A simple way to use an ordinary Cattleya Orchid for a corsage or bridal bouquet is to use two different types of wire — a heavy wire to strengthen and extend the stem and a smaller wire to anchor the flower onto the stem.
- First insert a heavy wire (No. 18 or 19) lengthwise through the short stem into the hard base of the flower and cut the wire off at the desired length. Some florists prefer to lay a hairpin-shaped length of medium heavy wire (No. 19 or 20) along the stem to give it strength. And consider that two or more smaller wires provide greater flexibility than one heavy wire. Good support holds the bloom at the desired tilt and strengthens the stem for a graceful natural curve or helps attach it to other stems.
- Next push a smaller wire (No. 26 or 29) through the base of the flower at right angles to the stem or insert two wires criss-cross with the ends placed along the stem. This anchoring wire keeps the Orchid from falling away from the stem if it should snap off
- Last, wrap the stem and wires smoothly with Floratape ® stem wrap. Pad out the wire stem with the tape so that the entire stem tapers down gradually instead of falling away abruptly. Floratape ® stem wrap also forms a good foundation for a finishing layer of high quality ribbon that should match a bow if one is used.
Do not overdo Orchid trims because corsage flowers such as this should be arranged and adorned to emphasize their natural beauty. While some customers like a bow of matching ribbon, many prefer simple elegance to extras such as coiled stems, spiral wire tendrils and fluffs of maline.