Given their wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colours, it’s no surprise that succulents have become wildly popular. And it makes them the perfect plant for creative do-it-yourself arrangements, to brighten and uplift your living space. Given just a few precautionary notes, the sky really is the limit in terms of what you can create with these hardy versatile plants.
Succulent garden designer Laura Eubanks opened new gardening horizons with her succulent-topped pumpkins—which, by the way, you also can learn how to make via this instructional video. Who would have thought to plant or glue succulents into the grooves of pumpkins? Yet here they are, as whimsical and beautiful as one could imagine.
Before you begin exploring the countless ways that succulents can serve as your creative paint and canvas, thread and cloth, or sculpting clay, a couple things will be useful to remember. First, different varieties of succulents do best in different climates. If they’re going to be indoors, this doesn’t matter too much. But if the plants are going to live in an outdoor garden, be sure to choose ones that align with your local climate.
And secondly, it’s best to keep the succulents in their original soil, and to avoid transplanting them too many times. Their root systems are fairly fragile and can be damaged by repeated transplants. When you do transplant, choose a soil similar to the soil they came in. And remember not to over-water them: they like to dry out completely before being watered again.
Succulents: The Perfect Plants For Do-It-Yourself Projects
And now for the fun! Once you’ve decided whether to create an indoor or an outdoor project, and then chosen a nice variety of succulents to play with, you’re ready to go. Here are some of the many ways that you can perk up your indoor and outdoor living spaces with these hardy, exotic and versatile plants:
- Succulents planted in a whimsically unique container, like a teacup or a high-heel shoe (tee-hee).
- A gorgeous succulent arrangement in a window-box right outside your kitchen window. Or a succulent tray displayed inside, tucked into the window sill.
- Succulents to add aesthetic intrigue and playful elegance to your bedroom, in colours that compliment your walls, sheets and drapes.
- A mini succulent garden of various shapes and colours, tastefully arranged in a large glass bowl. (Remember to water sparingly if the bowl doesn’t have drainage holes.)
- Succulents as an integral part of a roof garden. How fun is this?!
- Succulents to highlight a rock garden: a flourish on the traditional Zen aesthetic.
- Combine succulents with a scattering of pebbles or glass marbles, for elegance and excellent drainage.
- Display in a vertical garden or succulent wall. You can also use an old frame for a succulent arrangement which you can hang–just like a painting—on a wall, and move it from place to place as you please.
- Succulents in large or small hanging pots: great on porches!
- A succulent door wreath—perfect for holidays.
- Succulent art sculptures, of all shapes and sizes: check these out
- Succulent jewelry (yes, it’s possible!) that continues to grow and emit vitality as you wear it. Bracelets, rings and necklaces are all fair game.
- Succulent bookends. Fill a pair of cylindrical glass jars with stones and your favourite succulents, to anchor and beautify your favourite books.
- Planting or gluing succulents into the grooves of pumpkins and other gourds (as described above). Great for holiday gifts!
- Use succulents as creative, elegant borders to your flower or vegetable garden beds.
As you can see, the ways of arranging and displaying succulents are nearly infinite. And hopefully one or more of the ideas above has now sparked your own creativity. For additional inspiration, and some step-by-step instructions, have a look at 47 Succulent Ideas With Tutorials. Enjoy!
The Symbolic Wealth of Succulents
Because succulents are able to endure and thrive in some of the most harsh and rugged habitats on the planet, they’ve come to symbolise lasting friendship and love: the kind that endures life’s ups and downs.
In Asian cultures, succulents represent material as well as emotional wealth and prosperity. In China and Japan, interior designers oftentimes apply the principles of feng-shui: the art and science of arranging objects in a way that maximises the harmonious flow of life-force energy within a space.
Healthy plants are always considered to be good feng-shui—in homes and offices and outdoor gardens alike—because of the living vitality they bring to the space. And succulents—because of their capacity to hold water—are associated with the gathering and maintenance of wealth. Jade plants, in particular, represent financial prosperity and abundance in all aspects of one’s life.
The Jade’s association with wealth and good fortune is reflected in its various nicknames: “good luck plant” and “money plant” and “friendship plant.” Oftentimes a Jade plant is placed near the entrance of a house or shop, to symbolize and, via its good feng-shui, attract wealth and abundance in all of its forms. And when the Jade plant flowers, its blossoms represent the fragrance of great and lasting friendship.
Fun With Succulents
Whether you’re creating a succulent arrangement with a Jade plant in its centre, to symbolise and celebrate friendship; or a fanciful succulent sculpture; or an elegant rock garden featuring some colourful succulents; or a window sill collection of Aloe vera plants for medicinal purposes—you can be sure that the effort you invest in your DIY project will repeat satisfying rewards. With proper care, the succulents you’ve chosen and artfully arranged will inspire and uplift you—and likely elicit a genuinely appreciative “wow!” from your friends, every now and again.
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