How to Make a Succulent Christmas Tree

Succulent Plants

Albina Gavrilovic / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 tree
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $200

If you're looking for something unique and a little unexpected to add to your holiday decor this year, a Christmas tree made from succulents could be just the thing! Trade your traditional evergreens for the beautiful pastel hues and striking shapes of succulent plants to make a festive tree that can serve as a decorative centerpiece on your holiday table or in place of your Christmas tree (artificial or otherwise) if you're tight on space.

This stunning twist on a classic Christmas tree is super easy to make, it only requires a handful of supplies, and—thanks to the succulents' low maintenance—you'll be able to enjoy it all holiday season long. And as an added bonus: no pine needle mess to clean up! And because this is the gift that keeps on giving, when the holiday season is over, you can repot all the succulents with fresh soil and enjoy them for months to come.

Tip

Instead of purchasing your succulents individually, consider buying them in bulk since you will need quite a lot of them for this project. Not only is it cost-efficient, but most bulk boxes come with several different types of succulents, providing you with a variety of shapes and hues of the plant. If in doubt about the quantity, grab a couple more than you think you'll need, because it never hurts to have extra supplies when it comes to craft projects!

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors

Materials

  • Succulents of various shades and sizes
  • Succulent potting soil
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Large bowl or bucket for soaking moss
  • Wire tree topiary form
  • Geotextile fabric
  • Shallow vessel such as a pot or bowl
  • A small tree topper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Presoak the Moss

    Begin by presoaking the sphagnum moss in a large bowl or bucket for 15 minutes. While it is presoaking, gather all your other supplies and fill the vessel you’ll be using with succulent potting soil. You want the vessel's diameter to be a little bit larger than the base of the wire tree form, so that you have enough space for the bottom layer of succulents. Once the 15-minute presoak is up, gently squeeze any excess water out of the moss and set it aside.

  2. Prepare the Tree Form

    Next, prepare your tree form. Do this by cutting a piece of the geotextile fabric so that it's large enough to wrap around the inside of the wire tree form, leaving no part uncovered. If there is any extra fabric hanging off the bottom, either tuck it inside or trim it using a pair of scissors.

    Take the presoaked moss and stuff it inside the lined form, making sure that every portion of it is filled and you don't leave the top of the coned form empty. Set your prepared tree form in the vessel filled with potting soil and gently press it in, then fill any gaps around the form with more sphagnum moss.

  3. Start Adding Succulents

    Now the real fun can begin! Remove the succulents from their containers and gently shake off any excess soil. Then, starting at the bottom with the largest succulents, cut a very small slit into the geotextile fabric and insert a succulent, ensuring that its base is right up against the fabric. If the slit is a little too large and the succulent doesn't feel well secured, there's no need to worry: just use a little bit of moss to fill the hole and secure it in place.

  4. Give the Tree Dimension

    Continue this process, working your way up the wire tree form until none of the fabric or wire shows and every inch is covered with succulents. If you see a little empty spot, simply tuck in some moss. To give your tree a little extra dimension and a more interesting look, remember to vary the shapes and hues of the succulents. A good way to ensure that you're happy with your festive little creation is to take a step back and look at it from all angles every now and then to check that it looks balanced and nice and full.

  5. Add a Topper

    Lastly, if you want to add a little something extra, top your tree with a decorative tree topper, such as a star, and your succulent masterpiece is done!