Make a Succulent Wreath, Step-By-Step
Make a Succulent Wreath, Step-by-Step
UPDATE: SEE THE COMMENTS if you're using small rooted succulents.
Succulent wreaths have been popular for decades. Follow these simple instructions to make a succulent wreath, and you'll find out why.
No soil needed! I recommend making a soil-less succulent wreath because soil is messy, heavy, dries out quickly, and---surprisingly---isn't necessary. Cuttings readily root into a moss-filled form. I also don't recommend fertilizing the wreath after cuttings have rooted, because fertilizer boosts growth, and I want my wreaths to stay compact.
Which succulents should you use? You can't go wrong with jade. It's inexpensive, readily available and has pencil-thick stems that don't bend or break when inserted into the moss. But, really, any cuttings will work. The ideal cutting has a cluster of leaves atop about an inch of stem to anchor it.
Most large nurseries or garden centers sell jade. Ideally bring home several varieties to add texture, color and interest to your wreath. See my Jade Plant (Crassula) page.
About 100 succulent cuttings
9" Sphagnum moss wreath (ready to plant)
24-gauge florist’s wire
Pencil, chopstick or screwdriver for poking holes in the moss
U-shaped floral pins (optional)
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Important: Before you begin, add wire loops to both top and bottom of the back of the wreath so you can rotate it, when finished, 180 degrees once a month or so for balanced growth.
Poke holes in the moss and insert cuttings close enough so the moss doesn't show. Take care not to bruise leaves or cause them to snap off the stem. Fill the top and sides of the wreath with cuttings but not the back. Keep the wreath flat until cuttings root into the moss---about two weeks. To hang it sooner, secure the cuttings with florist’s pins. It's OK to poke the pins through the stems of the cuttings. (Just remember they're there if you decided to disassemble the wreath later on!)
It's best to not let the moss dry out completely. Water the wreath from the top so water percolates downward, or soak the entire wreath in a clean trash can lid filled with water. Display the wreath where it'll get bright light, ideally half a day's sun (except in desert climates) so that cuttings don't stretch and colorful ones don't revert to green. Make sure the surface that the back of the wreath rests against can withstand being moist---an exterior wall, fence or gate is best.
IN my books
Succulents Simplified -- Succulent Topiary Sphere, pp. 156-161
Designing with Succulents, 1st ed. -- Create a Succulent Wreath or Topiary, pp. 113-117
Designing with Succulents, 2nd ed. -- Grapevine wreath, page 116
Succulent Container Gardens -- Wreaths, pp. 176-178; Topiaries pp. 178-181
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I cannot seem to find information online about the steps to take a potted succulent (in soil) and attaching it to sphagnum moss on a wreath. I mostly see images of using clippings/cuttings. My question is regarding what to do with the roots of the potted succulents? Do I just rip them off and use the remaining “clipping/cutting” for my wreath? I have googled how to expose a potted succulent root, but I cannot find any information on this. I feel bad that I am killing the succulent by throwing all the potted soil away. Any tips you can provide are appreciated!
Hi Sam — There are many ways to make a succulent wreath, and using cuttings is just one of them. It also works to use small rooted plants or a combination of the two. Here’s how:
1. Use a wreath form made of heavy-gauge wire, shaped like a donut, that comes apart into two concave halves.
2. Line the halves with sphagnum moss, leaving a trough along the middle of each half.
3. Mound one trough with moist potting soil, firmly packed. Soil should be elevated about 2 inches.
4. Wire the two halves together.
5. Add two wire loops to the back to hang the wreath with, one at top (12:00) and one at bottom (6:00).
6. Plant the wreath. Separate the moss and insert root balls. Use U-shaped floral pins to hold plants in place.
7. Plant densely and/or fill gaps with cuttings.
8. Let wreath rest in bright shade for a week or so before hanging it, to give roots a chance to settle in. Keep soil moist.
9. Hang wreath in bright or semi-shade (not full shade, not full sun) on a garden gate, fence, door or wall that won’t be damaged by moisture.
10. Care: Wreaths dry out quickly, and gravity makes the top dry out faster than the bottom. Daily, dribble a little water onto the top. Weekly, soak it in a clean trash can lid filled with water. When you rehang it, rotate it (switch top with bottom) for balanced light exposure.