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.
The best online source of cuttings is Mountain Crest Gardens, of which I'm proudly an affiliate.
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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