Recently, it seems like wherever I am browsing or shopping in home design stores, I am seeing these beautifully staged rooms with gorgeous succulent centerpieces. They aren’t inexpensive either. I thought how hard would this be for us to make our own? Inspiration strikes! So, off we went on our next DIY mission, the DIY succulent centerpiece mission! First, we wanted to find the perfect container to place on our farm table in the dining room. The farm table is natural wood with metal legs so I had already established in my mind that it would be nice to find a large metal or galvanized piece. My thoughts were something with low sides and rectangular or boat shaped vessel. We were browsing around Home Goods last week and my husband comes around the corner with a dark gray, low sided rectangular container! We carried it around the store awhile making sure no one else decided they definitely wanted it while we were still trying to make up our minds. After being sidetracked by all the other bright shiny objects at Home Goods, how I love this store, hubby convinced me this was the container we’ve been looking for and off to the checkout counter we went spending less than $25.00.
Next, of course, was shopping for the succulent plants. You can find these at your local nursery, Home Depot or Lowe’s. There was a plethora of choices, almost too many to make a choice. I didn’t realize that there were so many succulents with color either. I was drawn to the bright pink and yellow blooms on the cactus and the purplish leaves on the purple echeveria at first but remembered reading somewhere to stick with everything green when you were planting inside. Since this is our first time I really don’t have any advice for you but to ask your local nursery if they have any suggestions.
Succulent plants are basically plants that are able to exist in dry or salty conditions because they have water stored in their fleshy tissues. The first succulent plant I think of is the Aloe plant. I remember my mom growing these at our house in the Midwest and whenever I got a sunburn, which was often, she would snap off a stem from the aloe plant, cut it open, take the gel like substance and apply topically to soothe my sunburned skin. We decided on this grouping of twelve. They cost between $4.00 to $5.00 a piece.
We thought it would be a good idea to spray the inside of the container with the clear Flex Seal to assure no leaks of water on our farm table. Make sure you spray this in a well ventilated area. I waited about 20 minutes for it to completely dry before I moved on to the next step.
Besides your container and succulents you will just need some small gravel for drainage since this is not being set outside in a clay pot or planter, regular potting soil, landscape fabric (optional) and if you choose to decorate around the succulents you can purchase some small decorative stones, river rock or place something like Spanish moss around the plants.
Spread the small pea gravel about an inch deep into your container.
Cut to size a piece of landscape fabric to layer over the gravel and to keep the soil from falling through. If you don’t have this on hand, you can skip this step as it is optional. If you live near Home Depot or Lowe’s it is inexpensive enough to pick up a small sized roll.
Time for the potting soil! A plastic solo cup made it easy to scoop out enough soil from the big bag we already had to cover the landscape fabric. I filled the container about an inch deep.
Arrange your plants any way you want. Have fun with it and play around with the design. You may want to consider arranging the plants so that from any angle you look at the centerpiece there will be nice balance. In other words, be careful of just having a “front” to the centerpiece.
The metal container against the wood farm table gives our finished DIY succulent centerpiece that modern rustic decor that we love. I may move some of the plants around and add some small river rock as an added touch down the road. I also think the weight of the rock will help hold the plants down in the soil at the beginning.
Now, we need to keep these adorable plants thriving. Although many resources say anyone can grow succulents and they need very little care, let’s just go over a few basics of the amount of light and water they will need so you know you are giving them the best start.
1) Light -Make sure you place the centerpiece in a brightly lit area with lots of sunlight but not in full midday hot sun. They can burn.
2) Water – Summer- Water about once a week making sure soil is dry before you water again. Winter- Water is needed about every two weeks.
Keep in mind, if you see the bottom of the leaves start to shrivel and turn light brown, that is normal as with most plants. If the top leaves of the plant start to turn then there may be a deficiency or too much light or water.
Enjoy your new beautiful centerpiece and relish in the fact that you didn’t have to spend $300-$400 on it every time you walk by.