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Tropical Flowers The Wow Factor

Weddings And A Touch Of The Tropics

Many brides and grooms are looking for the unusual and the exotic in flowers for their wedding. They desire something that strikes their wedding guests as exceptional. Tropical flowers bring the WOW to weddings. As I think back on all the weddings I’ve attended over the years, it is only the Hawaiian themed wedding that I remember vividly. In fact, the red ginger flowers made a huge impression on me. So much that I thought to myself, “Why did I go with the beautiful red roses for my wedding instead of these gorgeous tropical flowers.” I could kick myself for not going bold and exotic. After all, the tropical flowers at this particular wedding were outstanding.

Tropical Flower Arrangment Deisgned By Aloha Island
We often think that tropical flowers are difficult to obtain or maybe not traditional enough for a customary wedding, but tropical flowers can and do work with other conventional flowers. A rose of any color mixed with coordinating cattleya orchids, makes a traditional bridal rose bouquet extraordinary. No one should be afraid to experiment with traditionally known wedding flowers such as carnations, roses, gerberas and babies breath mixed with Bird of Paradise or anthuriums. Even the foliage of tropical plants mixes well with traditional flowers. Think of the exquisite tropical centerpiece arrangements that can adorn your wedding reception tables.

Summer weddings especially lend themselves to the tropical flower theme. With the vibrant strong colors that almost all tropical flowers possess, they won’t hide in the corner. Passion and beauty is what they will announce as a key component of summer wedding bouquets. Tropical Flowers easily transition into wonderful fall wedding flowers options. Orchids especially work wonderfully with other fall flowers to add a little exotic flare.

Tropical Flower Ideas For Weddings

The best aspect of tropical flowers is the unusual shape. The Bird of Paradise with its unusual flower works well for a groom’s and groomsmen’s boutonnières. If you find the standard Bird of Paradise to be too large you can get a mini (dwarf) Bird of Paradise. Unconventional use? Certainly but it works well. For the guys who don’t want to wear a flower, this is the answer.

Pineapples, bromeliads and protea are excellent candidates for reception table centerpieces. For example, position a few proteas at the base of the pineapple stem as it lay on a bed of tropical foliage. Create an unusual wedding centerpiece with clean and crisp lines. Although this tropical flower arrangement is very simplistic in design, it will have a strong visual impact without obstructing any viewpoints. Any combination of these tropical flowers is a wonderful and unique way to really bring the tropical feel to your wedding receptions. While bromeliads are often used as a potted plant they can easily be incorporated into your wedding decorations. The colorful bloom and striking foliage produce an amazing visual display. Florists can design floral arrangements that incorporate the potted bromeliad. Potted bromeliads can be neatly decorated on wedding reception tables and later given as wedding favors.

Orchid Lei from Aloha Island Lei & Floral
Choose a lei instead of traditional flowers for the bridesmaids, or even go all the way and give your guest small leis called kupe’e that are to be worn on the wrist or around the ankle if at an informal wedding. The kupe’e can be your wedding gift favors. Traditionally lei’s are made from orchids, but you can use roses, ginger, maile, or any other flowers or a mixture of flowers you can string together.

The use of anthuriums “Haitian pink” in a wedding bouquet makes a stunning non-traditional but elegant brides bouquet. The anthuriums’ heart shaped flowers, and the beautiful light pink color will coordinate with any color wedding dress the bride wears or even the bridesmaids’ dresses. If you dislike pink choose any of the other anthuriums. They come in red, white or even a tropical color that lightly fades from pink in the middle to green on the outer most of the flower. Any choice of a tropical flower or a concept of an arrangements or bouquets can be done, it’s all in the creative way florist do their work.

Tropical Flower For Parties and Just Because

One thing we know about tropical flowers is that they are unusual, exotic and used infrequently. We all tend to opt for traditional. Tried-and-true works well, but we have to admit that it is easy. It’s time we all think out side the tried-and-true box and go with the exotic, the remarkable, the extraordinary, tropical flower arrangements. Just as I was mesmerized by the red ginger at the wedding, tropical flowers captivate us because they are new to us. Though I didn’t know what they were at the time, I took the time to find out because they caught my eye. Putting a tropical flower arrangement of anthuriums, orchids, and Birds of Paradise will not only look grand, but will certainly make for great conversation pieces at any party. Guests will be curious as to the type of flower or that and who did the arrangements. That is the WOW factor of tropical plants.

Tropical Flowers - Birds of Paradise - Protea - heliconias
Choosing a tropical arrangement of orchids mixed with other exotic flowers and giving them just because will be well received and talked about for months on end. Maybe you want a plant and not just a flower arrangement. In that case, tropical plants are another wonderful gift to send. A gloriosa lily, a striking plant that has a flower that has gold based flowers with crimson tipped ends, is an absolute tropical beauty. The gloriosa plant is best suited to mild climates for outdoor planting or it can be gown inside as a potted plant.

The use of tropical flowers for a party, wedding or flower arrangement will bring a WOW factor to any occasion and will brighten up any décor. Everyone should explore the world of tropical flowers and plants. Why not celebrate their uniqueness and exotic looks? Not ready to move completely out of the tried-and-true box? Well spice up a traditional styled arrangement with tropicals. Come on. You know that you want to. Just a few here and there and you’ll be exploring the ever-growing world of tropical flower arrangements.

Contributor Leigh Morrisett

Photos Provided by Aloha Flower Leis – One of Flower Shop Network’s Honolulu Florists.

Need to send a tropical flower arrangement to someone? Check out the following: Tropical Getaway flower basket arrangement Tropical Flair. Tropical Tribute

Orchids and Orchid Care

The popularity of orchids has increased tremendously in recent years. Fresh cut stems of spray orchids are being produced by the hundreds of thousands in places like Hawaii and Thailand. Orchid plants are regularly featured in the interior layouts of shelter magazines, and more and more flower shops are carrying them on a regular basis. Orchids are now the second-highest selling blooming plants in the U.S. (behind poinsettias), and as availability has increased, prices have come down.

Orchids have always been associated with a sense of the exotic, wild, and rare, and orchid care has a reputation for being difficult and mysterious, which seems to make them that much more special and desirable. In fact, growing orchids isn’t really that hard if you choose the right varieties. Some are quite durable and resilient. But even if you don’t want to actually grow them, orchid blooms last a long time on the plants; longer than a bouquet of cut flowers. So you could think of a blooming orchid plant simply as a very long lasting fresh arrangement, and discard the plant when it’s finished flowering. To most people, orchid plants aren’t that attractive without the flowers.

One of the easiest orchids to care for is the phalaenopsis (fail-an-OP-sis), sometimes called the Moth or Butterfly Orchid. The phalaenopsis orchid produces flowers with a broad, flat petal on either side, resembling the open wings of a butterfly. These orchids are most often seen in a crisp white color with a lemon-yellow throat, although many other colors and patterns are grown, with new ones appearing on the market all the time. Purple, pink, and peach shades are prevalent. Some varieties have minute speckles on a contrasting background color. Others have flashy pinstripes on their petals. The flowers usually range from about 2 inches to nearly 5 inches wide. Depending on the variety, a phalaenopsis orchid can produce a scape (flowering stalk) with anywhere from 3 to 20 flowers on it, and older, mature plants may have 3 or 4 scapes in bloom at one time. The plant also grows elongated, often rounded leaves that lie more or less flat in two ranks on top of the growing medium. Wiggly, silver-gray aerial roots are also produced, which serve to draw moisture from the air or from the potting mix.

Phalaenopsis orchids, like the majority of orchid plants, are known botanically as epiphytes. In the wild, epiphytic plants (including orchids, bromeliads, anthuriums, and many ferns) live high in the branches of trees where they can benefit from maximum exposure to bright light and fresh air. They absorb needed moisture from the humid atmosphere of their natural environments. They obtain nutrition from decomposing organic matter, such as leaf litter, that accumulates among their roots or in the forked tree branches where they’re perched. In order to provide the best orchid care, we try to duplicate those growing conditions as closely as possible. That means that orchid plants are typically potted in a growing medium composed of bark, crushed charcoal, lava stones, sphagnum moss, or some combination of the above. Planting an orchid in ordinary potting soil would eventually lead to its death from suffocation.

An orchid’s roots must have access to humid air, and orchid growing media are designed to provide a moist and humid environment around the roots, while at the same time allowing plenty of fresh air to circulate. Bark and porous stones, etc., give the roots something to anchor themselves to while supporting the orchid plant upright in its pot. Allow the potting mix to approach dryness in between thorough waterings. Such a growing medium will drain quickly, preventing the roots from drowning. However, it will not retain very much nutrition for the orchid plant. Therefore, orchids should be fed with almost every watering, using a dilute solution of fertilizer, specifically prepared for orchid plants. Once the flowers have come and gone, stop fertilizing and slow down a bit on the watering. Let the growing medium dry slightly and give the orchid plant a chance to rest for several weeks, but don’t allow the leaves to shrivel.

Most species of orchids require very bright light in order to grow and flourish. However, the phalaenopsis orchid is one type that will survive in less light, making it easier to grow. Another somewhat shade-tolerant variety is the Lady Slipper orchid (Paphiopedilum sp.). The Lady Slipper has a rounded lip that extends from the face of the flower, looking like the toe of a ballet slipper and giving this orchid its common name. The ‘paphs’, as they are affectionately called, often have colorfully-mottled foliage, making them somewhat attractive even when not in bloom. In any case, it’s best to grow orchid plants in pots that are placed on top of a gravel-filled tray. Keep the gravel wet, with the bottoms of the pots above the water level. As water evaporates from the tray, the atmosphere immediately surrounding the orchids will stay nice and humid.

There are, of course, many other species of orchids which may be successfully grown indoors, including cattleyas, miltonias, cymbidiums, and others. For more detailed information about orchid care, visit the website of the American Orchid Society (www.orchidweb.org). There are more than 20,000 known species of orchids, and untold numbers of wild orchids that haven’t been discovered. The sad truth, however, is that the natural growing habitat of orchids – the tropical rain forest – is rapidly disappearing through irresponsible management and clear-cutting.

Among cut flowers, some of the more popular and readily available varieties are the so-called spray orchids, including dendrobiums, oncidiums, arachnis, arantheras, and vandas. Dendrobiums usually come in white, purple, or some combination of the two, although green varieties are also obtainable. The flowers are normally between the size of a quarter and a fifty-cent piece, occurring on graceful, linear sprays anywhere from 10 inches to two feet or more in length. They’re long lasting and can add a touch of class to any flower arrangement.

Oncidiums, also known as Dancing Lady orchids, have delicate yellow flowers speckled in brown, and are arranged on wispy, branching stems. Their common name comes from the fact that the lower petal of the flower is wide, rounded, and slightly ruffled like a miniature ballgown. Though not quite as durable as the dendrobium orchids, oncidiums are exquisitely bright and appealing.

Less commonly seen as cut flowers are the vanda, the arachnis, and the aranthera orchids. Vandas are usually crowded on relatively short, fairly thick stems. Long lasting and sturdy, they’re available in an interesting range of colors, including a smokey purple, a deep burgundy, and a brassy gold with tiny brownish speckles. Arachnis orchids are also called ‘Spider Orchids’, and the shape of the flower lives up to the name. Their stringy, greenish-yellow petals are eerily marked with blood-red splotches. Arantheras feature slender blossoms on firm stems. One variety, ‘James Storei’, has attractive brick-red flowers on long, branching sprays.

Even though they may be grown in faraway places, your favorite professional florist can usually get any of these orchids for you with enough advance notice. Perhaps they are already carrying them as part of their usual inventory. In any case, with Mother’s Day approaching, consider sending Mom a long-lasting orchid plant, some sprays of cut orchid blossoms arranged in a vase, or a traditional cymbidium orchid corsage. She’ll be sure to appreciate the exotic beauty of these fascinating flowers.