This question is from reader swt. Swt asks: I love the idea of attaching orchids (or other flowers) onto curly branches. Do you have a tip for keeping them in good shape? How early can I do this so they don’t wilt?
Well swt, I absolutely love the look of orchids attached to branches. Take a look at this orchid tree that we did for a client’s wedding:
Photo by Sherman Chu
You can also hang votives, crystals or garlands of flowers from the branches.
I usually use manzanita for the branches (because it’s strong) and cymbidiums for the orchids. When we assemble our orchid trees, we make sure to attach the orchids to the branches prior to the event. We don’t assemble the trees in advance, because transporting them is very difficult. Can you imagine how tall our trees are? Plus, most of our trees won’t fit into our minivans (or even the cargo vans) because they are so tall. And to be honest, when we put a tree in our vans, we can’t fit anything else!
If you have to assemble the branches in advance, you can put a tube around the orchids and then attach the tubes to the branches with decorative wire. Decorative wire can be found at many craft stores, but I have to say I prefer inexpensive wire that I find at hardware stores. They love me at the Ace Hardware down the street from my studio!
Cymbidiums are tough. My team once assembled an orchid tree at around noon. When I went back at 1 a.m. after the event, the tree still looked amazing. I brought a couple of orchid branches back to the office. Two days later the orchids didn’t look that bad at all, which was a surprise to me. Of course, I don’t want to go out on a limb and say that orchids should hold up for 48 hours, but it’s safe to say that hardy cymbidiums should last several hours. However, phaleanopsis is very soft; I don’t advise using them. Dendrobiums are fairly good though.
Thanks for your question swt. If anyone has any other questions, please leave them in the comments!