Planter Projects Succulent Tree

beauty shot of succulent tree

If you’re an avid gardener, creating a succulent tree for the holiday season is a great transition from fall planting to holiday decorating. Because succulents are a hardy plant, this particular seasonal addition will last long and you can use the plants in other container gardening projects in the upcoming months. Your checklist for this project should look like this: a sturdy pot such as Southern Patio’s 8-inch ceramic Lorna Planter as a base, a variety of succulent plants, moss, chicken wire, a pair of sturdy gloves, wire cutters, drainage rocks, and paper clips.

get started

Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started


Choose Your Succulent Plants

When shopping for succulents, be sure to purchase singular plants rather than ones that are incorporated into one larger container garden. These plants are sometimes compacted in tiny rocks that are difficult to remove from the larger container. For the bottom of your succulent tree, try finding plants with long leaves like Panda Plant succulents and Desert Rose Paddle Plants. This will give your tree a fuller look. When you’re planning out what you should include going toward the top of the tree, choose succulents with shorter leaves like Carnicolors and Haagai Tolimanensis. The plans for your succulent tree won’t be complete without some type of filler to include in empty spaces. We used holly berry branches and leaves for our filler plants a beautiful addition for a red and green holiday touch.

2 Lorna-Pot

Succulent Tree Base

For the base of our succulent tree, we used our 8-inch ceramic Lorna Planter. Its glossy, white-crackled finish is a nice offset to the dark green leaves of the succulent plants. It is also wide and sturdy enough to hold the succulent tree.

4 wet-moss

Sphagnum Moss

Start assembling the actual succulent tree by soaking a couple handfuls of long fiber Sphagnum Moss in water for about twenty minutes. This will make the moss more workable and gives your succulent plants a good drink that should last a while after they have been transferred into the tree.

6 gloves

Chicken Wire

Get ready to prepare your chicken wire into a cone-shape by using a pair of sturdy gloves to unravel the chicken wire.

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Form a Cone Shape

Decide how tall you want your succulent tree to be and cut the chicken wire about the diameter of the inside of your planter using a pair of wire cutters. Form a cone shape, and twist the ends of the chicken wire together using the cutters.

9 chicken-wire

Fill the Cone with Moss

Drain the moss completely, and start to fill the inside of the chicken wire cone starting from the bottom and working your way to the top. Make sure you include enough wet moss to tightly pack the inside of the cone.

10 rocks

Add Drainage Rocks

Prepare your planter (in this case, Southern Patio’s 8-inch ceramic Lorna Planter) by adding a good handful of drainage rocks to the bottom. This will not only help your tree to drain of any excess water, but it will also add stability against its weight.

11 Lorna-Pot-again

Place Cone into Planter

Place the chicken wire cone (now tightly filled with moss) into the planter. You will want to make sure it fits snugly inside of the planter so that it doesn’t move around a lot. You can add moss around the edges if you need to.

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Create Holes for Succulent Plants

Poke a hole into the moss at the bottom of the cone. We used the end of a paint brush to do this step. Be sure to create a big enough hole for your first succulent to fit into.

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Add First Succulent

Take one of your longer-leaved succulents and remove it from its container. Shake off any excess dirt. Place the succulent, roots first, into the hole you just created.

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Secure Succulents in Place

Secure the succulent plant into the moss using half of a paper clip (refer to the purple arrow in the picture). We used a couple halves to fasten each of our succulents in place.

beauty-shot 2

The Finished Tree

Repeat the steps of creating holes in the moss and filling them with succulents until you reach the top of your tree. Fill in any empty spaces with your filler plants or other decorations and choose a festive ornament for the top. Going forward, water your succulent tree only when the moss feels dry. Use a water bottle to mist it when necessary. Also, make sure your tree is placed in a spot that receives indirect sunlight.

Your succulent tree may outlast the holidays and well into the New Year as long as you care for it. After the holidays are over and you would like to try a different succulent project, carefully remove the succulents from the tree and replant them.

Check out these other container gardening projects:

How to Use a Self-Watering Insert

A Holiday Gift for the Gardener