Small colorful succulents are delightful designer plants for creating unique living wreaths and other wall hangings that take a little time and patience to construct. Most florist shops and DIY craft stores have ready-made containers, wire forms, moss liners, or pre-wrapped wreaths, helping make attractive, low-maintenance succulent arrangements easy to start.
Because they are compact, slow-growing, and require very little care, succulents are ideal for living arrangements. Some of the most popular with top designers include Portulacaria, Faucaria, Sedum, Aeonium, Sempervivum, Echeveria, and Graptopetalum.
Mixing those and others in any combination of shapes, textures, and colors is very easy, creating fanciful designs and even spelling out words. The same basic steps create a succulent wreath or a picture frame with hanging succulents. With some skill and patience, you can even learn how to make a succulent wall.
The first thing in learning how to make a succulent wreath is to start with a sturdy frame. This can be a round wire frame wrapped in moist shredded sphagnum moss and tied with a fishing line or a pre-made one from a hobby or craft store. Next, soak the wreath frame for several hours or overnight and lay it flat on a waterproof surface.
Take cuttings of the succulents you want to use, between 1 and 2 inches (2.5 and 5 cm) long. Strip off the lower leaves, exposing the stem. If possible, do this a day or so ahead of time to allow cut ends to heal over.
Lay the soaked frame on a waterproof surface and arrange your cuttings next to the frame, with a few extra for filling in gaps.
Insert the cuttings, starting with the largest, using a pencil or scissors to poke holes. Space them as closely as possible, and use extra cuttings to hide the frame. Next, insert floral pins or bent paperclips to hold the cuttings in place until the cuttings root along their stems.
Larger Wall Hangings
Instead of a pre-made wreath, find a shallow wooden or metal box, fill it with a cactus soil mix, or add potting soil with perlite. Add a surface layer of moist sphagnum moss, hold it all in place using half-inch hardware cloth, and then wrap it in half-inch galvanized "hardware cloth," available in small rolls at hardware and home improvement stores. Plant as you would a wreath.
Soak the wreath or wall hanging for a few minutes to let the sphagnum moss swell and enclose the cut ends of the plants. Then, lay it flat and out of direct sunlight for a week or so. The succulents will root easily if you keep the moss moist, and they will thicken up as they root. This may take six or more weeks, but it is important before hanging it on a wall.
Caring For Wall Succulents
Place wall hangings where they will get direct sunlight, but not hot mid-day or afternoon sun. Secure them with rust-proof galvanized hardware, and the backs covered to keep moisture off wooden surfaces.
Water the wreath when it starts to dry by soaking it in a bucket of water for an hour, not by misting, which can encourage shallow roots and weak plants. And be prepared to bring them indoors when hard freezes are forecast.
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus