1 Here's an example of a fabulous wedding bouquet woven from phalaenopsis orchids and trimmed with stephanotis that flow to the ground. From Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2002
2 From my original Weddings book, published in 1987, this green glass ring holds fragrant stephanotis blooms as an elegant table decoration.
3 This is one of four stephanotis plants that grow in pots year round in my greenhouse. They are trained to grow upright on a long bamboo pole. During the warm months, they are brought outdoors, where they thrive in full sun.
4 A member of the milkweed family, stephanotis is native to Madagascar.
5 They are woody twining vines that have dark green, waxy foliage. Under ideal conditions, they produce waxy white flowers.
6 The starry white blooms are highly fragrant and are often used by florists in bridal bouquets, thus its nickname 'the wedding plant.'
7 Stephanotis vines also produce an inedible fruit, which looks much like a mango. When ripe, the fruit splits apart and releases masses of seeds attached to silky filament-like hairs that are broadcast by the wind.
8 The plants had outgrown their pots and it was time to repot them into larger ones. This new pot is made of plastic, which we painted Bedford Gray. Pots like these are available at The Home Depot.
9 Wilmer first added several inches of potting soil mixed with gravel. The gravel provides more bottom weight, helping the pots to stay upright in the wind.
10 Ryan loosened and lifted one stephanotis out of its original pot.
11 You can see how root-bound it became.
12 When repotting large plants, it's really helpful to have a second set of hands.
13 While Wilmer supports the plant, Ryan uses a garden knife to cut through the surface of the roots, which stimulates new root growth.
14 He then sets the root mass upon the soil/gravel mixture.
15 We purchase growing mix in bulk and always have plenty of this Metro-Mix Professional Growing Mix on hand.
16 Ryan then fills in around the roots with the soil.
17 To shore up the center bamboo pole, Ryan placed some gravel around it, tamping it down around the pole with his fingers.
18 He then trimmed any errant shoots, growing in a haphazard fashion.
19 You want to keep most of the long shoots because they will produce more of those heavenly flowers.
20 For tying plants to supports, we like to use these raffia covered floral wires. They really blend in and don't damage the plants.
21 Here is Ryan, tying and neatening up the first stephanotis plant.
22 The next repot was a bit more challenging, as two stephanotis plants had become intertwined and needed to be untangled.
23 The vines were quite twisted but because they are woody, they are not easily damaged.
24 Wilmer and Ryan worked diligently together.
25 You may wonder why Ryan simply didn't cut them apart, but that would result in the cut off ends turning brown and that tangle would be unsightly.
27 At last! The wedding plants were separated!
28 When repotting, it's a very good idea to feed the plant with some fertilizer. I happen to love Osmocote, which is a slow release, general purpose plant food, suitable for both indoor and outdoor plants.
29 Ryan sprinkled the surface of the soil generously with the Osmocote and now the stephanotis have some new room to grow with plenty of nutrients.
30 Knowing how much I love stephanotis, my good friend, Susan Warburg, gave me two small plants for my birthday. Under Ryan and Wilmer's supervision, I'm sure they will grow beautifully, as well!