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Tutorial for making a Living Wreath Copyright - Sunshine Succulents 2013 (William Aronson) Do not reproduce without written permission.


Tutorial for making a Living Wreath copyright - Sunshine Succulents 2013 Many people have asked me to show them how to make a Living Wreath (succulent topiary). This little tutorial will illustrate how to assemble one with succulent cuttings. A topiary is any plant that is trained to grow on a form. The topiary frames are made out of a wire frame filled and covered with moss and bound to the frame with monofilament line (fish line). Some growers do put potting soil inside the topiary frames to give them a little more water holding capacity. For the purposes of this tutorial we are going to use purchased moss wreaths. I bought these 10� wreaths online. The photos used for this tutorial were taken from several different ones I made out of these 10� frames. The first thing I do is soak the frame. I submerge it in a container full of water and let it set for a couple hours. This way I know I am starting with a wreath that has been completely wet. Although moss holds water well it can be difficult to wet. When I water established topiaries I always hit them once wait a half hour and hit them again. That way you are sure they absorbed some water. Without soil you must wet the moss!


For a 10� wreath like this you will need at least 60 cuttings (unless they are very large). If you are going to use any sedum or vining type plants or anything with some roots I would add them first. The vining ones I let lay over and they eventually find their way into gaps as they seek out space. I start with a fat ballpoint pen and poke some holes in the moss. You have to apply pressure to make a small cavity.

Some of the Hen n Chicks and the sedums I get from tearing apart pots of them. These tend to have some roots and after I make a hole I use the pen to push them in. You can get several plants from one full pot this way. These are the only ones I use that have any roots. The rest are just cuttings with a short stem on them.


I just keep going around the wreath with one type and space the locations out. If they are small sometimes I will group a couple together.


Here is a shot of me tearing apart some semps. They usually keep a few roots on them.


When I put these on I make my hole and then poke the roots in with my pen. If you use a lot of semps they should be different kinds for color variation. A lot of the same color does not show well.


Next I take my cuttings of the other succulents, echeveria, crassulas, graptopetalums, aeoniums or what ever you have access to. I get all I need and lay them in trays to callus (dry and heal the wound) for a few days. When they are ready to stick I start poking holes with my pen and sticking them in.


I push each cutting into the moss until it is well seated. Remember this is not soil so they will need to be well seated. After I stick the cuttings I bend some paper clips in a shape with a long and short side.


I use the paper clips as anchors for the plants to hold them in place while they root into the moss. As I hold the cutting I shove the long side of the clip into the moss and hook the short side over the cutting to hold it.


I keep moving around the wreath pinning as I go until all the loose ones are secured.


Once the loose cuttings are pinned down you can let them root in. This process should take about 1 month. When it is all rooted in then simply pull all you paper clips out and you are done. If you are going to hang your wreath you should give it more time because gravity may cause some to fall off if they are not well rooted. That’s about all there is to it, so have fun and enjoy your new creation. Here is one after all the pins are out and all rooted up!

Living wreath tutorial