Succulents are all the rage and let’s face it – they’re pretty cool! Not only do they come in unusual shapes, sizes and colors, you don’t have to do much for them to thrive. They can even survive harsh winters and essentially go into hibernation mode. A couple years back I found a book with several different designs you can make with succulents – but the one that stuck out – a hanging succulent ball! A friend found an article recently and we decided to tackle making our own. With the exception of the succulents, you can get all of the supplies you need on Amazon a lot cheaper than you find them in local stores!
What you need:
- 2 14 inch growers hanging baskets
- 2 Wet foam bricks (1 for each side)
- 100 pack of floral pins
- 8 qt succulent potting soil (other soil should work too, they’re really not that picky!)
- 18 gauge wire
- wire snips
- a Pen or Pencil (sharpened)
- Succulents of your choice! Check your local farmer’s market – we paid under $2 for each of ours.
Now it’s onto setting up your succulent ball! First remove the chains that came with your baskets and set aside. The ones that come with the basket may not hold up, so you may need stronger chain later, that’s why mine is currently a sitting display!
Place one of your foam bricks in each of the empty baskets. You will notice there is space all the foam bricks – be aware of that for the next part.
Next, add in your soil to each side of your basket, be sure to fill both cavities with soil until they just about reach the top. Shake it a little to make sure soil gets under your foam brick as well.
The next part is a bit tricky, and may require some help. Place a large piece of cardboard on top of one of your halves, and flip it on top of your other half. Be sure the two halves are lined up and carefully pull the cardboard piece out so that you don’t lose soil all over. We found that it was easier to have one person hold the two halves and have another pull the cardboard piece out.
Once both of your baskets are on top of each other, cut about 2 feet of wire and wrap it around the two outer rims of the basket. Pull tightly as you go around and create a nice pattern. As you go around you will notice you may have to adjust the basket liner a bit to make it all fit, but everything will line up in the end.
There! The hardest part is done! Now you should have a ball shaped basket with soil inside. It’s time to get planting your succulents in it!
The next part – well, it can be a great way to get out some aggression! It will take a little force to get through the basket liner – so either have something with a point or a pen you don’t mind messing up some. Basically, jab the basket and then spin the pen or pencil around to expand the opening. You may have to adjust this for each one as you go – and some may require you to reach in and expand more by hand.
Take your succulent of choice and insert it in the hole you created! Be sure its roots reach the soil. And secure it the best you can with a floral pin! Repeat and create whatever pattern you want until your ball is done. Don’t forget the top and bottom (if you’re hanging it).
To water – soak with a hose, or if it’s on a chain dip in a bucket filled with water. For hanging succulent balls, allow to soak for 30 minutes and rehang once a week. They suggest bringing it inside in the winter if you have harsh winters, but really you can just place it in the garage or shed – the succulents will hibernate until spring!
Yes, the ball isn’t really a ball yet, or full – and over the next year (yes, year) it will fill in. Succulents are great for spreading and taking up space if you take care of them properly. Remember I said it takes some patience? If you notice that you lost some pieces as you went – don’t worry! Put them in a tote or pot with some soil and lay them down, in about a week they will grow their own roots and you can add them to the ball as their own plant.
How cool is that? Succulents are a bit weird in the plant world – but it’s an amazing weird! Have fun making your own – and for a fraction of the cost of even a fake one :).
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