Succulent Christmas Tree Holiday Centerpiece
My DIY succulent topiary tree holiday centerpiece needs less care than a floral arrangement, and will look good for several months (longer, if groomed).
Topiary cone made of sphagnum moss, 12″ tall (including wooden base)
200 floral pins (or paper clips cut in half with wire cutters)
Clippers or scissors for taking cuttings and shortening stems
Chopstick or a Phillips screwdriver for poking holes in moss
Succulent cuttings (these are suggested, but nearly any kind will work):
Crassula ovata ‘Minima” (mini jade), 60
Sedum nussbaumerianum (Coppertone stonecrop), 30
Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’, 50
Senecio haworthii, 60
Crystal corsage pins (around 50)
Senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls plant), 9′ of strands for garland
Note: Product links are affiliate.
- Get cuttings from your garden, potted plants, nursery-grown succulents or online sources. You needn't use the same varieties that I did, but do aim for contrasting colors and textures. Use jade plant (Crassula ovata) as a filler---it's inexpensive and easy to come by. Stay away from blue, blue-gray and lavender succulents because those aren't holiday colors---unless of course that's what you prefer.
- Poke holes in the moss. I like to leave a chopstick in the hole so I can find it while I'm selecting the right cutting.
- Use larger cuttings around the base, smaller as you go up. I first created a spiral of jade, then filled in with the others. Secure cuttings with floral pins.
- I created a garland of string-of-pearls. Resist the temptation to decorate the little tree with vivid ornaments, thereby making it all about them and not about the succulents. I think the crystal corsage pins (second photo below) hit just the right note.
Caring for your succulent Christmas tree
Its requirements are similar to those of a succulent wreath: bright but not intense light (rotate occasionally for even exposure), weekly watering (from the top, to evenly moisten the moss), and pinching back if cuttings get leggy.
Can you keep it for next year? I tried to, but the silver senecio is a weak plant, the jade took over, and the sedums got leggy. Plus the florist's pins rust. It's too much trouble, IMHO. The moss cone doesn't cost that much.
Related Info on this Site
Succulent Topiary Tips, Care and How-To
Expert Pat Hammer shows step-by-step how to make a succulent topiary beginning with a moss-filled wire frame and cuttings. Pat shares design, DIY, watering, pruning, long-term care, and helpful tips.
Six Holiday Designs to Inspire You
To inspire and entertain you, I’ve selected six new, never-seen-before holiday design ideas featuring succulents. Do consider each as a launching point for your creativity, and feel free to share them with friends. I’d love it if you’d post photos of what you come up with on Instagram or Facebook, and tag me @DebraLBaldwin. Regardless, have…
Holiday Ideas Using Succulents
Holiday Decorating Ideas Use succulents to add fun and flair to your fall-winter decor. See outstanding succulent Christmas trees, succulent-topped pumpkins, cornucopias, wreaths, and gifts. For outdoors, there are decorated agaves and succulents aglow with fairy lights. Holiday Succulent PROJECTS, Videos When you think of holiday decorating with succulents, wreaths doubtless come to mind. They’ve…
Stunning Succulent Arrangements Class
Stunning Succulent Arrangements An Online Class by Succulent Expert Debra Lee Baldwin My succulent design class, Stunning Succulent Arrangements, brings you the highest quality online learning at an extremely reasonable price. I’m proud that its success has been outstanding in the US and beyond. My partner in this endeavor, Craftsy (aka Bluprint) spent upwards of $15,000 to…
Your succulent topiary tree is simply spectacular! I am utterly enchanted with your use of the senecio as the garland! 🙂
I am heading over to Youtube to get all the details of how to do this.
Thank you, Kat! What a lovely comment.
Thank you for the wonderful outlook on this concept.
Thank YOU, Hawk!
This is what I’m waiting for during Christmas on how to make a Christmas Topiary. This is so fantastic and beautiful, loved watching it in your You Tube. Love it, loved. I can’t wait to make it. You’re such an amazing inspiration Debra!!!
Oh. I love it very much.
I would like I can get it for me.
I love this. Is this something that would stay alive, long past the holidays?
Hi Christina — Yes, it’s basically a succulent wreath except it’s a cone. So the care is similar: water it from the top, give it bright light and good air circulation, rotate it for even exposure, and trim leggy growth (use trimmings to fill gaps). As long as it’s cared for, it’ll last several years, because the cuttings root into the moss.
Very beautiful. I was a little confused on the supplies- one-inch-diameter cuttings, wouldn’t those be awfully big?
I was referring to the diameter of the rosette, not the stem.
Where did you get the sparkly pins
Michael’s Craft Store.
WOW!! Debra, very beautiful!
Thank you, Carol!
I am a current FFA student who is working within floriculture and I was just wondering which assortments of cuttings you got from Mountain Crest Gardens to make your succulent tree instead of the specific plants. Thanks!
Hi Madilyn —
I took cuttings from plants in my garden and also got small rooted succulents from Oasis Water Efficient Gardens nursery near me. Any of the assortments of cuttings from Mountain Crest would work, but the closest to those I used are the “Jade Succulent Cuttings.” Also at Mountain Crest is the silvery succulent I used, wooly senecio.
[…] couru par Debra Lee Baldwin […]