Wiring and Preparing Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis also known as the Butterfly Orchid needs definite support. There are a number of ways to prepare this fragile flower, but the way generally accepted follows:

Assembly Instructions

  1. Use Floratape ® stem wrap to wrap a No. 26 or No. 28 gauge wire. Be sure to stretch the stem wrap tightly and smoothly as you twist around the wire.
  2. Make a hairpin hook with a crook.
  3. Hold flower gently but firmly in the left hand. Insert wires wound with Floratape ® stem wrap wire carefully from above, down the sides of the hard pistil-like knob. Anchor the hooked wire carefully over the hard knob projection. The wires extending through the bottom will become part of the stem with sufficient support.
  4. Add a piece of dry cotton at the base of bloom over the cut stem. Wind with a No. 26 gauge wire. Spray cotton with water or dip in water for needed moisture. Overwrap neatly with florist's Parafilm ® wrap, using the same technique as in the Lily-of-the-Valley to retain moisture. With some practice you will become expert using Parafilm ® wrap over the moist cotton without too much bulkiness. You can then overwrap with Floratape ® stem wrap if desired. In the event of corsages or debutante bouquets using Phalaenopsis, the use of color can be invited by spraying the blooms with various color sprays that are now available on the market.

    Sometimes Phalaenopsis are very limp. When others cannot be obtained it is suggested you spray the underneath portion of the bloom lightly with either a light pink or a light color spray. When dry, the blooms become full of substance and appear much more alive and fresh.
  5. For added accent, prepare small scrolls. Do this by winding Floratape ® stem wrap on a No. 26 wire. Overwrap diagonally with pink satin ribbon using a few simple twists around the wire. Make a leaf design or butterfly effect, or combine a series of scrolls for effective accents. Please note that you must apply Floratape ® stem wrap to the wires first to apply the satin ribbon and form the small accents.

FDP-13 | Written by William Kistler, American Floral Art School, Chicago