Making · Nature

Succulent Wreath Revival

One of my most popular workshops is my succulent wreath workshop where we take succulent cuttings and plant them in moss on a wreath frame.  While succulents are easy to grow, living here in the Northeast makes it quite a challenge to keep them in their best form due to less sunlight and varying seasons, compared to their original habitats of much warmer and brighter weather.

Last January, I took a trip to visit my sister in California.  She lives in the beautiful Napa Valley, and guess what she has growing right in her backyard?  Gorgeous, thriving succulents and cacti!  I was swooning over them, you bet I was!  Big bushes of jade and other varieties were planted everywhere, as opposed to how we see them in my town – smaller versions in pots at greenhouses and hardware stores.

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Now, back to Central Pennsylvania…take a look at the sample wreath I made for one of my workshops, made in February 2017.  It is vibrant and full – just beautiful.

 

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Living on my covered front porch from last Spring through early Fall, it was positively thriving.  This is the best picture I have of it taken while my 9-year-old was skateboarding – it’s hanging on the brick wall (top right portion of the photo).

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Here is that same wreath.  It’s been hanging in our family room, adjacent to a windowed door for light.  Photo was taken earlier this month.  Like I said, the winter weather in the Northeast is rough on succulents.  Sad….

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…….but not for long!  It’s in serious need of revitalization and we’re going to get to work!

This post is especially for those who have attended my prior wreath workshops that may be in the very same predicament – you know who you are, and I am here to help your succulents thrive again!

First, get ahold of some succulent cuttings by purchasing a mixed pot or a number of individual small pots at a store – however many you think you’ll need to fill your wreath frame, either close-knit or evenly spaced out.  What’s great is that you can now find succulents easily, even at your supermarket as you may have noticed.  Our local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores have them too.  Check out local greenhouses for better prices.  I happen to have a pot of succulents from leaves I’ve propagated!  How do you propagate the leaves?  More on that later.

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Take your wreath and water it in your usual manner to get the moss soft, easier to work with and in a more “welcoming” state for plantings.  I water mine by placing it in a flat dish of water for about 10 minutes.  I also let water drizzle the top for added moisture.  The moss will become nice and pliable.

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Once you’ve made some cuttings, let them “callous over” for a few minutes – this means letting the cut stems dry up.  After about 30 minutes, they are ready to be planted into the moss frame.  Instead of cuttings, you could also take the smaller plantings and pull them out of their soil, brushing off the dirt and planting the entire plant with its’ roots into the moss.

Create a space for the cuttings by pricking the moss with a chopstick, unsharpened pencil or even your pinky finger to create a little hole to which the succulent cutting will be  placed.

You may use either a floral greening pin (on the top below) or a bent piece of wire (on the bottom) to secure the cutting in its placement.  This will keep the succulent in the moss when you re-hang your wreath.  These may be removed later once the succulents have properly rooted themselves into their new habitat.

 

All done!  That was fun!

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I mentioned propagating leaves earlier.  This is a very easy task – the hard part is the longish wait for these leaves to take root and turn into little baby succulent plants!  Yes – by simply taking any leaf droppings from your plants and placing them in a pot, you can raise your own baby succulents.  No need to water them.  Just let them be, until you see little leaflets appearing at the end of each of the leaves.  Takes about 4 weeks, I think.  This also indicates that roots have begun developing under the leaflets and Voila! – you have new plants!  One of the coolest details about succulents, indeed.  We’ll revisit these so we can see this wondrous development.

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So happy that my wreath has been revived and is looking beautiful once again.  Great way to chase away the winter blues!  Once the weather is warmer (at least 40 degrees outside), this beauty will be moved outdoors to my covered front porch, where it lives until it’s cold again.

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