9 stunning blue roses

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Since blue pigment does not occur in roses in nature, it is technically impossible for blue roses to exist in nature. But for rose breeders and enthusiasts, finding blue roses over the years has become something of a holy grail. Now that the word "blue" appears in cultivar names, gardeners are likely to buy a variety of plants that are in shades of blue or near blue.

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about blue roses, as well as some cultivars and varieties to look out for.

History of Blue Roses

A blue rose is any rose that has a blue or purple tinge, rather than the pink, red, or white tinge common to roses. Historically, blue roses have been depicted in art and literature. Later, novels and movies used it as a prop or talking point. Blue roses are used to represent mystery or the fulfillment of unattainable wishes.

Naturally there is no such thing as a blue rose. According to legend, the first blue rose was a white rose that was painted or dyed blue. In 2004, scientists used genetic engineering to create roses that naturally lack a blue dye called delphinidin. It's called a blue rose, even though its hue is more lilac than blue. Therefore, it is difficult to make a real blue rose.

blue rose legality

Regardless of its legality, the blue rose has its place in history. Tennessee Williams wrote the moving and well-known play "The Glass Menagerie" in 1944. One of the characters is Laura, a teenage girl with pleurisy, a respiratory disease that was more common before antibiotics became widely available. Breathing difficulties are the main sign of pleurisy, and they can be very serious. When Laura told a man she had pleurisy in high school, her longtime crush misheard her and thought she meant "blue flowers." Because of this, he named Laura Blue Rose.

For more than a century, the idea of the blue rose has captivated people all over the world. As early as 1840, the Horticultural Society of England and Belgium offered a reward of 500,000 francs to the person who could breed a pure blue rose. The ability to grow blue roses has long been viewed by horticulturists around the world as a great potential achievement.

What does blue rose mean?

The importance and symbolism of flowers is well known. Blue roses symbolize true love, unattainable and unattainable. Other interpretations for blue flowers include mystery, unrequited love, intense longing, unfulfilled longing, patriotism, or the birth of a boy. Blue roses represent mystery and the desire to accomplish the impossible. Some cultures even claim that the owner of the blue rose will grant all his wishes. Blue roses are a symbol of unreachable love in Chinese culture.

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Roses are one of the most popular flowers to give to someone special or a loved one. Blue roses are becoming increasingly popular as gifts because they are uncommon and distinctive, and show how precious the recipient is to the giver. The rare blue rose is an ideal Valentine's Day gift, representing loyalty, trust and love. Blue roses are the least common color of roses. Therefore, you can expect flowers to cost more than other colors. Be sure to check with your florist ahead of time when purchasing a bouquet of these mystery flowers, as blue roses are a distinctive, unusual hue.

Do blue roses really exist?

Unfortunately, not so. True blue roses from nature do not exist. There are no true blue roses, just a few lilac garden roses and a few cut roses. If you want true blue, you have to choose roses that have been dyed, tinted or painted. When this happens, you should place them in a vase or other type of flower arrangement. When it comes to garden and garden roses, true blue doesn't exist in roses.

The gene pool of roses does not contain blue. This means that blue roses cannot occur naturally or through rose cross-breeding. You won't find shades of blue or black in the flowers.

So do we have to wait for roses to be crossed with flower types whose inherent DNA includes blue? When will it happen? Since a true natural blue rose would be a money-making machine for the first inventor, many people may be working on it.

As we mentioned before, in 2004 scientists genetically engineered roses that naturally lack the blue pigment delphinidin. Still, it's called a blue rose, even though its hue is more like lavender. But it is not. True blue roses are not currently produced and are not expected to be in the future.

Having said that, many "blue" varieties appear blue in appearance, but they have a more purplish hue.

Closeup shot of water droplets on vibrant blue rose petals
Most blue roses (pictured) do not actually exist in nature, but are white roses that have been dyed blue.

©iStock.com/courtyardpix

Actual Blue Rose Varieties

blue girl rose

Botanical Name: Rosa 'Blue Girl'

The hybrid tea rose Blue Girl, also known as Cologne Carnival or Koelner Karneval, has large flowers and a light scent. It was developed in Germany and won the Rome Gold Medal in 1964. Although Blue Girl Rose is advertised as "blue," it has lavender undertones. This is a rose that often appears in plant catalogs and nurseries.

Suntory Blue Rose Applause Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa 'Applause'

According to Suntory, genetic engineering has produced the first true blue rose. This came after multiple attempts to extract color-coding genes from various blue flowers, including morning glory and pansies, and an enzyme for the pigment from iris. Geneticists at Australian biotechnology company Florigene Ltd., part of Japan's Suntory Group, have cracked the code to produce roses that contain nearly 100 percent blue pigment. Don't expect to find this rose at your local nursery, though. It is one of the rarest roses out there.

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blue nile rose

Botanical name: Rosa 'Blue Nile'

This hardy hybrid tea rose is called Blue Nile, which is aptly named because its hue resembles clear, clean river water. It has rich, lavender-magenta double flowers with accents of violets. The exceptionally large olive-green leaves are covered with fragrant flowers that can be grown in clusters or solitary.

Blue Rose Rhapsody

Botanical Name: Rose 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Frank Cowlishaw created this rose plant in 1999 and it became an instant hit thanks to its iridescent blue-purple petals and fully open golden stamens. Because it grows tall and bushy, this repeat-flowering shrub is often used as landscaping borders.

Blue Rose Rhapsody grows on a bush in the garden
The Blue Rose Rhapsody (pictured) is very noticeable and popular in the rose gardening world.

©Edita Medeina/Shutterstock.com

shocking blue rose

Botanical name: Rosa 'Shocking Blue'

Shocking Blue roses produce profusion of single or clustered blooms over a long period of time which are very large in size, like all floribundas or free-flowering varieties. The deep burgundy red of the traditional rose-shaped flowers contrasts with the glossy dark green foliage. It is often used in rose breeding to impart color to other seedlings. This rose has a strong citrus scent and is very aromatic. It has a span of three to four feet and a height of two feet.

blue Rose

Botanical name: Rosa 'Blue for You'

These blue-purple roses, commonly known as Pacific Dream or Honky Tonk Blues, have pink centers. Crossed by Peter J. James in 2006, this plant can reach a height of 5 feet and is a popular choice for themed gardens.

blue moon rose

Botanical Name: Rosa 'Blue Moon'

This variety is popular because it is probably the closest thing on the market to a true blue rose that was historically hybridized. It is a fragrant tea rose shrub that grows well in warm, protected parts of the garden. There is also a climber breed called the Blue Moon. Plant blue moon roses next to a wall or fence that gets direct sunlight. In 1964, the factory was awarded the Gold Medal of Rome.

Blueberry Mountain Rose

Botanical name: Rosa 'Wekcryplag'

Blueberry Mountain Rose is a semi-double-flowered rose with large flowers and a delicate apple scent. It offers something unusual. The National Horticultural Society reports that this rose's blooms range in color from fuchsia to lavender with blue undertones. It resembles a rhododendron shrub in shape and flower cover, and it blooms freely all summer. The shrub can reach a height of four feet.

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artificially dyed blue roses

Botanical name: N/A

Since blue roses are so rare, you won't find them at your local nursery or grocery store. If you happen to see a vibrant blue rose, chances are it's not really blue at all. It is more likely a white rose, most likely a common variety, artificially tinted blue. So they won't produce any new blue flowers, and the cuttings will be dyed with whatever dye they have.

There are several ways to turn white roses blue. The most typical one is to add a unique color to the water. You fill the glass vase or plastic container with water until it is two-thirds full. A few drops of special flower coloring should be added to the vase. When you add additional food coloring, the color will get darker. Stir the colored water with a spoon. Purchase some white roses from a florist, wholesaler, or garden, and use sharp scissors to trim the ends of the rose stems about a half inch from the ends. Cut the flowers diagonally so they can absorb liquid more effectively. Place the stems in a vase, place the flowers in colored water, and let the flowers soak for two days.

How cool are blue roses? While the debate continues about how true the blue color of these rose varieties really is, they are still aesthetically pleasing. They can add a unique element to any garden, especially a rose garden. Why not plant some blue roses for some extra color this year?

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featured image

A bouquet of light blue roses lies on a stone paved ground
A bouquet of light blue roses lies on a stone paved ground

© iStock.com/Khaneeros


about the author

em casalena


I'm a fan of all things sustainable, from urban farming to not killing houseplants. I love carnivorous plants, native crops, and air-cleaning houseplants. My area of expertise lies in urban farming and conscious living. A proud Southwestern Academy of Therapeutic Arts graduate and certified Urban Agriculture Instructor.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do blue roses grow naturally?

Won't. Blue roses do not grow naturally in the wild. Blue roses are either dyed or genetically modified.

What is the symbolism behind the blue rose?

Blue roses often symbolize love, especially tragic unrequited love.

How rare are blue roses?

Blue roses are widely considered to be the rarest type of rose.

Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the 10hunting.com editorial team.

source
  1. NCSU staff, available here: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/rosa/
  2. Sheryl Geerts, available here: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/roses/ultimate-rose-care-guide/
  3. Garden Guides staff, available here: https://www.gardenguides.com/105292-different-types-blue-rose-flowers.html