My Autumn Succulent Wreath

Autumn succulent wreath by Debra Lee Baldwin

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A garden club at which I’ll be speaking later this month asked if I’d donate “an arrangement for the raffle.” Sure, why not?

I have several self-imposed criteria: It has to be a “wow” so attendees will buy tickets; it needs to be innovative and incorporate succulents; and it should be autumn-themed (but not a succulent-topped pumpkin because that’s so…expected). Inspired by the numerous colorful succulents in my garden, I decided to make a traditional succulent wreath with an autumn look.

I filled a box with cuttings of orange coppertone stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum), red crassulas, and yellow Sedum adolphii

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…and another box with blue-gray succulents such as Kalanchoe tomentosa (which has slender, fuzzy leaves), small echeveria rosettes, and Lampranthus deltoides (a type of ice plant).

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For the wreath base I used a thin, flat, donut-shaped circle from a craft store. I hot-glued sphagnum moss to it, wrapped it with florist’s wire to better secure the moss…

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…then glued cuttings onto it. First I created a corsage-like cluster at 7:00…

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…then overlapped cuttings to complete the circle, tucking each one’s stem beneath the rosette behind it.

succulent wreath construction

Remarkably, succulents aren’t harmed by hot glue, in fact, stems will send roots through dried glue into the moss.

Ideally the wreath will receive a few hours of morning sun, then bright shade for the remainder of the day. Sun is necessary to keep it colorful; in too little light, the orange and yellow cuttings will revert to green. However, too much sun may scorch the plants.

Succulent cuttings will produce roots over time. To keep roots hydrated, the wreath should be spritzed twice a week to moisten the moss. As cuttings root and grow, the wreath will gradually deconstruct. Older succulent wreaths tend to look like they’re exploding.

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When this happens (or for that matter, at any time) the wreath can be planted intact in a pot or garden bed, enabling cuttings to root into soil. Or it can be pulled apart and cuttings replanted.

Over the next few months, I hope the person who wins it will display it on a garden gate, wall, or front door. Or perhaps flat as a table centerpiece. To transition it into the December holidays, they also might add a few red, gold and green glass balls.

 

from Gardening Gone Wild http://gardeninggonewild.com/?p=30654

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