I Just Stole This Orchid Planter!

September 3, 2015 | By | Comments (3)
Orchid Planter

Photo: Kris Blevons

I’m a thief, but it’s not my fault. Facebook made me do it. There I was innocently checking my news feed and sipping absinthe when this gorgeous photo of an orchid planter appeared. I had to have it! But since I wasn’t close enough to physically steal it, I did the next best thing. I ripped off the photo to use for this blog and then hoodwinked the designer into telling me and you how to put it together and care for it. Evil Facebook!

My victim is Kris Blevons of Oak Street Garden Shop in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Customers often bring in containers for her to plant and then claim they did the work themselves. (Facebook obviously corrupted them too.) In this case, a customer arrived with an elegant bronze footed container she’d purchased in New Orleans. I don’t know how much she paid for it, but an educated guess says more than eleven bucks.

Because of the planter’s size (24 inches long, 8 inches wide), Kris says the plants for it needed to be substantive — lots of little plants would look lost and ridiculous. So here is what she added.

1. Three 6-inch, white moth orchids (Phalaenopsis sp.), one of the easier orchids for beginners to grow. These cost about $20 apiece, which seems like a lot at first, until you realize they’ll bloom for at least three months. A cut flower arrangement would cost more and last maybe a week. Click here for easy instructions on how to care for moth orchids and get them to bloom again.

2. Two very full, 4-inch parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans aka Neanthe bella), a popular  and easy houseplant. Their arching, green fronds make a nice backdrop for the orchids. Kris had enough room to leave them in their original pots and saucer. Click here for info on parlor palm care.

3. Three air plants (Tillandsia sp.). They’re called this because many kinds in nature grow on tree branches and trunks, not in soil. Kris says their swirling leaves give lots of movement to the design. Because air plants don’t come in pots, she just nestled them in towards the front of the planter. Click here for info on caring for air plants.

4. Every proper planter needs a hangy-down plant. Kris chose a trailing flame violet (Episcia sp.). Its light-green leaves complement the silvery air plants. Click here for info on caring for episcias.

5. The final touch — a few upright branches to accent the orchid blooms for additional interest. Don’t click here for info on stick care. Figure that out for yourself.

This planter is destined for a mantle in a bright room. The most important key to making it last is benign neglect. Don’t water very often! Let the plants dry nearly to the point of wilting before watering. Air plants need misting once a week. Kris says the best way to do this is “take them to your sink, spritz them off, shake off the excess water, and place them back in the container.”

Once again, Grumpy has ripped off another great idea! You take it from here. My work is done.


  1. designerita

    absolutely gorgeous – i tieffin’ this!

    September 6, 2015 at 4:50 pm
  2. Ann

    How do you provide drainage for the plants? This is a beautiful arrangement.

    Thanks, Ann

    September 4, 2015 at 11:35 am
  3. Kris Blevons

    Slick move, Steve! (Thanks for posting the link to Oak Street Garden Shop)

    September 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

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