When trying to make a living succulent wreath it is perhaps no surprise to discover that there are a number of rather important points that need to be taken into consideration that will help to vastly improve your chances of being able to produce something that is rather spectacular. However, we are not saying that this is the most difficult of things to achieve as that is certainly not the case, but it is still important to be aware of various key things that will undoubtedly make your life so much easier.
Step 1: What You Need.
The first step is to understand what you are going to need in the way of equipment and items in order to make this wreath. Now, the list is not exactly extensive but each item has a purpose so missing something out is not really an option. The list of things that you need includes the following.
· A wire wreath frame from a craft store. (12 inches)
· A plastic planter saucer that is larger than the wire frame. (14 inches)
· Sphagnum moss for the frame.
· Training wire from a garden store.
· Various succulents to be attached.
· Latex gloves.
· A bucket.
As you can see, there are not that many things to remember for your list and you are able to get a sense of just how easy it is going to be to put all of this together.
Step 2: Choosing the Correct Plants.
Now, obviously you are going to have to be careful with the plants that you choose for this purpose and what we recommend is that you only select succulents that are slow at growing. This makes so much sense as you want your wreath to last as long as the temperatures will allow.
These types of plants are certainly going to be a better option than plants in more traditional wreaths as their lifespan is generally shorter than the correct types of succulents and considering the number of cuttings that are going to be included in the average wreath you do want to make sure that everything survives for the same length of time. Failure to do this will result in a lop-sided wreath so selecting the correct plants is far more important than you perhaps realize.
Step 3: Take Cuttings.
After selecting the plants that are going to form the basis of your wreath, you also need to think about taking cuttings. Now, you clearly want your base plants to be extremely healthy and of a size that is big enough to allow a number of cuttings without the plant suffering. Considering the size of the wreath that we are talking about, you need a lot of cuttings to avoid the wreath looking too sparse.
To take the cuttings, make sure that they are around 2 inches long and lay them around the wire frame for the wreath to help you to see that you have enough to cover it. It is also important that you then remove any leaves from the bottom part of the stem and leave the cuttings overnight. This helps the cut to heal and you are then going to be able to generate new roots.
Step 4: Making the Moss Wreath Frame.
When it comes to you making the moss wreath frame then the very first thing that you need to do is to soak the moss and do so for around an hour. After this, wring out as much water as you can but by soaking it you are certainly going to be making your life a whole lot easier.
Once this is done, you should tear the moss up into smaller sections as this is going to make it substantially easier to feed it through the wire frame. You need to make sure that every part of the frame is covered and not just with a thin layer of moss either as you need something that is going to be able to hold all of those cuttings and provide them with something to get their roots into so use as much moss as you can.
However, you cannot just go from stuffing the frame with moss to adding in plants. Instead, use the garden wire to wrap it around sections of the moss in order to really hold everything in place. You need to remember that this wreath will be hanging up and you have to make the moss as secure as possible or else it will just fall out and destroy all of your hard work in the process.
Step 5: Soaking the Form.
Once again we have to stress the importance of soaking the wreath prior to adding in any plants. Moss does hold onto moisture for a substantial period of time and this is going to really aid the cuttings when you go to insert them but at the same time you do not want things to be saturated or to have the base of the cuttings sitting in water. This also applies when it comes to you freshening up the wreath later on because adding in extra moisture is important, but succulents are not used to conditions where they are being soaked so do keep that in mind.
Step 6: Arranging the Plants.
When it comes to arranging the plants then it is important that you are happy with the layout before you start to insert any actual cuttings. In order to do this, you should just lay out the cuttings where you think they should go but make sure that they can be moved. This is such an important part that it is worth taking your time over it all because once they are secured it is not going to be that easy to remove the cuttings without destroying the entire wreath.
Make life easier for yourself by placing them and then step back and take a good look at how they are arranged. Move things around and then check it all again and also think about how it is going to be hanging as this will make a difference when it comes to the placement of things.
Remember that there is no exact science to arranging the cuttings. It is all in your eye and what you believe to be nice or interesting to look at, but then that is why you should have a wide selection of plants that can then give you various cuttings just to add some extra interest in what you have made.
Step 7: Insert the Cuttings.
By this point you are ready to insert the cuttings and do not worry if you have never done this before because it is going to be a lot easier than you had perhaps feared.
When it comes to inserting the cuttings we recommend that you use a pencil in order to just make a big enough hole in the moss for the end of the cutting to be pushed into it. Do so gently so as to not break the stem and then use either the training wire or greening pins in order to really secure it into place. Now, we understand that this is going to take some time as the average wreath is going to have anywhere between 100 and 200 cuttings, but it is going to be worth it in the end and that is why you need to take your time in checking out the placement of things before you get too far into the process.
Our advice is to make sure that you place the larger cuttings in first and then work towards filling in the gaps with the smaller cuttings. This is going to provide you with a better understanding of how the space is going to be working out because you could easily discover that they are taking up more space than you initially thought and the last thing you want is to be trying to squeeze in a large and impressive plant just because you have misjudged things.
Step 8: Hang and Enjoy Your Succulent Wreath.
The final step is to hang your wreath, but prior to doing so you might want to just finish it off with ribbon or anything else that is quite decorative. However, do check the weight of the wreath because this is going to make a difference when it comes to how secure things need to be when hanging it as you may be surprised at how much weight is included in something that is relatively small in size.
By all intents and purposes, the wire frame that you have purchased will already have the hanging section included.
Additional Tips to Help you Make it a Success.
Finally, here are a few tips and reminders that should help to make your succulent wreath an absolute success. Remember that there is no right or wrong way in laying out the succulents as it is entirely up to you and your own individual preference so avoid being caught up in it all as there is no point in becoming so stressed.
Tip 1: Those Gaps.
The first tip is to just keep on adding cuttings of various sizes until all of the gaps in the wreath have been covered. There is no point in having bald or bare patches as that is just going to make the wreath appear to be sub-standard when that is not necessarily the case.
Tip 2: Soaking it.
Make sure that you soak the wreath for an hour before you start adding things. Trying to put the cuttings into dry moss is just not going to be as effective and you do not want to make life harder.
Tip 3: Avoid sunlight.
You should try to make sure that the wreath is not going to be in direct sunlight for too long.
Tip 4: Water it.
You need to check your wreath at various times to see if it feels dry. If it does, then add some water to it but just enough to keep it moist rather than soaking it.
Tip 5: Misting it.
This follows on from the watering tip but you should mist the moss heavily from the back only.
Tip 6: Trim it.
Your wreath is going to lose some of its shape through time and the best thing to do is to trim it on a semi-regular basis to make sure that it looks neat.
Tip 7: Protect it.
You need to remember that the plants enjoy the heat so if the temperatures are going below 32F then protect it by removing it and putting it somewhere warmer.
Making a living succulent wreath is, therefore, going to be slightly easier than a number of people had perhaps believed. However, it does still take some time and care on your part to get things correct but by the end of it all you will have something that you can be proud of alongside something that is also going to look absolutely amazing.