How to Make a Succulent Ball Topiary

After seeing the beautiful succulent topiary balls at the Succulent Celebration in June I knew I wanted to try making one. I am so in love with the products by Topiary Artworks that I knew I wanted to buy from them again. I opted to go with the 4″ sphagnum moss ball, not too big, not too small. 

I’m glad I didn’t get a ball any bigger because it ended up taking more succulent cuttings than I thought to complete it. The project ended up being quite a bit more difficult than I thought, despite being similar in process to making a succulent wreath. That said, I was able to finish it and I was really pleased with how it turned out! And now… here’s what you do!

I love this succulent topiary ball! Such a fun item to decorate with!

Like I said, I started out with the 4″ sphagnum moss ball from Topiary Artworks. It already comes with a hook which is super handy. When you are working with a sphere you have to be able to get to all of it and I didn’t want to set it down on top of cuttings once they were in. So, I soaked the moss ball and then got to work!

Sphagnum moss ball - Succulents and Sunshine

Just like with the succulent wreath, I used scissors to poke holes in the ball and then inserted the cuttings. Since the ball was going to be hanging from day one these greening pins were my best friend! The ball would have come apart completely without them. You can either slide them in around the cutting or poke them right through the stem and into the ball (which is what I prefer). Succulents are tough in this way so they can handle it.

Floral pins used for attaching succulents to topiary forms - Succulents and Sunshine

Propagating Succulents eBook Info

When you are making the topiary ball be sure to start at the bottom! You can start working on a table top surface and put as many cuttings on as you can before needing to hang the ball. I found I was able to get almost half of the ball done while working on the table. Once you get to a point where you can’t turn the ball any more without having it rest on an area that has already been planted find a place to hang it up. It’s nice if you can move all around the ball as you work. I used a free standing wire shelving unit to hang mine and that worked really well.

Partially completed succulent topiary ball - Succulents and Sunshine

As far as placement of colors and textures, my idea with this project was never have two of the same variety next to each other. I wanted everything to be scattered around rather than bunched together like I did on both of my wreaths. I tried to keep a variety of colors too, not putting too many greens or pinks next to each other. Just keep adding succulents close together until the ball is completely covered. Then use a cute ribbon or rope and hang it up somewhere that lots of people will be able to admire your beautiful work!

Colorful succulent ball - Succulents and Sunshine

19 Responses to How to Make a Succulent Ball Topiary

  1. Love this topiary ball. I can’t believe how pretty it looks hanging from your new plant stand. They are perfect together against the yellow background.

  2. Cassidy, does the Topiary ball from Topiary Artworks need to have dirt placed inside? Thanks for posting this idea and the link on Succulent Fanatics!

    • This topiary ball did not need to be filled with soil. The whole ball is made of sphagnum moss. I love it because the whole things stays a lot cleaner without the soil inside.

  3. Cassidy, It has been over a year since you made this succulent ball and I noticed you used several varieties of succulents that tend to get pretty leggy or tall. How did you keep these in check? I am working a a succulent ball myself and i am trying to keeps plants that don’t get leggy. What varieties do you suggest.

    • My ball ended up falling and got destroyed sadly, however, my wreath is alive and well! Most of mine are pretty leggy actually. The echeverias and kalanchoes seem to be a little more compact. I would avoid Aeoniums and specifically graptopetalum paraguayense. The graptopetalum Fred Ives is also a little leggy. Really though getting enough light is the most important thing. If it’s not getting enough light it is going to get leggy no matter what.

  4. Hi Cassidy – I’m thinking of order a miss ball from Topiary Artworks and would love to try this. But I am curious whether they come with succulent or cactus soil inside (or whether there’s a way to add some)? I looked on their Amazon listing and didn’t see any info to that effect.

  5. Did all you succulents have roots or are they all cuttings that just grow in the ball and if so do you need to put root starter on the ends?

    • Most didn’t have roots and those that did only had tiny starts. I haven’t ever used a rooting hormone and I haven’t had any problems getting them to root. With the topiary and the wreath all but one or two plants did really well without any extra help.

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I'm Cassidy, a professional photographer turned succulent addict and the author and photographer here at Succulents and Sunshine. This is me with my wonderful husband and super cute baby!

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