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DIY Succulent Driftwood Designs

DIY Succulent Driftwood Designs

Succulent driftwood design

When you make succulent driftwood designs, the plants resemble undersea flora, and the wood hints at something you’d see washed up on the beach. The two combine to make a special, almost fantasy-like composition that works well as a patio centerpiece or special gift for a friend. These photos are from a recent succulents-and-driftwood workshop.

Driftwood for succulent driftwood designs

Driftwood pieces (from Sea Foam Driftwood) come with pre-drilled crevices for potting.

Embellishments for succulent driftwood designs

Materials include small potted succulents, cuttings, sea shells, bits of tumbled glass, moss, rocks and sand. Tools are clippers, hot glue, and a chopstick for tucking-in plants and settling roots.

Succulent driftwood design, prep

Begin by filling the planting hole with potting soil.

Succulent driftwood design in process

Add small rooted succulents and cuttings, envisioning them as undersea flora and fauna growing in and on submerged logs.

Succulent driftwood design, how-to

Use a chopstick to tuck floral moss into remaining gaps. Moss will conceal any exposed soil and help hold cuttings in place until they root.

Succulent driftwood design with shell

Cuttings selected by Julie Levi include trailers (Ruschia perfoliata, Crassula lycopodioides), colorful rosettes (Sedum nussbaumerianum and Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’), and Crassula tetragona, among others. A sea urchin shell, attached with hot glue, is the perfect finishing touch.

Succulent driftwood design, completed

Connie Levi chose a slightly different assortment: Crassula lycopodioides (watch-chain crassula), a dwarf aloe, Aeonium haworthii, Crassula perforata ‘Variegata’ (a stacked crassula), and for upright interest (at right), Hatiora salicornioides.

Succulent driftwood design, finished

Linda Powell filled her piece of driftwood with pieces of jade, Kalanchoe pumila, variegated aeoniums, an echeveria, a dwarf aloe that resembles a sea star, and dainty cremnosedum rosettes. I like how she clustered smaller shells, too.

Succulent driftwood design

Libbi Salvo’s long piece of driftwood, with several areas for planting, would make a good centerpiece for a rectangular outdoor table.

Succulent driftwood design with shells

Watch my YouTube video: Succulents in Driftwood (2:51)

See “Marine Life Look-Alikes” on page 101 of Designing with Succulents (2nd ed)

Related Info on This Site:

Clam shell planter

Seashell potting demo at Roger's Gardens

 

6 replies
  1. Ashley​
    Ashley​ says:

    What do you suggest using for preserving or finishing the driftwood so that it is safe for the plants? Do you have a certain brand of product you like to use?

    Reply
    • Debra
      Debra says:

      I blast it with a hose to dislodge loose dirt and accretions, scrub it with soapy water if it’s really dirty, soak it for several days in a tub of water to which a little bleach has been added (1/4 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water), then place the wet driftwood in the sun to dry for several days.

      Reply

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