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.
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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!
Here's what you'll need:
Start by soaking the ball in water. It's nearly impossible to work with dry. 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.
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.
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!