How Long Do Succulent Wreaths Last

Since at least the 1950s, as far as I’m aware, the succulent wreath has been manufactured. In the early 1970s, I recall meeting ardent succulent growers who would gather with friends close to Capitola, where I lived, to create their wreaths. At the time, they informed me they had been performing them for at least 20 years.

If you want to create your own succulent wreath, there are a few things you should be aware of from the start. Even the most seasoned gardener will take at least an hour to plant the 12″ frame, and this does not include taking or preparing the cuttings. A great full wreath will require many cuttings, maybe 100 or more for a 12″ frame.

The wreath frame, old style.

I no longer use the same frame that I did during those formative years. Two wire rings, sphagnum moss, earth, and fishing line were used to construct the ancient structure. Sphagnum moss was laid out on top of the flattened wire frame. The sphagnum was then covered with a thin layer of dirt, then another layer of sphagnum was added. The second wire frame was placed on top of the sphagnum, which had been somewhat wrapped around it. To keep everything together, fishing line was then wound around the frames.

Some individuals still use this form of frame, but I switched to a new style in the late 1970s because the old frame had a number of shortcomings. The outdated frame was large and incredibly heavy. No matter how high-quality the sphagnum or how skillfully they were put together, these frames eventually leaked, causing the soil to run out and collapse the wreath in an unattractive mess.

New Style.

How fresh is fresh? This style has been mine for more than thirty years, so I suppose it’s not quite new. It’s easy to use and dependable. The pre-made frame comprises of a wire frame, a nylon mesh sock that has been filled with sphagnum, and a nylon mesh sock that is fastened to the wire frame. It is easy to use, lightweight, and strong.

Typically, rooted succulents were planted in the vintage frame. In my new method, I give cuttings a place to grow after about a month. If you wish to grow plants from cuttings, you will need to plant them either during the ideal growth season for roots or in a greenhouse with an extended growing season. Although the older method of planting with rooted cuttings provided you a planted frame rather quickly, I have always thought the current method looked far nicer over time.


If you have any experience with succulents, you can anticipate using the wreath for at least a year after planting. A wreath typically lasts between two and five years, though one of my customers reported success for ten years!

Ways to use.

I’ll publish an example on the website if I have the images shot. The wreaths can be hung on a wall or utilized flat. Be imaginative and experiment with your use of them. Even in the worst circumstances, they will survive for months as they extend outward in search of sunshine. They will thrive in the right environment, which includes filtered sun light and fresh air. They will undoubtedly outlive any rose bouquet.

Small candles placed in the succulents surrounding the ring of the wreath when it is flat are frequently used as decorations. Additionally, I’ve placed a hurricane lamp with a bigger candle right in the middle of the wreath.

It’s fine to bring the wreath inside for the holidays or another special occasion and then bring it back outside again as long as you are careful to let it acclimate to the sunlight gradually to prevent burning.

What to do near the end.

You have a variety of options when your wreath starts to look dated and the frame starts to break. I always advised consumers to place the wreath in the ground, a pot, or a bed of dirt. The plants will grow virtually indefinitely after establishing roots through the frame and into the soil bed a few weeks later. One of my clients informed me he divided the wreath into three-inch pieces and planted each one separately in pots. The wreath’s outstanding feature is that, while it might not always function as a wreath, it can practically function as a succulent garden for all time. Enjoy!

How long do succulents last?

The wreath can endure up to five years and will alter over time. When the wreath starts to overgrow, it can be cut into cuttings, which can then be planted in a new wreath frame.

How often do you need to water succulents?

Think about the succulents’ natural environment. These areas, which are dry and arid, frequently go weeks, months, and (rarely) years without receiving adequate watering. But when it rains, it pours and saturates the ground, allowing the succulent’s water reserves to be replenished.

How can you tell if succulents need water?

Depending on where the plant is positioned, you only need to water your succulents once or twice a month, unlike other houseplants. The issue is frequently overwatering. Your succulents are probably overwatered if they are mushy, soft, and have translucent leaves. The leaves will begin to decay and turn black if the overwatering is left unchecked. Wait till the soil is absolutely dry before watering.

Should you spray succulents with water?

They are sprayable. Cacti and succulents don’t require moist, humid environments. They need to drink water thoroughly and completely before doing nothing else. Despite your desire to water or spray them, wait until the soil is once more dry before doing so.

As part of the Seasonal Simplicity Summer Series, I’m joined today by a wonderful group of blogger pals who are also sharing their summer DIY wreath ideas. To discover exactly how they produced their wreath design, click on the links below it.

How should a succulent wreath be cared for?

I’m a sensible girl. When I spend the time, money, and effort to create anything, I want it to last as long as feasible. I published a guide last week on how to create a wreath out of living succulents. Today I want to explain to you how to care for that outdoor succulent wreath so it will stay alive, healthy, and attractive for a long time. Your living masterpiece shouldn’t need to be redone every month, to put it simply.

In order for the roots to establish themselves, grow, and begin to bind the soil, I want to make sure that you are aware that you need keep your wreath laying flat for at least 1-2 months after building it. The last thing you want is to make the wreath, hang it, and have it disintegrate. Succulents are tough plants, but there’s no reason to abuse them, especially because you’ll need to make the wreath again.

I’m discussing succulent wreath maintenance while sitting on my front stairs with the wreath.

The following are the five things you should be aware of to keep your outdoor succulent wreath healthy and attractive:

With little to no direct sunlight, bright light is preferred. Although some early sun is acceptable, hang your wreath away from any scorching, strong sun. The roots of such fleshy succulents will quickly dry out and burn. If you put it under some sort of cover, it will last even longer. As a result, it will be shielded from any damaging winds or heavy rains. Although it is fairly light during the day, my front porch is entirely covered and only receives about an hour of direct morning sun, making it the perfect location to hang a living wreath.

A thorough watering once every one to three weeks will do depending on the temps and exposure. You might need to water your wreath more frequently than you would your succulents in pots because some of the forms are pretty shallow and can’t contain a lot of soil. Take the wreath down, flatten it out, and give it plenty of water. You can do this by spraying with a spray bottle, using a garden hose with a gentle flow, or using a narrow-spouted watering can. Before hanging it back up, allow the water to completely drain out.

Since your wreath isn’t growing in a lot of soil, it would benefit from some annual nutriment. If you feel it needs another feeding, go ahead and do it in late summer. One in the spring is good. You can use manure tea, sea kelp, fish emulsion, or an organic balanced liquid fertilizer. Make sure the fertilizer gets to the roots intentionally because that’s where it’s most required.

Plants will be better able to withstand an unwanted pest visit the healthier they are. My succulents occasionally acquire orange aphids on the sensitive new growth or mealy bugs down in the nodes, which I gently brush off with the garden hose. Because you don’t want to blast off the moss and dirt, it can be more difficult to accomplish this with a wreath. You could try treating the problem using a solution of 1 part rubbing alcohol to 8 parts water in a spray bottle.

The moss might eventually deteriorate or disintegrate, so some maintenance will be required. Just grab some moss fragments, cover the exposed soil, and secure with greening pins. Consider it a moss band-aid!

These wreaths require only occasional trimming of dead leaves for upkeep, which is rather easy. You can trim out any succulents that eventually crowd and outgrow one another, let the stems recover, and then replant them. Consider it to be a wreath that keeps on giving!

Can a wreath be made out of succulents?

It’s surprisingly simple to create your own succulent wreath. From more than 60 plant families, you can choose the forms and textures that you want. For this wreath, florist Mark Kintzel selected species of the genus Echeveria, whose geometric leaves resemble flowers; Sedum, a low-growing, rounded green plant; Pachyphytum, whose fleshy, plump leaves are covered in a powdery white coating; Portulacaria, a compact, green shrub; and Gasteria, a spiky tongue-like plant closely related to aloe.

Craft paper should be used to cover the workspace. The wreath frame should be submerged in water for 30 minutes, removed, and then let to drain for 10 minutes. If you want to hang the wreath frame, attach florist wire to the rear.

Remove the succulents from their containers and clean the roots of any remaining soil. Succulents should be placed in a circle that is the same size as your wreath to help you plan your design.

Make a hole in the wreath with a screwdriver, spreading the netting and the sphagnum moss a little to make room for the root system. Insert yourself quite deeply, but don’t pierce straight through.

Snip the mesh surrounding the hole with scissors to widen the entrance. Squeeze the wreath’s sphagnum moss tightly around the succulent root’s base after inserting it into the hole.

Put a floral pin around the stem or leaf of each succulent to secure the plants. This will keep them in place, especially if you intend to hang the wreath before they have had six to eight weeks to fully root in the frame.

Once all of the plants are in place around the frame, finish by wrapping Spanish moss around the succulents to complete the wreath and cover any exposed frame elements.

Once a week, or anytime you notice it starting to dry up, soak the entire wreath in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes. A weekly spraying will be helpful for succulents as well.

Can succulents be grown in just rocks?

It should be obvious that succulents will thrive when planted in rocks given these circumstances. They drain very well and do not retain water, which eliminates the possibility of root rot. This does not include another component of soil, though, since all plants need nutrients.

Although succulents are not particularly hungry plants, they do need certain nutrients to grow. Other micronutrients like zinc or iron are needed in smaller levels, whereas macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential. The plant won’t grow at all or last very long without these nutrients.

By their very nature, rocks don’t release nutrients quickly enough to keep the plants alive. They are composed of minerals, but since they decompose so slowly over time, they are not appropriate for growing on their own. Additionally, they often don’t retain enough moisture, allowing the roots to quickly dry out after draining practically instantly.

Sadly, this means that succulents cannot thrive permanently without soil in rocks. If not given regular care, they may survive for several weeks or even months on the nutrients found in the stems and leaves.

How should a live wreath be cared for?

How to Maintain Live Garlands, Swags, and Wreaths Throughout the Holidays

  • Purchase only fresh products. Your greenery will stay longer if it is more fresh when you acquire it.
  • To Save the Greenery, Soak.
  • Put misting first.
  • Consider antiperspirant sprays.
  • Maintain Calm.
  • Consider using outdoor displays.

How is a living wreath watered?

Water: Soaking your living wreath for at least an hour in a container filled with water, like a garbage can lid or bathtub, is the finest way to water it. Although it could be as little as once every six to ten weeks, you should water your wreath on average every three to four weeks.

Why are stones necessary for succulents?

Have you ever wondered why there is a layer of beautiful pebbles on top of so many succulent arrangements? Have you ever overheard someone discussing top dressing for succulents and wondered what it was or what it was used for? Pebbles are used as a layer for succulents for more reasons than just aesthetics. Learn more about top dressing and the benefits of using it on your succulents by reading on.

What Is Top Dressing?

In agriculture and gardening, top dressing is utilized. A top dressing is typically a thin, even layer of rich soil, compost, manure, or worm castings that is added to a garden bed, lawn, or field soon before planting. After that, it is tilled into the ground so that the seeds or plants can grow there. After the plants are set up, a top dressing for succulents is a uniform coating of inorganic material, such as pebbles, gravel, crushed rock, or broken seashells, that is spread over the top of the soil. The top dressing of a succulent is applied and kept in place, completely covering the soil to a depth of about a third of an inch. For plants growing in the ground or in containers, this offers a number of advantages.

Benefits of Top Dressing for Succulents

Succulents can benefit from inorganic top dressing in numerous ways:

  • Succulent top dressing aids in soil temperature regulation, protecting the roots from extreme temperature swings.
  • Light colored gravel or pebbles reflect heat, which is good in warmer climes, while dark colors absorb heat more readily, warming the soil and encouraging root growth.
  • Pebbles reduce the powerful force of water from rain or irrigation, which stops soil erosion. This prevents soil from dripping onto your plants’ leaves.
  • An inorganic top dressing that is at least 1/3 inch thick inhibits insects from laying their eggs in the moist organic soil. This is the most effective approach to get rid of bothersome gnats in your house.
  • Weed barriers are created by top treatments.
  • To prevent plastic pots and containers from blowing away, it gives them weight.
  • Before newly planted succulents fully root into the surrounding soil matrix, top dressing can assist keep them upright.

And let’s face it, uncovered earth looks less appealing than a coating of ornamental stones. I suggest putting top dressing in my advice on how to cultivate succulents because of all these benefits.

Top Dressing for Succulents

Succulent top dressings are available in a variety of hues, textures, and sizes. We typically think of ornamental pebbles, but there are other materials you can use, including sand, gravel, crushed granite, glass, fire glass, seashells, crushed coral, small stones, and pieces of semi-precious stones like amethyst, tiger eye, and quartz.

Consider your top dressing choices carefully. Make sure the sand is clean or rinsed before using it. Your plants will suffer because of the high salt content of beach sand. And ensure that the “You utilize colorfast colorful rocks that are not just powder-coated. Some landscape rocks offered for sale in home improvement stores have a color coating that peels off, coloring the plants and creating a mess. Use any designated as “Despite the fact that you can also find excellent items in aquarium stores or even fire glass for decorative fire features, top dressing. For inspiration, browse the selection of delicious top dressings in my Amazon store. Use of either is secure for succulent plants.

Succulent top dressings and pebbles come in a wide range of hues, from muted earth tones to neon-bright hues of green, blue, yellow succulent, and purple that are rarely seen in nature. What should you use then? The solution that appeals to you the most is the best one. Seriously. Who is to say that you’ll appreciate my taste if I show you and explain the factors I take into account while selecting the best dressings? I want a natural appearance that highlights the plant and harmonizes the hues and textures of the succulent and its container. But if you prefer the aesthetic of silvery-green succulents paired with pink DayGlo pebbles, rock on!

Choosing Top Dressing for Succulents

I compare succulent top dressing to jewels for clothing. It shouldn’t overpower the aesthetic or offer unnecessary intrigue. Debra Lee Baldwin may have said it best. She compares the mat for a painting to ornamental pebbles for succulent plants. The container serves as the frame, the top dressing as the mat, and the succulents as the artwork in her opinion.

To demonstrate the difference, I photographed an Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg in a ceramic succulent pot with three different top dressings. I chose black sand with a hint of glitter because the pot has a shiny, black rim. The lower portion of the pot is a shiny tan tint. I decided on caramel-colored sand and tan pebbles with a matte texture. Isn’t the distinction each creates amazing? Consider the Echeveria PVN with a top dressing that is plum-toned.

Always keep the effect you hope to achieve in mind when you choose your top dressing. Your choice of pebbles, sand, and rocks may differ from if you want to showcase the plant if the pot is particularly cool and you want to draw attention to it.

A Matter of Scale

Almost always, when people refer to top dressing for succulents, they are referring to pea gravel or decorative pebbles that are around 1/51/4 inch in size. That is the size of the tan stones I used, which are displayed with the Echeveria PVN in the middle of the trio above. But you have to admit, I find the sand to be very attractive. Although it is more challenging to reuse than pebbles for different plants, I think it looks fantastic for a single planting.

Although most people wouldn’t think to wear something this bulky, doesn’t it look magnificent? Susan Aach produced this ceramic pot by hand. She combined a Ferocactus with it and added a top dressing with a thick, rough texture to really tie the two together. I like how it looks.

Another coupling of a Susan Aach pot with a sizable top dressing is seen here. Together, they perfectly accentuate this stunning, variegated Echeveria Compton Carousel. When matching her pots, plants, and top dressings, she really displays her artistic eye. She strikes a balance between the pots’ and the plants’ aesthetic appeal to create a real synergy. Visit Susan Aach’s website to learn more about her handcrafted ceramics and look at my encounter with her. Susan, thank you for allowing us to use your lovely photos!

Are There Problems Using Top Dressing for Succulents?

If you’ve never added stones for succulents to your pots, you can have the following inquiries:

Does the soil retain moisture because of the pebbles? Regular readers are aware that choosing a fast-draining succulent soil is crucial to the wellbeing of your plants. This cannot be negotiated. How about including the pebbles now? It is true that top dressings for succulents stop the soil from evaporating and losing moisture to the air. However, you want the water to get beyond the plant’s roots and through the soil, where it can be absorbed. The value of the to dressing and a good soil more than makes up for the small quantity of evaporation wasted.

Does the top dressing restrict the soil’s and the roots’ ability to breathe? For a succulent plant to survive, its roots require oxygen. The roots may acquire oxygen thanks to tiny air pockets in the arid soil. Even a top layer of sand, pebbles, or gravel allows air to enter the soil and nourish the roots of plants. Insufficient drainage causes too much water to permeate the soil, removing air spaces and “flood the plant. Top dressing does not impede your plant’s ability to get enough oxygen.

If you can’t touch the earth, how can you tell when your succulent plants need watering? Many succulent growers focus their watering decisions on how dry their soil feels. This approach is much better for me than sticking to a rigid timetable. Even better, water your succulents when they show signs of needing it rather than before. My ideal tool to measure the water content of soil is a chopstick “moisture gauge Place the chopstick in the ground. Do not water if it emerges feeling or looking moist or with earth clinging to it. It’s time to water when it comes out clean and dry!