No Place For Dye-Infused Plants?

No Place For Dye-Infused Plants?

A story this month on GreenhouseGrower.com spotlighted ‘Princess Alexia Yellow,’ a dye-infused anthurium RijnPlant Breeding introduced to the European market this year. ‘Princess Alexia Yellow’ (seen in the photo, right) currently is not available to growers or retailers in the United States, but a lack of availability couldn’t restrain a number of readers from commenting online about the anthurium and the role of dye-infused plants in the marketplace.

Here’s a sample of some of the comments shared on GreenhouseGrower.com, the majority of which were made anonymously:

• “I think dyed plants are almost as bad as plastic plants. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that the sparkles sprayed onto (poinsettias) makes them grow better. Breed stronger, more original varieties instead of these phony, easy-way-out dye jobs. [These will] probably sell at Walmart, though.”

• “I think dyed plants are actually worse than plastic ones. Partly because when you buy a plastic plant, you’re aware you’re buying a fake plant. How many customers are aware that dyed plants are dyed? How many look that closely at the tags, and do the tags even say so? … Call me a crazy tree huger if you want, but I think all living creatures, even plants, deserve to be treated with respect.

• “When the blue orchids [‘Blue Mystique’] first came out, (they) promoted them as if they had been bred that way and I was excited. Needless to say now, I will not purchase them for our garden center. I feel as if we would be gypping our customers.”

• “This is not the direction our industry needs to go. It mocks consumers seeking real living natural beauty rather than artificial fake flowers. We had best be careful. I don’t have a good feeling about this at all.”

What do you think of dye-infused plants? If consumers are interested in them, should growers supply them or not? Tell us in the comments section below.

For more perspective on dye-infused plants, read takes from Managing Editor Kevin Yanik and Senior Online Editor Sara Tambascio.

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3 comments on “No Place For Dye-Infused Plants?

  1. Anonymous

    Dyes have been used in this fashion in the cut flower market for years, and no one really seems to object, since those are disposable products. However, using them in this fashion for potted crops, we are treading a slippery slope, especially when marketed by “breeding” companies. Potted crops, orchids especially, have a high likelihood of being cared for by their recipients, and eventually reblooming. The disappointment felt by a consumer who sees their blue orchid flowers are now white, will change to anger as they uncover the reason why. This is a one-time sales tactic which erodes confidence in our industry. In a time when customer confidence is waning on all fronts, we should be especially vigilant not to fall prey to such base sales tactics, or else suffer the inevitable consequences. False advertising is still punishable by law, no?

  2. Anonymous

    I think dyed plants is misleading. The public saw that blue orchid and believed it was really blue. I did not buy into the idea and never brought them in to sell. To me, they looked like Ty D Bol.

  3. TJ DeHavilland

    The answer is simple really, I do like and support the dyed plants. There was a demand for colors of Orchids that nature could not provide. Places like ‘Silver Vase’ have brought them to the consumers quite successfully too, the ‘Blue Mystique’ Orchid is drop dead colors. I do agree that from the beginning there should have been a disclaimer on the tag stating that the plant had been dyed and new blooms will be white… However, let’s be honest, 99% of people buy a blue Orchid on whim, have no thought in their heads about keeping the plant healthy. Like Poinsettias and Pine trees at Christmas, Lilies at Easter, and Carnivorous plants that are sold at the start of Spring in Home Depot store, these plants just begin to look not so great and people throw them away. If you’re going to do that, and I know most people do, buy a plastic plant. When disclosed, there is nothing wrong in dye infusing plants. It is not a slap in the face to botany. I have a neighbor and I am in her house daily. Her husband gives her live plants for certain occasions, she would rather have it where she wants to put it ‘because it looks pretty’ than take a few minutes thinking of that precious plant, and educate herself with the plant’s need and where in the house it would receive what it needs. When it begins to look sad I get the plant and get back to health again. Plants are precious and essential to life on Earth, why can’t we manipulate an Orchid to be a color we fancy? Why is that so wrong? How many people who are reading this right now go to Wal Mart and buy hair color? Do you use it? Do you feel the need to disclose to everyone that that is not your natural color? Any eye contact wearers here? Are you lying and misleading anyone because with brown eyes you’ve changed to green? What about a person with Vitiligo and has the unaffected areas get lightened so that person may become a uniform color? Are they misleading, should they wear a t-shirt that says “I have Vitiligo – this is not my natural skin color”?
    There are way more important things to worry about than if a company dyes an Orchid. If you don’t like the Orchid return to where you bought it, if they won’t refund your money, contact ‘Silver Vase’ or ‘GreenhouseGrower.com’ and I am sure if you’re reasonable, and not come out fighting like a caged Tiger because you were mislead by a label you didn’t read, they would be willing to fix the situation… If not, you still have a very beautiful large bloom Orchid. How horrible is that?