Pressing Orchids

lilprincess1026May 13, 2009

Does anyone know how to press Orchids?

My flowers for prom were orchids and I would like to press them. also how do you take care of them? I had a BEAUTIFUL light purple Orchid plant, my granddad put potting soil in it and all of the flowers fell off and the arm of the stem curled.

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sweetcicely(S7 USDA9 No.CA)

Pressing flowers:

Fold 4-6 pages of newspaper in half--about 11x12 when folded. Other absorbent paper will do, but it must be smooth (untextured) for the best results.

Cut two flat pieces of corrugated cardboard to the same size as the folded newsprint pages. Place one piece under the newspaper; the other will go on top, when you are finished.

You can try to press the whole corsage, but it will likely be too bulky for a good press. After noting on paper how the corsage is arranged, carefully take it apart.

Open the folded newspaper and arrange the flowers and other parts, face down and well spaced, in the center of the unfolded sheaf of newspaper. The parts will dry best if they are not crowded. If you need more space, fold another sheaf of 4-6 pages of newspaper and arrange the rest in the center of the second sheaf.

Since orchids tend to cup or curl closed as they age, you may need to spread the petals/sepals as you lay them onto the paper. If the flowers are still very crisp, you may choose to allow them to wilt a bit, in place on the paper, so that you can arrange them more easily.

When you have the flowers the way you want them, close the newspaper sheaf, taking care not to move the flowers. Stack the two sheaves (if there are two) on top of each other without disturbing the contents. (If at all possible, separate the two sheaves with another piece of corrugated cardboard.)

Place the cardboard/newspaper stack out of sunlight, on a flat counter or protected surface, where air can move around it, but where it will not be disturbed. Put a board or two large, heavy books, edge to edge on top of the stack and allow your flowers to dry, undisturbed for two weeks. After two weeks carefully check to see if they are crispy dry. If not, put everything back and wait for another week, or until they are dry.

How dry it is where you live will pretty much determine how long it takes to complete the process. When everything is dry, you can (if you prefer) "reassemble" your corsage, collage style, and frame it under glass--but it must be completely dry (including any glue used) so that it won't mold. Also be aware that the colors of most flowers are fugitive--that is, they disappear after a while.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:34AM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

I'm sure your granddad was trying to help, but orchids (in general) don't do well in potting soil, they need more air around the roots. A bark mix is the easiest to use and is what many orchid growers have their plants potted in. There are exceptions, but the commonly available purple orchids like bark.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:48AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

I also use a phone book. I put the orchid between the pages and close it and then put another book on top. You might check the orchid the next day to make sure that once the orchid has been flattened you like the placement of the petals. Rearrange if necessary, and then put it back.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 4:47PM
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