Find out how to make a pumpkin planter with succulents and kale. This fun planter makes a cute centerpiece on a Halloween tablescape, or eye-catching decor on your balcony, deck or front steps.
Just carve your pumpkin in your favorite design and fill with succulents, mustard greens, kale or any other fall favorites.
Tools and Materials to make a pumpkin planter
- Pumpkins (available at your nearest The Home Depot)
- Permanent marker
- Pumpkin carving tool or carving knife
- Soil scoop or large serving spoon
- Potting mix for succulents
- Mustard greens, kale, Swiss chard, ornamental cabbage, coleus or other filler plants
Step 1: Design Your Pumpkin Planter
Determine the design for your pumpkin planter and, using a marker, draw it out. For the top of the pumpkin, use a small plastic container or flowerpot to draw a perfect circle.
We recommend triangles for the eyes since they’re easier to cut out.
Step 2: Cut the Design
Take your knife or carving tool and carve out the design of your pumpkin planter.
Step 3: Remove pulp inside the pumpkin
Scoop the pulp from inside the pumpkin planter. A soil scoop makes the job easy but a serving spoon works well, too.
Step 4: FILL the face
Remove the succulents from their nursery pots and tap off soil so they fit through the slots cut in your pumpkin planter. Use larger succulents for the eyes and smaller ones for the mouth area.
We used hens and chicks for the mouth area. Several hens and chicks come in one nursery pot, making it a more cost-effective option.
Step 5: FILL the top
Now fill the pumpkin with soil, such as a potting mix for succulents. Once filled up with soil, plant additional succulents, such as a spilling sedum. The spilling sedum gives the pumpkin a fun, hairy look. Don’t forget a thriller on top. We used purple mustard greens.
Optionally, try kale, Swiss chard, ornamental cabbage, coleus or other colorful plants that thrill.
Step 6: Decorate with your pumpkin planter
Once the pumpkin planter is ready, you may decide you want to create more of them. Pumpkin planters look beautiful on steps, a porch, balcony or deck. Use other gourds, squash and mini pumpkins to create a display.
Other decorating options
A pumpkin planter also makes a great centerpiece for a Halloween party.
For other options, see our story more ways to DIY a pumpkin.
Special thanks to Rambo Nursery, Melissa Haghighat and Lucy Mercer for assistance with this project.