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Make a DIY Succulent-Topped Pumpkin
Unlike a scooped-out pumpkin planter (which is great for plants other than succulents) this type of autumn centerpiece has the potential to last several months. The succulents should sprout roots and later can be potted into containers or in the garden.
Follow our easy-to-understand instructions with photos for a gorgeous pumpkin masterpiece!Continue to 2 of 16 below.
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What You'll Need
Gather necessary supplies and tools before starting your pumpkin centerpiece project. The following list includes the basics; you may want to add extras, like small fall or Halloween decorations.
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- Pumpkin: Any shape will do, but flat-topped varieties like fairytale or Cinderellas are ideal for this project
- Glue: Hot glue gun, craft glue, or floral glue
- Sphagnum moss
- Scissors or gardening snips
- Succulents or succulent clippings in assorted shapes, sizes, and colors
- Spray bottle of water/mister
- Chopsticks (optional) to press succulents onto moss and pumpkin
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Allow Succulent Stems to Dry Out
After clipping succulents, let stems dry out or callous over. Why? Since they will be planted in medium (including moss), they can absorb moisture too quickly if they haven't formed a callous, which could cause them to rot and eventually die.Continue to 4 of 16 below.
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Apply Glue to Pumpkin
Wait for the glue gun to heat up, then apply glue in a random pattern to the top of the pumpkin. If using regular craft glue, apply in the same manner but give it more time to dry.Continue to 5 of 16 below.
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Stretch out moss and apply it to the top of the pumpkin, covering the surface to create a bed upon which the succulents can be attached. Add more for bare spots. Make sure that the glue is still hot but that you don't burn your fingers as you press down the moss so that it will affix to the pumpkin.Continue to 6 of 16 below.
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Apply Glue to Succulent
Using the glue gun, dab the stem of a succulent, being careful not to let your fingers to touch the hot glue. Press the succulent onto the moss and hold it for several seconds, allowing the glue to set.Continue to 7 of 16 below.
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Attach Larger Items
An easy way to approach your pumpkin design: larger and taller items look best clustered in the center. It's also practical: the pumpkin can hold the weight of heavier or larger succulents in the middle. Arrange items and move them around until you get just the right look.Continue to 8 of 16 below.
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Larger and heavier succulents should be attached to the center of the pumpkin, where the stem was or still is. Picture a floral centerpiece: taller flowers are in the center, with smaller, lighter ones on the edges or sides.Continue to 9 of 16 below.
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Continue to add succulents from the center to the outer edges of the pumpkin, hot-gluing stems to the moss.Continue to 10 of 16 below.
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Fill in Spaces
Make sure you have plenty of succulent clippings to fill in spaces as the arrangement takes shape. You can always replant any extras back into containers or in the garden. The arrangement looks best with a fuller, denser placement rather than a sparse design.Continue to 11 of 16 below.
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While some designers like the contrast in colors between the pumpkin and succulents, consider going monochromatic: matching greens with greens, oranges with oranges, etc. It helps tie together the arrangement and allows you to focus on the various textures of the succulents and pumpkins.Continue to 12 of 16 below.
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Don't ignore those pimply- and warty-looking pumpkins when looking for the perfect centerpiece specimen. The textures and colors of these pumpkins echo those of succulents and vice versa. This greyish-green succulent matches the bumpy texture of this pimpled pumpkin.Continue to 13 of 16 below.
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If you have any trailing or cascading succulents—referred to in container gardening as spillers—attach them securely to the moss, underneath other succulents, and allow to fall down the sides of the pumpkin.
Great spillers to try include:
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- Sedum Morganianum: burro's tail
Sedum tetractinum 'Coral Reef': Chinese sedum
- Senecio radicans: a string of bananas, banana vine, necklace plant, or fishhook
Senecio rowleyanus: a string of pearls or string of beads
Sedum mexicanum 'Lemon Ball': lemon ball stonecrop
Kalanchoe pumila: flower dust plant
Kalanchoe laciniata: Christmas tree plant, cathedral bells, lace-leaf kalanchoe
Crassula sarmentosa 'Variegata'
Sedum dasyphyllum 'Major': Corsican stonecrop
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis: Mezoo Doreanthus
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Tuck smaller succulents on the outer edges of the pumpkin top, securing with glue and pressing to adhere.Continue to 15 of 16 below.
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Depending on your climate and where you display the succulent pumpkin (indoors or out), it should be sprayed with a water mister every few days or so, aiming at the moss to keep it moist but not soaked.Continue to 16 of 16 below.
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Succulent Pumpkins: Ready for Display
Three different sizes, colors, and types of pumpkins with succulents are ready to grace a fall table, buffet, porch, or wherever you want to show them off! If it is misted, and not exposed to intense heat or cold, your centerpiece has the potential to last for a few months.