Rainbow roses, real or fake? As a person who works in the horticulture industry, I couldn’t help but notify fellow gardeners about this matter.
There are quite a number of retailers in China selling Rainbow Rose seeds, and what a scam this is…
I’ll get straight to the point. There is no such thing as rainbow roses, it’s just a florists trick done with long-stemmed white roses and flower dye, which you can do at home!
Florists use powdered flower dye to change the colours of flowers, but food dye (food colouring) will still work, just maybe not as well though…
Making rainbow roses
You will need:
- White long stemmed roses
- Narrow vases that can sit very closely together, use three or four depending on how many colours you wish to use
- A sharp knife to split the rose stem
- Powdered flower dye (available from florist supply stores) or food colouring, use three or four colours such as red, green, blue or yellow
To make rainbow roses:
- Mix the flower dye with water according to the instructions, fill each vase with a different colour.
(If using food colouring, add enough into water so the colour is quite dark.)
- Place the vases close together.
- Cut off a small piece of the end of the stem at an angle, so it can absorb water more easily.
- Using a sharp knife, split the rose stem lengthwise into three of four parts, approximately the length of the vases.
- Place each split stem into its own vase of flower-dye coloured water.
- Leave the rose with its split lower stems in the flower-dye coloured water until the right colouring is achieved – this may take anything from hours to a few days depending on how vibrant you want the colour to be and the type of dye used!
- Trim off the split section of the stem and then place the ‘rainbow rose’ in a vase of clean water
It’s really quite simple, the flowers take up the coloured water by capillary action and the dye gets deposited in the petals, white flowers are used to show the colours better.
Don’t believe everything you hear…
So now you know, if you see any absurdly unnatural coloured flowers, they’re just dyed! This trick is done with many other flowers too, not just roses.
The important lesson here is this. Don’t buy seeds for very rare or unusual plants (even ones that really do exist) from overseas sellers! The seeds may not be from the actual plant, or they may be too old and not be viable any more. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Rare plants are just that, rare! Only buy from reputable sellers who deal in plants and seeds.
Caveat emptor – Latin for "Let the buyer beware".