A succulent cornucopia makes a refreshing update on the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece, and then after the holiday, you can remove the plants and pot them.  As early as midsummer, craft stores begin stocking holiday containers like this wicker cornucopia (also available online). It's 18-inches from tip to front and the opening is 10.5 inches in diameter. If you can't find one that large, simply scale down your plant selections.
I took it to the nursery and went up and down the aisles muttering, "Succulents that look like fruit." Surprisingly, I found quite a few. Then at the supermarket, I sorted through gourds for "the best bottoms"---because that's what would show. I also bought a bag of in-shell nuts.
Plants and materials for succulent cornucopia

I loaded up on sedums in fall colors and an aloe shaped like the basket. But when I spotted a Euphorbia obesa with multiple offsets, I nearly swooned. It was pricey at $12.99, but I had to have it. Just look how it goes with the gourds! 

My succulent cornucopia includes a cluster of Euphorbia obesa, colorful sedums, a small aloe, gourds, and nuts

Method

1. Line the wicker cornucopia with a plastic bag so bits of dry moss don't fall through

2. Use clean rocks as ballast.

3. Fill the cavity with sphagnum moss (from any crafts store). Unlike, say, wadded up newspaper, the moss can get wet if you want to hydrate the roots of small plants and cuttings. Keeping the moss moist helps keep the plants fresh.

4. Starting from the bottom and working up, fill the cornucopia with succulent plants (rootballs included) and cuttings. Stack plants, gourds and dried seed pods so they won't fall forward. 

This is basically a floral arrangement, but it’s nice to have the option of removing the succulents after Thanksgiving and planting them. As is, it'll stay fresh for several weeks.

See it come together in my YouTube video, DIY Succulent Cornucopia (3:36). 

Product links are affiliate.

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2 Comments

  1. Cheryl Dailey on September 26, 2019 at 5:57 am

    ,
    Hi Debra,
    Was looking at u tube..making succulent cornucopia and not quite sure what you are using to stuff area down in horn. Can you please clarify?

    Also, wondering how long succulents can stay fresh in this type of arrangement? .. as thinking of making them several weeks in advance.
    Thank you for wonderful video!

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on September 26, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Cheryl — I lined the bottom with a plastic bag so bits of dry moss wouldn’t fall through the basket, used pieces of flagstone as ballast (but any clean rocks would do), then filled the cavity with a bagful of sphagnum moss from Michael’s. Unlike, say, wadded up newspaper, the moss can get wet if you want to hydrate the roots of small plants and cuttings. Keeping the moss moist helps keep the plants fresh. It’s a floral arrangement, but it’s nice to have the option of removing the succulents after Thanksgiving and planting them. This one stayed fresh for several weeks. The fatter plants didn’t change at all, but those with color reverted to green. Healthwise, they were all fine, but needed to be hardened off to greater sunlight when I put them back outdoors. Thanks for the comment!

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