Orchid Arrangements For Less…


I was at the FTI market last Saturday and ran across these spectacular orchids, transported from the “bicol region,” according the vendor. They had huge sprays of flowers, and while I was not familiar with the species and neither was the vendor, I thought they might look pretty good as an arrangement back home. We had a few dinners with guests planned for the week and houseguests arriving later in the week, so I figured some flowers were in order. My favorite phaelaenopsis stall at Market!Market! was empty and the sales attendants missing in action, and besides a single pot of white butterly orchids can run PHP600-700 each, so in the spirit of cutting back on non-essentials, I thought these were a terrific buy…


Back home, we soaked the roots of the orchids in some water to remove any dirt and bugs. I then decided to put them in varying heights of clear glass vases, with most of them just stuck into the vase as is. Talk about simple to do. They should be fine for a week or more, with an occasional spritz of water. In some vases where I feared they might tip over due to the weight, I added water to the vase but the water does not hit the roots of the orchid. In one vase, I did surround the base of the orchid with some damp moss to steady it. Placed on a corner table, the orchids looked pretty good to me!


It might seem cruel or unusual punishment for the orchids to just stick them in the air with no water, but actually they quite like it as it replicates their natural habitat clinging to a tree or whatever. Just remember to keep them in a humid area and or spritz them once a day or so.


The only downside of these orchids is that they had a few more bugs on them that we bargained for, so on the first evening, a few bugs ventured out of the vases onto the table. The problem was solved on the second day with an hours sunning out on the lanai.


I bought 5 plants, and two of them had multiple blooms of up to 3 stems. Total price? PHP500 ($11) for all five plants. And they will easily last a week or maybe even two, and they will be planted in the garden after that!

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22 Responses

  1. once the flowers have wilted, you can stick them in trees and for sure this will grow well.

  2. Hi MM!!! about FTI..I’ve been hearing about it for quite some time..is it like a market where you can buy lots of stuff? what’s the atmosphere there? Thanks.

    …nice orchids by the way.

  3. After the flowers wilt, transfer them to a slab of Fern tree roots, hang or anchor on a tree trunk or branch. This kind does not like full sunlight exposure. Orchids are air plants although you have to wrap the roots with some moss or coconut husk so it will retain the moisture when watering. They will give you suckers in 6 mos. and hopefully will flower next year.

  4. Oh, I forgot….. locally its known as tiger orchids but I’ll get back to you for the botanical name.

  5. OMG, I just paid $45. each for similar plants at the Farmers Market in NYC… well, at least they should last a couple of months and they have no bugs having been raised in a greenhouse.

  6. Gorgeous orchids, MM!…I can grow vegetables beyond belief like SQUARE WATERMELONS, 35 lb. winter squashes BUT ORCHIDS, sad to say is my downfall…so I just hand craft them using white chocolate plastique or Iranian flower dough using cornstarch…it looks REAL when finished and WILL NEVER WILT OR DIE!!!!

    Anyway, What I want to let you know is I have a cousin in Tanauan, Batanggas whose passion is orchids. I have never seen orchids like he has….he is extremely knowlegeable having worked at UP Los Banos IRRI in 19 (kopong kopong?…I forgot!!!). He might end up giving you one of his prized orchids…who knows!!! Let me know by e-mail if you wish to drop over his place next time you go to Nasugbu.

  7. Whenever I feel like my vases are imbalanced and may tip over, I get some garden rocks to put at the bottom.

  8. My hubby and I have a friend who is just started his passion in raising orchids. Actually, he’s saving the orchids here in our mountain. Illegal logging’s main victims are the orchids and mosses growing on treetops. So, my hubby and friend rush off to where the chainsaws are heard not just to document it but to also gather what may be the last of the orchid species there. Our friend had documented around more than a thousand orchid species already and he says there are still a lot more to discover…and save!

  9. Beautiful and not so ostentatious orchids. Very simple yet elegant. A big bouquet of tiger orchids is a nice attraction in a gathering. A nice piece of conversation.

    Does anyone knows the name of the hanging plants with beautiful yellow flowers on the ceiling above the restaurant next to BeanYard Shop in Tagaytay? I think the flowers are shaped like tiny elongated bells or pitchers. The flowers are like orchid flowers.

    I went to Market Market and bought Golden Garland but its not the same to what I saw hanging on the ceiling of that restaurant. I really would like to buy that plant for my patios.

  10. danney,

    I also saw that hanging plant with beautiful yellow flowers at the Bean Yard Shop.
    The Shop sells graftings of the plant with at P250.00/pot. i did not buy any coz i think hindi masyado established yun grafting and i was also worried the plant will not thrive well in the hot and humid weather of Manila.
    Did you notice the other variety with the blue-green flowers, climbing up the tree beside the trellis? Georgeous! Our group was in a hurry i forgot to ask the store if the blue-green flowers are for real, baka kasi imitation lang.

  11. Hello Sonny,

    Thanks for the info. I did not notice the blue green flowers but since I live in Sta. Rosa, I will definitely try the hanging plants with yellow flowers and check out the blue green flowers too before I fly back to Los Angeles this Friday.

  12. Grammatophyllum scriptum (looks like you have 2 varieties, as the spotting patterns differ). I wonder if these were jungle-collected from Bicol then sold at the FTI markets.

    Sister is right – grammatophyllums cost quite a bit in the US, and are usually shipped to florists/retailers while the buds are still closed. The plants in NY may have come from Hawaii or Florida, and must pass thru agriculture inspection (US Dept. of Agriculture), that is, must be bug- and disease-free. The flowers do last long on the plant.

    Re placing orchids in a glass cylindrical vase, I attended a Hitomi Gilliam workshop last year. She used white phalaenopsis (took it off the pot, cleaned off the potting mix) and and arranged them similar to how you use the grammatophyllum. She used clear Crystal Accent Deco Cubes to create striking arrangements. Here’s a link to one of the arrangements she made: https://www.greenpointnursery.com/news/cylflowersneotrop.JPG

    BTW, on the upper part of the arrangement, she used cut cross-sections of dragon fruit in the upper 1/4 of the cylinder.

  13. The times I get to walk around the plants area of AANI FTI, I can picture myself scrolling MM blog :)

    You come up with simple but elegant ways with those flowers.

  14. sonny sj,
    I haven’t been to the shop you mentioned, but I wonder if the bluegreen flowers are the jade vine. We used to have these in a trellis and the flowers are absolutely gorgeous, unusual color, di ba. The neighbors, who never saw them before, initially thought we hang plastic flowers hahaha.

  15. Hello Cumin and Sonny,

    I just visited Bag of Beans Shop few hours ago and bought that beautiful hanging plants with yellow flowers is called Bignonia or Vignonya for 250 pesos a pot. The lady who sold me the plants told me that the plants bloom in November till May but she noticed that it is already July and the flowers are still in bloom.

    Cumin is right. The other plants with blue green flowers is called Jade Vine.

  16. According to Jin Cootes, author of the book The Orchids of the Philippines (2001), G. scriptum does not occur in the Philippines.

    The tigrinum variety of Grammatophyllum multiflorum is often confused with G. scriptum.

  17. I just came from my yearly visit there in our country (specifically in Quezo Province), and along the railroad community where I stayed, houses have abundant orchids plants of different variety. Homeowners actually sticks old (dead) tree shrubs in their yards and hang their orchids on the branches. They thrive beautifully and it was eye-catching.

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