
These techniques aren’t particularly difficult. In fact, you can try them yourself and even master the steps over time.
Curious? Well, here are the 3 main ways you can make a blue rose:
Use Floral Spray Dye
The first method you can use to dye a rose blue is spray painting. But you won’t be using conventional spray paint that’s meant for walls and surfaces.
Instead, you’ll use floral spray dye. Although they come in cans just like regular spray paint, these floral pigmented sprays are specially formulated to avoid harming the flowers.
Generally, floral spray dyes are designed to be semi-transparent or transparent to provide a high level of pigmentation without completely hiding the natural features of the flower. Also, they’re safe to use on both fresh flowers and dried flowers.
I always recommend the brand Design Master to anyone looking to buy a floral spray dye.
In addition to being fresh flower safe, their sprays are quick-drying, non-toxic, and easy to apply with a beautiful satin finish. Particularly for roses, I love this Tiffany blue shade and this turquoise blue shade.
- Start with a light-colored rose, preferably white, to get the highest possible coverage and the most vibrant results.
- Bring the spray can and the rose to a dedicated workspace lined with an old rag or some newspaper to prevent too much mess from excess paint.
- Shake the can well for about 20 to 30 seconds to ensure that the dye is mixed thoroughly before application. While shaking the can, keep the cap on to avoid leaking or spraying accidents.
- Take the cap off and point the spray nozzle towards the rose’s petals. Position the nozzle around 12 to 15 inches away from the rose and start spraying.
- To dye all the petals, spray them all over until all its parts are covered in blue. Make sure you rotate the rose while spraying for an even distribution of pigment.
To dye certain portions of the petals (for example, the tips only), cover the parts that you want to remain unstained using first-aid tape then start spraying as normal. Once you’re done and you remove the tape, only the uncovered section will show the color.
- Transfer the blue rose to a vase and allow the dye to dry completely. This can take a couple of hours depending on the brand and the formula of the dye, but you can cut down the drying time by placing the rose in a warm and dry room.
- Spray dyeing the petals of a rose is an effective way to preserve its fresh look for a longer time because it helps lock in moisture.
- Don’t forget to put on rubber gloves to keep the dye off of your skin.
- Make sure the workspace is well-ventilated to provide an adequate airflow that supports the drying process and prevents the build-up of any fumes or odors.
Use Dyed Water
As flowers absorb water to sustain their vitality, they aren’t exactly picky about the elements present in the water as long as they won’t cause them harm. Based on this concept, you can put your rose in a solution of water and dye to make it blue.
The pigments in the water will travel up the rose’s stem to the petals where they’ll show their color.
- Start with a light-colored rose, preferably white, to get the most vibrant results.
- Get your hands on some blue food coloring or powdered flower dye, then mix it with water in a vase. The amount of water should be enough to cover the stem whereas the amount of dye depends on your desired intensity/shade of blue.
- At an angle of 45 degrees, cut about 1 or 2 inches from the bottom of the rose’s stem.
- Place the rose in the water mixture and let it sit for a minimum of 1 hour. You should be able to see the blue hue as it builds up in the petals. The longer you leave the rose in the dyed water, the more vibrant the blue you’ll get.
- When the rose reaches your desired shade, take it out and replace the pigmented water with clear water. Add some plant food and flower preservatives to keep the rose alive as long as possible.
- The color will stay in the rose’s petals until it dies.
- Cutting the stem at a 45-degree angle makes for faster absorption and less dyeing time.
- Another way to boost the absorption of dyed water is to not water your rose flower for 30 minutes before placing it in the water mixture. This will induce more thirst so the flower will eagerly take up the pigmented water.
Use Dip Dye
This method can work in two ways: you either dip the petal directly or dip the freshly-cut stem. You’ll need to purchase a floral dip dye in the desired color from an online platform (we love this teal blue) or via your florist.
- Start with a light-colored rose, preferably white, to get the most vibrant results.
- Get your hands on some liquid floral dip-dye in your desired shade of blue. You can find it at your local florist or online.
- Prepare a bowl or a container that’s deep enough for the rose petals to be submerged completely in the dye.
- Pour a generous amount of the dye into the container. If you like the shade of the dye, then leave it as is. If you want to make the blue lighter, add some isopropyl alcohol to dilute its intensity.
- Hold the rose upside down to make its petals face the dye mixture.
- Dip the petals in the dye and keep them submerged for around 5 to 10 seconds according to the product’s instructions.
- Remove the rose from the dye and rinse the petals with water until the water runs clear off the flower.
- Place the rose into a vase with water, plant food, and flower preservative.
- Unlike the absorption method, the dip dyeing technique will deposit color only in the parts of the rose that the dye comes in contact with.
- To avoid staining and minimize splatter, transfer the container onto some newspaper or an old rag.
Wrap Up On Blue Roses Meaning
There you have it, everything you need to know about blue roses’ meaning, myths, occurrence, and production.
A blue rose generally symbolizes rarity, unattainability, unrequited true love, and love at first sight.
Lighter shades of blue roses are usually linked with feelings of hope, calmness, and peace. On the other hand, darker shades of blue roses are often associated with thoughtfulness, mystery, dreams, secrecy, and power.
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