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A few weeks ago I talked about the basic supplies you need for planting succulents in containers. Today I want to show you the basic supplies I use when making a project with succulents. Each time I write a new post about a project I've created, I noticed some trends in the supplies I'm using. So, if you're looking to make something fun with succulents, here are a few things you may need:
This may seem like an obvious supply, but it's the most important! When creating most of my projects I use succulent cuttings. For potted arrangements I find it's generally easier to work with rooted plants, but for unique planters I prefer working with cuttings.
You can cut off rosettes from plants you already own or buy cuttings online. If I'm making a small project I'll often use cuttings from my own plants, but for larger projects like a wreath I will definitely order them.
Make sure if you take your own cuttings you let the end callus over before you put it in wet soil or moss, otherwise it will likely rot.
Sphagnum moss is my best friend and worst enemy. It's so great to fill different containers, prevent soil from falling out of things and adding a finishing touch. It is extremely messy though. When you're working with sphagnum moss you'll almost always want to soak it in water before hand. Wet moss is much easier to work with and slightly less messy than dry moss. When it's wet it is easy to mold. When you're watering projects made with sphagnum moss you'll need to run water over the moss a couple times to get it to absorb water.
You can add sphagnum moss to just about anything to help succulents grow better. For example, I've been cleaning out my house and ended up condensing my spices. That left me with this super cute spice rack. I knew it would be great for succulents! I simply added a little sphagnum moss to each section, added a few succulents, and voila! This arrangement should last for quite a while, maybe even several months. This could make a great centerpiece for a party or fun picnic.
Succulents can live for quite a while in just moss. My succulent wreath form was made completely of sphagnum moss and has lived for well over a year. If you create something smaller like this spice rack, adding some soil will help the succulents last longer. Without soil though they can still last several months if you water properly.
Watering sphagnum moss when it is completely dry can be a bit tricky. It tends to repel water initially. To water projects with sphagnum moss, I recommend lightly watering it several times over the course of a half hour to an hour. For something like this spice rack or the bird cages, you may only need to pour water on two or three times to completely wet the moss. For a wreath form or topiary you'll likely need to make five or six passes with the water before it gets soaked through. For my succulent wreath I like to put it on the lawn when the sprinklers are running so I don't have to do the work.
Floral glue is also going to be your best friend when working with succulents in unusual containers. This Oasis brand glue dries quickly and holds on to succulents extremely well. It doesn't take much to hold a succulent in place. Whether you're working on a wreath or driftwood planter, this is something you'll want to have on hand.
You can also use hot glue which is very inexpensive and works pretty well. While I used to use this quite a bit for my projects, I've discovered it doesn't hold quite as well as the floral glue. But if you have it on hand, go for it!
What about hot glue?
Hot glue is actually fine to use on succulents. It does burn it just a tad on the spot where the glue is, but the rest of the plant isn't affected.
With the bottom of the stem covered in hot glue, there are still places for new roots to form: at the leaf nodes (where the leaves attach to the stem) and still at the base of the stem.
While it is more difficult than before, your succulents may still put off roots at the end of the stem which will either push the hot glue off as they grow, or just push up around it.
Crazy! But it can happen. Either way, your succulents will still grow just fine.
My preference is to use the floral glue as it tends to adhere better to succulents.
If you're looking to make a project like a succulent wreath or topiary, greening pins should definitely be on your list of things to buy. These really help hold cuttings in place and often do the trick when glue won't. You can place these around the stem of your succulent or poke them right through to secure the succulent.
If you're looking to make your own boutonnieres, bouquet or even a centerpiece with succulent cuttings, you'll definitely want to have floral tape. I have white tape pictured here, but it's most commonly found in green. You can also find it in a variety of colors online. You'll use the tape to wrap the stems of succulents and secure them to your floral wire and to each other. It's definitely a necessity for wedding florals.
I'm always surprised how often floral wire comes in handy. I once used it to create my own greening pins! Most often though you'd use it to create a longer stem on a succulent cutting, like in a boutonniere or bouquet. The wire is pliable but also strong enough to hold cuttings in place.
While these supplies are pretty basic, they'll make projects with succulents much easier and quicker. You'll also want to keep soil and top dressings on hand for projects that may require some deeper planting. What fun things have you found to plant succulents in? Are there any supplies you used that didn't make it on my list? Feel free to let me know in the comments or send me an email!