Life as Lou

How To Make A Living Succulent Wreath

  • May 9, 2012 4:12 pm

Today, I am going to show you how to make a living succulent wreath.  I got my sempervivums and echeverias from Young’s Garden Center.  They have a great online selection of beautiful varieties of succulents.  I did a big post about them before and you can learn more here.

To get started, you will need sphagnum moss, a wreath frame, a wreath back, and floral wire.  You can use this type of metal frame for your back as well.  Mine is only made to last one season, but one you wanted to last for years you should go with two metal parts, as wood rots over time.  I went with wood because my local craft shop only had one metal one left.

Start out by soaking your moss in water, and one it is saturated, fill in your wreath mold.  Pack it in there pretty tightly.  If you are making a living wreath that you want to have live for years, you can take some old nylons, fill them with dirt, and make a dirt ring to rest in the center of the moss.  We have short summers and long winters here in South Dakota, so I didn’t bother with that.  If we still lived in California, I would have done that step.

Once your frame is full of moss, put on the back and wrap the whole thing tightly with floral wire.

It should look like this when you are finished.  This is a very messy process, so I would make it inside.  I got this far in my project and it started hailing, so I did the rest inside, and wow- was that moss was everywhere!

Once you get your wreath together, it is time to put in the plants.  You can use a pencil (or your finger) to poke holes for the roots. Be gentle with the plants because succulent leaves can snap off easily. I used a combination of blue rose echeveria, carnea sedum (which is the most beautiful sedum I have ever seen in my life, bar none), and a variety of sempervivums, including bronco, pruhonice, sir william lawrence, and several others.  It is important to note that the colors on semps can change due to the season or light exposure, so the semps you get might not look the exact same for a few months, or they may quickly fade and them come back greener or more purple or red than when you bought them.  It is fun to watch the seasonal changes!

You can see how I packed my plants in. Now comes the hard part.  You have to wait for the roots to take hold of the moss, so you need to find a bright, temperate location for the wreath to lay for 2-3 weeks.  If you have plants that fall off, gently tie them in place with some wire.  My wreath had to endure the rooting process inside by a bright window because we have had many cold, rainy days and nights dropping below freezing.  Many sempervivums and sedum are frost hardy, but there is no sense in torturing a plant that doesn’t even have roots working yet. Succulents like lots of light, so being in doors through so many dreary days was tough on my wreath, but it is doing ok.

One of the most important factors to consider is water.  Keep the wreath damp for the first few days, then allow it to naturally dry. Once it seems pretty dry, soak it through.  You will need to do this every 3 days in the beginning, then slowly lengthen the amount of time in between waterings to two weeks.  If you are doing this inside, you will want to let it sit outside during the day for a few days prior to officially moving it outside, just to acclimate it to the weather.  Just as you would harden off seedlings, harden off your wreath.

If you take a close look, you will see that the larger echeveria has stretched out as far as it can.  Now that it is outside getting lots of sun, it will stop being so elongated and go back down into its more natural form.  I think they are pretty either way. Many of the semps changed colors, based on lack of light and a season change.  It will be really fun to watch this as it progresses through a hot summer!And look!  It’s blooming already! Get your plants for your very own succulent wreath from Young’s Garden Center today!

8 Comments

  1. Sue B says:

    Love it! It turned out so nice!

  2. Lilith says:

    I’m so going to make one! LOVE it Leah!

  3. Audrey says:

    we are getting ready to put up a new fence and gate. I think I need to make one of these to adorn the new gate!! Can’t wait to try it out.

  4. Lynn C says:

    I love this idea and might give it a go at some point when I can figure out a good place to put it.
    I did order some plants from Youngs on your recommendation and am very pleased with them.
    I can’t believe how fast they are growing. I have them in a planter for now because we spend the
    summers in Montana and I wanted something I could take with us. As of now, they have been in
    the house but I will be putting them out on the picnic table when we get to Montana.
    Thanks so much for letting us know about Youngs!!

  5. R. Fungus says:

    It’s beautiful!! =o)

  6. You are just so brilliant! Love that wreath!

  7. choup72 says:

    Wow!! It’s just wonferfull!

  8. This looks so bautiful and down to earth. I just love it.
    Enjoy our day, I know you celebrate Mother’s Day in the States.
    Hope you are feeling better ,too!

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