Hawaiian Flower, Lei, Corsage and Orchid Care Instructions

How do I care for my Hawaiian flower arrangement?

Care instructions for our fresh Hawaiian tropical flowers, loose orchid blossoms, fresh leis or blooming orchids. For arranging DIY instructions check our blog.

Here’s the quick version; more detail can be found below.

  • Open the box right away and remove the items.
  • Flower leis mist lightly with clean lukewarm water. Loosely place in a closed bag and refrigerate. Same for corsages and loose orchid blooms.
  • Leaf and vine leis don’t need misting; just refrigerate. Kukui doesn’t need any special care or cooling.
  • Hawaiian tropical flowers can be dunked underwater for 10 minutes, bloom and all. While under trim an inch off the stem.
  • For longer life repeat the dunking and trimming every 3 or so days. Don’t put sugar or aspirin in the water.
  • Protea need not be dunked. They can be dried after the arrangement is done. Just hang them up or leave them in a vase without water.


Hawaiian Flower Care

  • Unpack your flowers right away.
  • If you are not going to arrange them immediately have a clean water container to place them in.
  • For longer life here’s a trick: Gingers, anthuriums, orchids, bird of paradise and heliconia can be submerged in clean, lukewarm water for ten minutes. Use a tub or large sink. Before removing cleanly cut about an inch off each stem. This will keep air out of the stems. Some stems can be tough to cut so use a sharp knife, shears or a small saw.
  • Remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Otherwise they may start to decay.
  • Prepare your vase with cool, clean water. Some commercial floral preservatives are good but check the reviews on line. Don’t add sugar or aspirin; that is a folk tale. It can actually promote bacteria.
  • Commercial leaf shine products are OK for ti leaves, hala and monstera. They promote longer life and make the color pop.
  • Display your Hawaiian flowers out of drafts, direct sunlight and severe temperature swings.
  • Don’t place the flowers near fruits or vegetables. These give off ethylene gas that is not good for flowers.
  • Check the water level daily.
  • Replace with clean water every two or three days. Also remove decaying leaves or petals. Bacteria buildup cause flowers to wilt over time.
  • If using floral foam to mount your flowers make sure it does not dry out.
  • For protea baskets, open right away and add water to the container.  Protea will dry naturally over time and most can be kept as dried flowers. Clear out dying foliage.

Anthurium Care

  • Sprinkle the flower with a bit of cool, clean water each day.
  • Do not refrigerate. Too much cold will turn the black.
  • If they begin to wilt submerge in water again for 10-30 minutes. The flower heads drink in more water than the stems.
  • With proper care a mature anthurium can last 3-4 weeks.

Hawaiian flower care

Bird of Paradise Care

  • To promote opening dunk the flower head in water for 20 or 30 seconds.
  • Gently and carefully pry out the petals with your thumb. Careful!
  • Don’ refrigerate.
  • Birds can last up to two weeks.

Ginger Care

  • Trimming leaves make them last longer.
  • If you get pests after setting up the arrangement you can dunk the flower in water for a few minutes.
  • Should last up to 2 weeks.
  • Don’t refigerate.

Heliconia Care

  • You may need to clean the bracts a bit. Hold the heads under water.
  • The pretty part are actually not flowers but bracts. The flowers are small and are inside the bracts. Gently clearing out the tiny flowers will help the over all life.
  • Dunking in water for ten to thirty minutes every few days will extend freshness.
  • Don’t refrigerate.
  • Last about two weeks from cutting.

Orchid Spray Care

  • Dunking in water can be repeated every few days.
  • Remove dying buds as they begin to drop.
  • Buds open bottom to top. Top buds don’t always open after cutting.
  • Dendrobiums and oncidium orchids should not be refrigerated.
  • Ok to refrigerate cymbidium and phalaenonpsis sprays (not the potted plant).

Protea Care

  • Protea like a lot of water so don’t let the vase or basket go dry.
  • Protea can also be dunked for 10-30 minutes if they start to wilt.
  • Refrigeration will extend the life.
  • Protea last two to four weeks. Kings, minks and banskia make a nice dried flower.
  • Dry your mink protea, turn upside down and craft your own hula doll 🙂

Tropical Foliage and Leaf Care

  • Generally the same as for cut flowers.
  • You may wish to wipe the leaves from time to time.
  • Commercial leaf shines are fine.
  • Again clean water is the key to long life.

How to Care for Your Fresh Leis and Loose Orchid Blossoms

  • Unpack your lei as soon as it arrives.
  • If it seems a little dry, mist lightly with lukewarm water. Do not mist vine (maile), ti leaf or kukui leis.
  • Loose orchid blossoms should be misted lightly with lukewarm water and refrigerated in closed bag.
  • Place your orchid lei or vine lei in a plastic bag – such as a grocery bag.
  • Keep cool or refrigerate until it is to be worn. Keep out if direct sunlight and away from drafts as much as possible.
  • Orchid leis should be worn on the shoulders. Vine and leaf leis are worn around the neck.

Corsage Care

How do I care for my fresh orchid corsage?

For the longest life and freshest appearance of your corsage, unpack fresh corsage immediately upon arrival

  • Spray or mist the orchids with lukewarm water.
  • Place inside a plastic produce or grocery bag and leave in the fridge until use.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Do not put anthurium corsages in the fridge!

Corsages will last for about 5-7 days from the date they are made and shipped.

Blooming Dendrobium Orchid Care

Your orchid will thrive under normal household conditions and will enjoy light morning sun and about 50% shade.  The plant will not bloom again unless it has enough light, but avoid direct sun except early in the morning with light shade for the rest of the day.

  • Remove any cellophane from around the base of your orchid pot.
  • Water your plants in the evening or early in the morning, once or twice a week.
  • Never allow your plant to sit in water and be sure the water drains easily from the container.
  • It is natural for the lower leaves on each cane to wilt and drop as your orchid grows.  After the blooms die you can carefully cut the spike from the plant.
  • There should be a tag in the pot identifying the orchid. Keep this with the plant to know exactly what orchid you have.

You can use a commercial orchid plant food to encourage growth and blooming and for the all around health of your orchid.  Mist your plant often if you are in a dry location.  Orchids prefer humid air.  Never mist in direct sunlight as the water can magnify the light and burn the leaves.

As your orchid outgrows it’s container the roots will begin to grow out of the pot.  To repot your orchid use commercially available potting material with good drainage.  This includes cinder, bark, lava and others that will allow good air and drainage for the roots.  Do not use potting soil.  Repot after blooming as new growth appears.

For more detail and information on other types of orchids visit the American Orchid Society page.

About our Leis

All of our orchids are grown on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Dendrobium orchid blossoms are strung into beautiful Hawaiian lei right here on our farm. Our talented local lei makers have been making leis for up to 30 years.

After your order is placed, our flowers are cut fresh, sorted, and sewn or strung into leis. They are packaged flat in a box with or without insulation and stored for up to three hours in cold storage until they are shipped to you or your loved one.

About Orchid Leis

We only use orchids grown here in Hawaii.  Most of the airport leis, Chinatown leis and tourist leis use cheaper flowers imported from Thailand.  So they were picked several days before the lei was made.

You may notice that all of the flower leis on our web site are fresh orchid leis.

We use dendrobium orchids to create a wide range of shapes and colors without compromising quality.

Because orchids are very hardy and even the blossoms themselves are adept at gathering moisture and nutrients from the air, your fresh orchid lei will last for about 5-7 days after it is made.

Orchids are not very fragrant, but they are very durable. You may find another florist who will ship pikake, white ginger, tuberose or even plumeria, but be aware that flowers that are fragrant, will wilt and bruise in transit and may not meet your quality expectations. We can not ship these leis as we will not be able to guarantee their quality. We are already aware that they do not meet our standards for quality.

About Vine and Leaf Leis

Maile vine leis are a traditional lei for weddings and other ceremonies where there is a right of passage or someone is to be honored. Maile smells delightful, sometimes described as vanilla-like. Because maile is not grown commercially and is gathered from the rain forrest, we like to have an extra day to be sure we can get enough maile together for your lei.  We only use local Hilo maile, not the cheaper material imported from Polynesia.

Ti leaf leis are traditionally thought to bring good luck. They are appropriate for any occassion, as with all our other leis.

Maile and ti leaf leis should not be misted or moistened upon arrival. For the best results, keep them cool and out of the sun.

Your lei will be shipped with instructions for care and wear.