Finding Inspiration in: Succulents!
Happy Thursday! I hope you’re having a great day!
I love hens and chicks, not the poultry variety, rather the perennial variety. These little plants are sun-loving and perky, and also known as succulents. Despite my admiration for them, I never knew how to incorporate them into my garden. Until now! As I was perusing the fabulous perennial sale, I came across these succulents, and later on, a sphagnum wreath; the inspiration for a succulent wreath was hatched!
These rosette shaped plants are considered “ground huggers” and won’t grow tall, making them perfect for a wreath. The “hens” are the main plants and the “chicks” are the offspring, which start as small buds on the main plant and soon sprout their own roots, taking up residence close to the mother plant. See the motherhood symbolism? Great for a Mother’s Day gift!
Read on to learn how to make your own succulent wreath! DIY FYI: There are a lot of steps, hence a lot of pictures – so if you’d like the quick and dirty version, the slideshow below might help:
What you’ll need:
- A Sphagnum wreath – I found one for you here!
- A flat of hardy succulents – I used hens, chicks, dragons blood sedum and sedum. There are a lot of varieties, ask at your local greenhouse! Make sure that you choose hardy plants (they’re able to survive the winter).
- Planting medium (potting soil)
- A clear trash bag
- Flexible garden wire
- Water (from a hose is great)
- [optional] Pieces of felt for the back of the wreath
Pliers, flexible garden wire, scissors and succulents
Start with the clear trash bag: cut off the finished end and cut down one long side, making a sheet of plastic
Open up your sphagnum wreath - you'll have three parts: the main piece, top and wire top.
Lay the plastic over the main part of the wreath, use only one end and let it overlap on the sides.
You'll push the plastic down into the sphagnum mold, making a layer of plastic for your soil to sit in. The rest of your plastic will fold back over the top when you're done with this step.
In gardening, we don't usually want to pack our soil, but in this case it won't hurt - make sure to fill the mold and pack it down.
Now fold the other end of the plastic back over the mold filled with soil.
Place the sphagnum top over the soil and then snap the wire top back onto the wreath.
It should look like this (above).
Now use your scissors and cut the plastic away, go ahead and cut it down close, you don't want to see it when the wreath is complete. Do the same around the outside.
Use your pliers to push the wire top ends down (they'll be around the inside of the wreath) this will prevent it from coming open once it's hanging.
You can skip this step if you want, but I didn't want potting soil spilling onto my front step, so I used garden wire and a simple whipstitch to connect the wire top to the mold base.
Once you’re done with this step, lay the wreath on the ground and give it a good soaking with the hose. The sphagnum moss will start to soften and puff up, now you’re ready to plant!
Start by poking a hole into the moss and push the soil away inside the wreath to make room for a plant.
Continue this as you go around, the moss will puff up and eventually the wire frame will disappear.
Water your wreath (I made one for the patio table and one for the front door!) and let it lay flat for a week, before hanging it (the plants need to become established).
Succulent plants store water in their leaves and stems, which means that they don’t need to be watered as often as other plants. Start by watering them weekly, but watch them closely (especially in a sunny spot).
To help protect the finish on your front door, cut pieces of felt and glue them to the back (metal frame) of the wreath - preventing any rubbing or scratching.
Now, the really great part about this wreath is that it will last from season to season. This fall, bring it into the garage (or greenhouse) and water it monthly throughout the winter. In the spring, you won’t have to do a thing, your hens and chicks will hatch again! Yay!