How to Make a Succulent Pumpkin Centerpiece

  • 01 of 16

    Make a DIY Succulent-Topped Pumpkin

    succulent pumpkin centerpieces
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    A pumpkin topped with succulents makes a beautiful, one-of-a-kind centerpiece featuring rich colors and textures.

    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!

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  • 02 of 16

    What You'll Need

    pumpkin planter supplies
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.

    • 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...MORE (optional) to press succulents onto moss and pumpkin
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  • 03 of 16

    Allow Succulent Stems to Dry Out

    calloused succulent stems
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    After clipping succulents, let the stems dry out or callus over. Why? Since they will be planted in medium (including moss), they can absorb moisture too quickly if they haven't formed a callus, which could cause them to rot and eventually die.

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  • 04 of 16

    Apply Glue to Pumpkin

    Apply glue to the top of the pumpkin.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.

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  • 05 of 16

    Apply Moss

    Applying moss to the top of the pumpkin.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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. 

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  • 06 of 16

    Apply Glue to Succulent

    Applying glue to succulent.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Using the glue gun, dab the stem of a succulent, being careful not to touch your fingers. Press the succulent onto the moss and hold it for several seconds, allowing the glue to set. 

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  • 07 of 16

    Attach Larger Items

    glue decorations onto pumpkin
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.

     

     

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  • 08 of 16

    Larger Succulents

    Larger succulents go in the center of the pumpkin
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.

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    Add Succulents

    Tuck succulents into centerpiece arrangement.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Continue to add succulents from the center to the outer edges of the pumpkin, hot-gluing stems to the moss. 

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  • 10 of 16

    Fill in Spaces

    attaching succulent to pumpkin
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Make sure you have plenty of succulent clippings to fill in spaces as the arrangement takes shape. You can always replant any extras.

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  • 11 of 16

    Coordinate Colors

    Adding orange succulents to pumpkin.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    While some designers like a contrast in colors between the pumpkin and succulents, consider matching greens with greens, oranges with oranges, etc. It helps tie together the arrangement.

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  • 12 of 16

    Match Textures

    Succulents match the texture of the pumpkin.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.

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  • 13 of 16

    Succulent Spillers

    Succulents cascade down side of pumpkin.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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:

    • Sedum Morganianum: burro's tail
    • Sedum tetractinum 'Coral Reef': Chinese sedum

    • Senecio radicans: string of bananas, banana vine, necklace plant, or fishook
    • Senecio rowleyanus: string of pearls or string of beads

    • Sedum mexicanum 'Lemon Ball': lemon...MORE 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

    Tucking a succulent into the pumpkin centerpiece.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Tuck smaller succulents on the outer edges of the pumpkin top, securing with glue and pressing to adhere.

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    Spray

    Spray succulent centerpiece every few days.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.

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  • 16 of 16

    Succulent Pumpkins: Ready for Display

    A trio of succulent pumpkin centerpieces.
    Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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.