Rainbow Roses and Unicorns

Rainbow roses! Rainbow chrysanthemums! Unique! Have you seen ads like this?

rainbow mum

20Pcs Rainbow Chrysanthemum Flower Seeds Rare Color Home Garden Bonsai Plant

Rainbow chrysanthemum is colorful, much beautiful than ordinary chrysanthemum.
People planted it in the garden, creating a colorful world.
All you need just a rainbow chrysanthemum to own a coloful garden.
Most beautiful chrysanthemum in the world.

Or this?

rainbow rose rosesmart_grande_281b6c58-1728-4a3b-b29a-2bb7812ea033_1024x1024@2x

25 Rare Holland Rainbow Rose Flower Seeds

Regular price $30.00 Sale price $4.99

These are the easiest exotic plant or flower seed you will ever grow.  Each package contains 25 seeds.

If you aren’t taken in by the descriptions, the photos should convince you. Who could pass up such an amazing addition to their garden, guaranteed to impress their friends? It’s almost too good to be true!

Of course it’s too good to be true. Here are some thoughts that should raise a profusion of red flags.

  1. If the seeds are that rare, that unique, they would be selling for a lot more than $4.99!
  2. If rainbow flowers were easily grown from seed, as these (and many more) sellers claim, wouldn’t we be seeing them at the garden center every spring?
  3. Both roses and mums are typically commercially propagated from cuttings, since specific cultivars are hybrids and won’t breed true from seed.
  4. Blue is a rare color in flowers, and there are no blue cultivars of chrysanthemums, roses, carnations, or lilies. (There is a team of scientists who have recently successfully genetically engineered a blue chrysanthemum, but it is entire blue and is not available for sale anywhere.)

Yet we have all these photos. Are they simply Photoshopped? Did someone paint the flowers? What’s really going on here?

rainbow roses walmartA quick search turned up lots of florists that offer rainbow rose bouquets (also called kaleidoscope roses) for prices as low as $39.99/dozen. So they’re real, at least as cut flowers.

Walmart, Sam’s Club, Jet.com, and others have a bit more integrity than the online seed sellers (which even includes Amazon.com!). They all include a statement, such as the one below, that clearly states the flowers are tinted. As in dyed. As in they didn’t grow this way.

Made with a special process that enhances color in each petal, these roses are turned into a magical piece of art that they won’t soon forget.

We’re all familiar with the green carnations sold around St. Patrick’s Day, or the bouquets of red, white, and blue ones sold for the Fourth of July. You just add dye to the water the flowers are sitting in and it’s drawn up the stems and into the petals by capillary action. (I did the same thing with celery and red dye when I needed my biology students to learn about xylem.)

Rainbow flowers acquire their hues in the same way. It’s a time-consuming but simple process to inject different colors into different parts of the stems of white flowers. The result is a rainbow of petal colors all on the same blossom. The flowers look gorgeous, but apparently they don’t last quite as long as unadulterated flowers. If you want to try dying your own flowers, I found some directions at lovethegarden.com.

rainbow mums in gardenI can guarantee that the seeds being sold will not result plants with rainbow-colored flowers. What about ads (like this one) showing flowers in a garden setting? They’re simply  pictures of cut flowers shoved into place for the photo.

Perhaps they come with instructions on how to dye white flowers (I’d be surprised). Or perhaps they simply want to make their sale and disappear. Growing roses (in particular) from seed is a complicated process at best and it’s highly unlikely any of their customers will discover that they’ve been scammed.

Sadly, growing rainbow flowers from seed is as likely as cultivating unicorns.
_____

Note: I uncovered a lot of doublespeak in researching for this post, but this answer to a customer query trumps them all. Obviously the author isn’t a native English speaker. Perhaps they copied directions from a website, then ran them through translation software. The end result is rather incomprehensible; I include it here for your entertainment:

A: Dear customer, Thank you for you message. There are some ways can help you: Rose seed dormancy after harvest for sowing seeds directly is usually not germinate, before planting, generally after 30 ~ 50 days stratification treatment, operation method generally is this: A stratification treatment (gibberellin usage: a bag of 1 grams of gibberellin against disposable cups can be half a glass of tap water) Stratification treatment in winter is more appropriate, because the treatment need low temperature below 5 DEG C. The first rose against the 48 hours of soaking seeds in the gibberellin water, then mixing with the wet sand, sand humidity to hand, let go that the bulk of the seeds and sand ratio of 1 to 3, and finally the environment under 5 DEG C 30 to 50 days of germination of middle product. If the temperature conditions of the natural state is not up to the requirements, you can mix the good seeds and sand containers with up to stratification treatment in the fridge. Wrap the sand with the rose seeds in a self styled pouch or convenient pouch and place it in the refrigerator! Rapid germination: about 60 degrees with blisters seeds 3 times, every 20 minutes or so, then you can put it in gibberellin solution soaked directly after sowing. Two, sowing Before sowing watering watering the soil, and then after germinating seeds into the soil, after sowing in seed covered 1 ~ 1.5 cm of soil. If you plant in the summer, it is recommended that you put pots in air-conditioned indoor or cool place, the ambient temperature is best at about 20 degrees celsius. Three, after sowing management After sowing, keep the soil moist. Don’t often water it. Don’t even make the soil water. During the process of seed germination, don’t use it. Generally 15 days began to emerge. 1, it is necessary to pay for it to blossom. (1) sunshine must be long. Where the roses are grown, one must be ventilated and able to gain more than half a day of sunshine. This is the first condition it can open flowers such as kam. (2) always trim. Although the sunshine condition is good, but the long time does not prune, the rose also grows not well. (3) the number of fertilizer should be more timely. A potted plant of new varieties or transplants; cultivated with humus and loose loess. (4) change the basin. Roses do not have to change and turn over every year. Small pots and large pots can be used all year round. 2, conservation of roses, we must pay attention to disease prevention and treatment. There are several main kinds of disease prevention: (1) fungal infection: Alternaria petiole and shoots mainly against leaf, leaf, early onset, positive appear purple brown to brown spots, mostly dark brown spots enlarged round or irregular shape. Can spray carbendazim, thiophanate methyl, daktar drugs etc. (2) pest control: TrimA, mainly for Cnidocampa, PARASA CONSOCIA, Li postornata, Setora postornata, Thosea sinensis larvae, a large number of eating leaves in high temperature season. Control method: once found, should immediately use the 90% crystal trichlorfon 800 times Pensha, or with fenvalerate 1500 spray 2.5%. In early spring, the roots of roses begin to stretch in the soil. The most important tending at this time is to prune. The warm areas in late February, compared to the colder northern areas, were pruned in 3~4 months. After flowering, potted roses enter the hot and humid summer, and they are in a state of dormancy and semi dormancy. To strengthen the management of summer potted roses, and maintenance, can break the dormancy period, so the entire summer flowering time. The main management measures are: shading and ventilation. Potted rose soil is limited, hot weather easy to heat dry, so you must shade the roses. The best morning from 8 to 4 pm to flower into the courtyard tree or scaffolding under ventilated place, make potted accept scattering light, create a suitable environment for the growth of flowering roses. Multiple fertilization and water treatment. The number of flowering roses, need to provide sufficient nutrients and moisture, in order to ensure vigorous growth. In summer, the evaporation and the consumption of large, rapid growth, flowering period should be every 10 days after apply thin fertilizer, soybean meal, poultry manure can also be soaked in water, as a fertilizer after being closed after fermentation with water, plant andflourishing, breaking dormancy in summer rose. Watering should be used to bask in the water to reduce the temperature difference between the basin soil and water, such as cold water will stimulate the root system, affecting the normal development of the plant. Multi sprinkler. Rose more than 33 DEG C is in a semi dormant state, the average temperature of 20-25 degrees is most conducive to growth, therefore, in addition to the summer appropriate shade, should also be more water, the best in the morning and afternoon of a jet of water, create a moist environment, promote the growth of leaves and flowers. Sparse pruning. After the flower roses bloom in 3 leaves below the cut, to promote the development of strong early flowering shoots. Weak short branch first cut, high shear, strong branches, back shear, short cut, to promote weak, strong, and promote its flowering neat. The length of long branch pruning should not exceed 1/2, so as to avoid the slow bud germination. In addition, each crop should not be too much to spend. Potted roses are suitable for 3-5 roses. Too much flowers, too much nutrient, little flowers and less flowers. Weeding. Combined with the removal of weeds on the basin, you can use a thin wire harrow, gently break the surface around the flowerpot. If there are any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will be only too happy to help. Thank you for supporting Newchic.com Have a nice day! Lily

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One Response to Rainbow Roses and Unicorns

  1. careymoonbeam says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake…… (Say hello to Pete for me!)

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