Cascading Phalaenopsis Bouquet

Often called "moth orchids", Phalaenopsis orchids are definitely a regal flower, so big, bold, and long lasting - and oftentimes scary to work with. In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne shares professional tips for everything from dealing with blemishes to hiding flower gaps on the stems. Watch along as she creates a luxurious hand-tied cascading wedding bouquet with hydrangeas, roses, and of course, Phalaenopsis orchids. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. And today I'm here to share with you one of my favorite blooms, phalaenopsis orchards in a cascading wedding bouquet. 

Materials, of course the Phalaenopsis orchids. That was the starting point. Now one tip when you're working with the phalaenopsis, sometimes they'll get little spots, lighter areas, and they will show from the front. To conceal that, use your Design Master flat white, paint the back side, don't do the face, but paint the back side and it'll bleed through and cover any of those translucent spots. So that makes it so that the orchids are easy to work with. And so long lasting. Flower wise, adding in hydrangea and roses and just a bit of foliage. 

Each stem will have blooms that face different directions, and you want to adjust them so that the most will come out and look forward. And you don't have just this plain gap, that isn't as attractive. So, what I did is I took three stems and off-camera wove them together. I did that off camera because Marissa had to help me. It takes two people, one to hold and then one to weave them in and out so that you get a nice stable, solid cascade of orchids. Then we wired the stems together using bind wire and two spots, top and bottom. And then we're ready to design.

To prepare ahead of time, I also removed foliage and thorns so that all I need to do is take each stem, the hydrangea cluster it into my hand, maybe a second one, adding substance and density to the bouquet, and then bringing in roses, I have two, both white, Eskimo, which is a white, white. I can weave it into the hydrangea and then polo, which is a little more ivory white. I'm tucking that in, finding the perfect hole and coming over to the opposite side, adding in more roses, even tuck them down with the orchids and coming back up towards the top. 

Once all the flowers are in place, we want to enhance with a variety of foliage and use those to cover all the mechanics in the back. It can be a combination of things. Some ruscus can tuck in, fatsia leaves give a little more substance, even small galax could create a collar. Really depends on what you like. If you like the leaves to show, use the larger ones. If you want just a tiny bit of color, then use the smaller ones. I like to use a variety of different greens, just because that color contrast, growth format changes the perspective. I bring it in. And even though it's just a tiny bit, every little step makes a difference. Something down a little bit towards the front, maybe over on the opposite side, couple more galax. Then when everything's in place, take a look in the mirror, make sure the flowers are properly placed and then using just a bit of bind wire, secure it, wrapping it above your hand two to three times around. 

The recipe for this beautiful bouquet started with three stems of the phalaenopsis orchids. Then I enhanced the top portion with two hydrangea, five polo roses, seven Eskimo roses, five Israeli ruscus, three fatsia leaves and seven galax leaves. Then it's tied off with bind wire. Then to shorten the stems, I do just a little bit more than two hands. The reality is once it's delivered and ready to hand to the client, I'm going to cut it down a little bit shorter yet, but I leave it long so I can set it in a vase of water and clip it down. Then once it's totally clipped down, I can tie it off with a bit of ribbon and conceal my bind wire.

The question I always hear is how long will those phalaenopsis orchids last? And can I put them in the flower cooler? Well, I can tell you, phalaenopsis orchards are very long lasting. They can easily last in a vase of water for two weeks or more. Now, a cooler? That's not good for them. They don't like to be very cold, but if you have a warmer cooler, something more close to 50 degrees, then yes, you could put this in a vase of water, then set it in a plastic bag, completely cover it, creating a hydration chamber and then put it in that little bit warmer cooler, and it'll hold just fine. Then when you take it out the next morning, you can cut it a little shorter, add your ribbon and take it to the wedding.

You'll find more creative inspiration and more care and handling information on our website at Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at 503-223-8089. Now it's your turn. Find some beautiful flowers and create a lovely cascading bouquet, preferably with phalaenopsis so you can see how much fun they are to work with. Have fun, get out there and do something you love.

  • Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
    Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
    Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
  • Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
    Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
  • Bind Wire Individual Pack 673 Feet (Green)
    Bind Wire Individual Pack 673 Feet (Green)