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Orchid Centerpiece

Project by Terry L. Rye.

Materials and Tools:

2 phalaenopsis orchid stems
3 vanda orchid stems
3 oncidium orchid stems
2 to 3 corkscrew willow stems
galax leaf bush
20-25 feet river cane
bunch of dried grass, 71" or longer
12" x 12" chicken wire
dry floral foam brick
green waterproof floral tape
floral adhesive or hot glue gun
3-1/2" x 1/4" rubberband


1. Cut the river cane in varying heights from 14 to 25 inches. Place the 14-inch piece in the center of the others. Wrap the river cane twice with a rubberband.

2. With the rubberband placed in the lower middle part of the river cane, rotate and spread out the river cane, making sure the 14-inch stem remains in the middle. This stem anchors the floral foam in the center of the arrangement. If a stem of river cane splits or breaks, add a dab of floral adhesive or glue to repair it.

Helpful Hint: Arrange the centerpiece on a lazy Susan for improved accessibility to all sides to achieve a more balanced look.

3. Cut floral foam to approximately 3" x 3". Wrap a 12" x 12" piece of chicken wire around the foam. Fold the chicken wire completely around the foam, and trim if necessary.

4. Wrap the floral tape around both the length and width of the foam and chicken wire twice.

5. Insert the 14-inch river cane stem in the center of the floral foam. Keep this stem in the middle of the centerpiece.

6. Spread the river cane stems to shape and balance the centerpiece. Don't be concerned about the shape of the stems changing when creating the base of the centerpiece, because the stems can always be adjusted throughout the arranging process.

7. Cut individual 2-inch stems of leaf clusters from the galax bush. Randomly insert the stems into the floral foam until the leaves cover the foam.

8. Cut one 20-inch phalaenopsis orchid stem and insert it into the top center of the foam. Bend the stem to trail over the left side of the centerpiece.

9. Insert another phalaenopsis orchid stem, 16 inches long including a 3-inch stem, in the top center of the foam and bend the stem to the right. Placing thick stems near the center of the foam keeps the weight equally distributed and balances the centerpiece. Use floral adhesive or a hot glue gun to fill in holes when a stem is reinserted into the foam in a different spot.

10. Cut the three vanda orchid stems in varying lengths from 16 to 18 inches, including a 2-inch clean stem on each for insertion. To give the arrangement a more natural look, bend the stems to show a slight curve. Insert the stems into three separate sides of the floral foam.

Helpful Hint: When adding flowers to the centerpiece, always hold onto the center 14-inch river cane stem to ensure stability.

11. Cut one stem of an oncidium orchid 27 inches long with a 3-inch stem. Insert it into the top center of the floral foam.

12. Cut the two remaining oncidium orchid stems into two different lengths from 8 to 12 inches. Add the final oncidium orchid stems in the lower sides of the floral foam and bend downward.

13. Insert the tall stem of corkscrew willow into the top of the centerpiece; add one 25-inch branch of corkscrew willow that has two branches coming off of it. Substitute a lightweight flowering branch for the corkscrew willow if desired.

14. Add remaining stems of corkscrew willow randomly throughout the arrangement.

15. Cut a section of grass approximately 71 inches long. Braid the grass and knot the ends. Wrap the braided grass around the rubber band at the base of the centerpiece twice and tie in a knot to finish.

Designer Tip: When your arrangement is complete, readjust the positioning of the river cane as desired. To enhance your centerpiece with more color, paint the river cane. Apply floral spray paint directly on the river cane, or spray a cloth and rub it onto the river cane.

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