Turn a Plain Store-Bought Orchid into a Spectacular Arrangement

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Orchids were once a rare and expensive plant, but today, they are readily available everywhere – supermarkets, home improvement stores, farmer's markets – at prices that are frequently lower than cut flowers. While orchids make great gifts and home decor, stores usually package them in no-frills plastic pots. However, with a few simple steps, you can turn a plain, store bought orchid into a stunning arrangement.

DIY orchid arrangement
(Jonathan Fong)

Things You'll Need

  • Orchid plant(s)
  • Container
  • Bamboo sticks
  • Plastic trash bag
  • Raffia
  • Moss
  • Newspaper
  • Artificial feather butterfly
  • Hot glue gun
Step 1

Select a container for your arrangement. If it is not water tight, line it with some plastic. Just cut off a corner of a plastic kitchen trash bag and position it in the container. Do not worry if it extends past the top of the container.

Line container with plastic
Jonathan Fong
Step 2

Place one or two orchid plants in the container. In the pictured example, there was room for two orchids. Also, select a complementary plant that will add visual interest to the bottom of the arrangement, like ivy or succulents. Keep all the plants in their plastic pots so it will make it easier to change them out or repot them in the future.

Add the plants
Jonathan Fong
Step 3

Crumple pieces of newspaper and stuff them into the container between the pots to steady them. Orchids are top-heavy, so the newspaper keeps them from tipping over. As you are stuffing newspaper into the container, cover any excess plastic liner.

Stuff newspaper in the container
Jonathan Fong
Step 4

Store bought orchids come with plain metal or wood stakes and plastic clips that hold the plants upright. For a designer look, these need to be replaced. Insert some bamboo sticks into the orchid pots, and then remove the existing stakes. You can actually use any type of branch here to hold up the orchids.

Replace the stakes with branches
Jonathan Fong
Step 5

Tie the stems of the orchids to the bamboo sticks with raffia. Using raffia, you can also tie bamboo sticks horizontally to the vertical ones to create a scaffolding element. The scaffolding is helpful when you have long orchid stems, so the orchids can be tied to the horizontal bamboo sticks for extra support.

Create bamboo scaffolding
Jonathan Fong
Step 6

Cover the points where you used raffia with some moss. Secure the moss with more raffia, and then fluff up the moss so the raffia is hidden. Spanish or reindeer moss, which you can find at the crafts store, works best for this purpose.

Cover raffia with moss
Jonathan Fong
Step 7

The plastic pots and newspaper are still visible in the container, so cover them with sheet moss or mood moss, also available in the crafts store. These types of moss are dry and stiff; to work with them, immerse them in water and scrunch them into ball shapes. Then stuff the balls of moss tightly in the container. Besides being decorative, the moss helps to steady the bamboo sticks.

Stuff moss in the container
Jonathan Fong
Step 8

While the orchid arrangement is complete and already looks beautiful, hot gluing an artificial feather butterfly to one of the bamboo sticks adds a whimsical touch.

Add a decorative butterfly
Jonathan Fong
Step 9

As a final step, florists mist the orchid leaves with plant polish spray. While this step is optional, the spray removes hard water stains and gives the leaves a glossy shine. These sprays are available in floral supply stores and nurseries.

Spray the leaves with polish
Jonathan Fong

Tips & Warnings

  • Orchids do not need a lot of water. For an easy watering trick, place ice cubes on the plants above the roots and let the ice melt gradually.
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