How to ‘Dress’ Your Just Add Ice Orchid Until It Blooms

How to ‘Dress’ Your Just Add Ice Orchid Until It Blooms

The most popular orchid variety, Phalaenopsis orchids grow well in bright indirect sunlight at normal room temperatures. Just Add Ice Orchids get their name from their easy watering regimen: just add three ice cubes to your orchid pot once a week. As the ice melts into the soil medium it provides orchids with optimal controlled-release watering, preventing damaging overwatering.

Available in a variety of stunning colors, Just Add Ice Orchids produce a lovely, curving stalk of breathtaking blooms emerging from a low tuft of thick green leaves. With an exceptionally long blooming pattern, Just Add Ice Orchids can provide a beautiful display for two to six months and, once a plant achieves maturity, can bloom multiple times each year. New buds may form on the end of old flower spikes or spikes can be cut back to a node to encourage the generation of new spikes. As with all orchids, Just Add Ice Orchids must go through a period of dormancy to allow regeneration before the plant can bloom again. Dormancy can last two or more months between blooming sessions during which the orchid displays a naked stalk and limp leaves.

Orchid growers have devised a number of clever techniques to disguise this necessary dull period in the Phalaenopsis orchid’s life cycle. One of the most beautiful ways to "dress" a dormant Just Add Ice Orchid is to incorporate its naturally curving naked stalk in an oriental floral design.

Creating an Oriental Design to Dress Your Just Add Ice Orchid

You will need:

  • Just Add Ice Orchid - that has finished blooming
  • 1 curving silk flower stem of Phalaenopsis orchids in bloom
  • 1-3 attractively curled willow branches of varying lengths
  • 1 or 2 silk stems of (choose one) a cherry tree branch, pussy willow, forsythia or other bloom in a color and shape that appeals to you or complements the décor of the room where the arrangement will be displayed. To achieve the desired oriental look, choose a silk stem that features a woody stem with small, delicate blooms spaced along the stem. You want the woody stem to show.

How to do it:

  • Carefully press the silk orchid stem into pot, aligning stem with old orchid stalk if it has not been removed. Very gently attach the silk stem to orchid stem with florist ties or tape at a few points along old stalk. Do not wrap entire stalk.
  • Without putting pressure on the old stalk, bend the silk orchid stem to match its curve. Depending on the shape and curve of the old stalk, you may have to bend the silk stem away from the old stalk at some point to achieve a pleasing and natural-looking floral curve.
  • Carefully press 1 to 2 of the complementary floral stems into the pot, angling, curving or twisting them into a pleasing counterpoint to the orchid stem. Trim length as necessary.
  • Add 1 to 3 decorative willow branches of varying lengths at attractive angles to add a realistic touch to your design.