Monday, October 10, 2016

Easy Succulent Centerpiece

 Happy Friday, friends!  Succulents are all the rage right now and with good reason.
They're easy to plant, easy to care for and they make even the brownest thumb gardener feel successful inspiring a whole new generation of indoor gardeners. They're finding their way into bridal bouquets, driftwood planters, wall gardens, office buildings, and home and garden centers. Even our local grocery store is selling them.

The most important thing to remember when caring for succulents is not to over water. They store water in their leaves not their roots so don't drown them or they'll wilt, shrivel, then die. They love lots of natural light too.

 Do you shop at Savers? I love scavenging there for interesting vessels for floral arrangements and centerpieces. They always seem to have a good selection of vintage silver plated platters, bowls, tea pots and candy dishes for low cost.  My nursery manager picked up this pretty footed bowl a while back and it's been calling my name for months! I personally think vessels with an aged silver patina are perfect for the softer, more muted greens and grays of succulents and cactus. This footed candy/compote dish was crying out for something fun and we just happened to have some left over succulents at the garden shop to play with.

The pretty scalloped edges of the dish inspired me to select succulents with similar shapes and texture.

I like to use Horticultural Charcoal in the bottom of my succulent containers without drainage holes to aid in air circulation.

This footed dish isn't deep at all in the center which makes it perfect for succulents because they don't have a deep root system and they require very little water on a weekly basis. Just a mist every week or so is all they need to keep them happy.

You can use regular potting soil to plant succulents but I prefer Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix because it's lighter and provides the proper drainage and nutritional needs that are specific to succulents and cacti.

Once you cover the charcoal bits in soil you can start placing your succulents.

I only filled the center of the dish, leaving plenty of space for design flexibility.

Starting with the largest succulent, remove some of the excess soil from the bottom of the plant and lay it on it's side where you want it to go. Build your design with the remaining succulents and cactus in this fashion ( removing soil as needed and tweaking the placement) until you like the finished design. You'll find as you finish edging the dish with plants there will be a hole in the center of the arrangement. This is a perfect place to add something taller. A little bit of height in a low centerpiece  creates drama and interest.

Succulent Centerpiece
See how it stands up just a smidgen higher than the others? Once you have your placement completed, fill in around the plants with soil a little at a time until the plant base is covered. Dust off any remaining soil with a pastry brush or small paint brush

 For a centerpiece this size water with about 1/4 cup of water at the soil level then give it a fine mist with a spray bottle. Ta DA!

 Now go raid your basement, grannies attic or local Savers for some fun vases and vessels.

Oh, and you can read my other post about succulents, here.

Just keep growing...

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