Bring the beauty of succulents to your holiday table with a miniature Christmas tree filled with the pastel plants. This centerpiece will be the center of conversation around your table.
It’s an ambitious project, but the skills are simple: shaping chicken wire into a cone, filling it with dampened sphagnum moss and placing it in a favorite planter. Assemble a collection of succulents in various sizes, shapes and colors, and carefully place them in the topiary. Use floral pins to secure the plants in place.
This succulent topiary was created by the designers at Rambo Nursery, an exclusive grower for The Home Depot. Here are some pointers for success with the succulent Christmas tree project.
Tips for Succulent Project Success:
- Choose up to four or five types of succulents for this project.
- Prepare the succulents by gently shaking off the potting mix.
- Create rows from the bottom up, and create vertical “ribbons” with a special color or texture.
- As you work, step back and observe your progress and tweak as you go along.
Materials and Tools:
- Ceramic or terra cotta planter, about 7 1/2 inches in diameter shown: Pennington Ivy White Ceramic Planter
- Foam or filler material
- Chicken wire
- Aviation snips or wire cutters
- Work gloves
- Sphagnum moss
- Bucket with water
- Floral pins (available from craft supply stores)
This project used approximately 100 succulents of various sizes. The finished tree is about 14 inches high and 7 inches in diameter. Look in your succulent collection for “babies,” that sprout from the mama plant. These smaller succulents are an ideal filler for this project.
Tip: Growers are continually sourcing new varieties and colors of popular succulents. Look for the latest succulents in red and deep purple. When you add another color, you add dimension and contrast to your tree design.
Succulent Christmas Tree Directions:
1. Cut chicken wire into a 12-inch by 12-inch square with aviation snips. (Caution: chicken wire can be difficult to work with, be sure to protect your hands with gloves.) Fold back cut edges. Shape chicken wire into a cone and fold edges together. Fill the planter with foam or other material sturdy enough to support the topiary.
2. Fill the bucket with water and soak the sphagnum moss for about 15 minutes. One handful at a time, squeeze out the excess water and place inside the chicken wire cone. Continue to fill the cone with dampened moss until it’s full. Place the filled chicken wire form on the base inside the container and secure with floral pins.
3. Prepare the succulents for placement on the tree by gently removing them from their containers and shaking off most of the potting mix.
4. Use floral pins to attach succulents to the tree form. Secure the floral pin to the chicken wire base.
6. As you work around the topiary, alternate plants for variety. Step back and view the project from varying distances.
7. Finish the Christmas tree with succulents or a star embellishment or ornament from your own Christmas tree. Enjoy the Christmas tree for holiday entertaining, and keep the joy of succulents around after the holidays. Finally, when the holidays are over, pull out the succulents and give them fresh potting soil and planters and delight in them throughout the winter.
Learn more about caring for succulents:
- 5 Things You Need to Know for Success with Succulents
- Display Succulents in Style
- Video: How to Propagate Succulents