Hi pumpkins, and happy Tuesday! Welcome back to my latest theme week, Vertical Gardens and Living Artwork!
Today, we’re going to play with succulents. Before we get started, a big fat disclaimer, aka, covering my ass:
Caution – Danger! Danger! Danger! Many succulents contain sap so it’s important to wear gloves when handling them! The sap can irritate the skin and make your eyes swell, so be very careful to wash your hands thoroughly and often, and don’t touch your eyes! Houseplants in general are apt to be poisonous, so tread carefully. I don’t want anyone to get hurt or swollen or itchy while experimenting with houseplants, succulents or otherwise.
Danger aside, I still think succulents are a great way to introduce kids to nature. They’re juicy, they grow really fast, and they’re funky. You can get a kid hooked on gardening for life with succulents, just play it safe, ok? Ok, good, we have a deal.
How To Create A Succulent Wall Hanging
There are a thousand ways to build your own wall hanging, there are a thousand containers and a thousand plants from which to choose. I’m going to show you how I made my most recent succulent garden in hopes that you get the general basics, and from there, you can let your creativity explode.
I knew I wanted to create a design to hang outside in my garden, so I started with a basket that I liked the shape of -it was deep, but not so deep it would look weird hanging on a wall.
I gathered the basket and the plants on my work station in the back garden:
The plan is that after it’s all planted and rooted in, I can take it off the wall (or fence), drench the whole container with a hose until it’s thoroughly soaked, then hang it back up again. I suppose I could just spray it with the hose while it’s on the wall, but that seems, I don’t know, rude or something.
By planting these little guys in a basket, I’m ensuring they’ll have good drainage. I wanted to make it easier for them inside the container, too. So I lined the bottom with gravel from my driveway:
Then, I’m not kidding, I made a mixture of Fox Farm Ocean Forest Potting Soil and gravel from my driveway. I really did, look:
How dork is that? Like mixing cake batter. Anyway, it was effective. Succulents appreciate a porous mix of regular potting soil and tiny rocks or sand even. You don’t want to plant in all sand or rocks, because they won’t retain enough moisture for the plants to thrive.
I decided not to secure the soil mixture like I had in yesterday’s post for a couple of reasons. One, I know this planter is going to stay indoors until spring, because it’s already September, and I don’t want to take any chances on these little guys getting too cold. By spring, their roots will have secured so well in the soil, that I won’t need anything to help hold the soil in place. There’s one more reason, but I’m getting ahead of myself again.
The planter was ready for the plants:
I love this first juicy fella. He was labeled “Haworthia,” which is not really very helpful:
Haworthia what? cooperi? cymbiformis? bayeri? I mean, I don’t care, I’m going to love him anyway. I’ll probably name him Larry and forget all about his particular cultivar. But I’ve been trying to get the correct names for my readers who like to know.
I looked at the labels while I was at the nursery, and asked an employee about them. He was about as useful as the label.
This one was labeled, “Echeveria.” Thanks, that’s again super helpful.
What type of Echeveria is it? I don’t know – after scrolling through pages and pages of pinkish bluish rosette succulents, they all start to look a little alike to me. My bad!
I planted five plants total, and added more of the potting soil mixture around the plants:
Aw, they look cute in there!
Ok, remember when I said I had one more reason for not securing the plants in the soil? It’s because I had another layer I wanted to add in order to help both secure the plants and retain moisture.
See, I’m already wondering how these guys will do in our hot desert summers. Once they’re outside, even if they’re not in full sun, the heat is brutal.
I had some moss leftover from previous plantings, so I decided to try using it:
Well, it sure looks pretty now. I’ll be mindful of watering through the winter months. And if the moss turns all brown and gross looking, I’ll pluck it off. No harm, no foul.
I couldn’t resist sneaking a peek at what it will look like:
Ok, I can’t stand it completely upright right after I planted it, but did it spark your enthusiasm? I’d love to know if you decide to try making a living wall hanging of your own. For indoors or out.
I’ll be back manana to continue Vertical Gardens and Living Artwork week. Instead of looking at my creations, we’ll check out what brilliant designers around the globe are creating – hint, they’re breathtaking projects! Hope to see you here!