'S' is for Succulents...

So it's been awhile since I've posted anything, so I apologize.  I'm not a big writer to begin with, so this task is always the one that gets put off!


Now that the weather has  turned warmer, my true love of succulents is blooming.  I have found this wooden 'S' shelf wall decoration a few months back and a light bulb immediately went off in my creative mind.  I MUST plant succulents in that.  So once we had a few extra plants in the shop I decided to get to it.  Here is a quick DIY how-to on planting into a vertical hanging that was originally meant for something else.  I'm sure as always there are other, easier, and better ways to create something like this but this is what my brain came up with, so please enjoy!



Supplies Needed:

  • Wooden Shelf, Wooden Letter with Slats
  • Outdoor Wood Stain (Shop HERE)  OR Hemp Oil (Shop HERE) to protect wood from the elements
  • Chicken Wire or something similar
    • We used a metal square wire from Peavey Mart
  • Moss
  • Cactus Soil
    • Cactus soil is the best, as it is well draining and has the proper nutrients for succulents
  • Staple Gun, Staples

Supplies not shown but used afterward:

  • Chopstick
  • Wire Cutters



After we oiled and let the Hemp Oil cure, we filled each section with Cactus Soil.  We didn't pack down the dirt as succulents love airy soil.  We filled and leveled the dirt off at the top of each section.





We took our moss and covered all the dirt.  Covering with moss can fill in areas that aren't 100% covered with the succulents.  The moss will also help the roots of the succulents to have something a little more sturdy to 'grab' onto.  


Because succulent roots are so delicate they like to tangle into the lighter soil and moss to keep them secure in their new homes.  Making it easier for them to stay in place when creating vertical planters.


We used 'Reindeer Moss' because that is what we had on hand.  Reindeer moss is great for terrariums, as it comes in brighter fun colours, such as Rust, Fuschia, Coral, Teal, etc.  You can also use regular moss or sheet moss.  


>>> QUICK TIP <<<
We tore up our moss to make it easier to plant with.  We will explain this step a bit later on.








Once we laid out all the moss, we laid our wire mesh over top.  We started securing everything down by using our staple gun and stapling along the edge of our wooden letter.  


>>> QUICK TIP <<<
I stapled every 1"-2" on the perimeter as well as on the interior blocked pieces.


Once everything was secured by the staples, we cut off all the excess wire.  We found that if you cut from up top rather than like using regular scissor this step went by much quicker.




Also, make sure to be very careful with the cut edge of the wire!  It is VERY sharp and you can and probably will snag yourself, just like we did!




The next few steps kind of just run into each other and you keep repeating them...

We gather a large variety of styles, textures, and colours when we chose our succulents for this project.  


>>> QUICK TIP <<<
Always remember all succulents pretty much match one another, so there is really no wrong way of putting them together.  If you are a bit more picky, a great way of choosing it to look at the edges and the colour variations within the succulent and match with them.  If you don't care as much, just pick your favorites!  We promise they will always look great together!


To prepare each succulent we took them out of their little pot and crumbled all the dirt off them and their roots.  We also took off any wilted or bad look petals towards the lower base of each succulent.  



>>> QUICK TIP <<<
Always keep any leaves/petals that fall off, these can be used to propagate and start growing even more succulents.  Ask Us How HERE.


Once they were ready to go, we took our wire cutters and made a hole in the wire mesh/chicken wire.  The size of hole depended on the size of the root/base of each succulent and the size of wired mesh/chicken wire.  Some succulents could easily fit into the openings, others we cut a larger hole.  



Then we took our chopstick and burrowed out a hole in the moss and dirt to create the roots new home.  Then we just stuck our succulent in until the base of the leaves were level with our wire.  



We continued doing this until our project was complete.  The reason we tore up the moss into smaller pieces from beofre, was because it was easier to hollow out around than if it were just a flat sheet.  Some of the pieces were pushed down, but in the end it mainly covered and filled in where succuents weren't planted.


>>> QUICK TIP <<<
We started out with our larger succulents, with larger spaces in between each succulent.  Then we filled in with medium succulents then finished off with smaller/filler succulents.



Once you are finished with placing everything and were happy with the coverage, we suggest keeping everything laid flat for at least 2-3 weeks.  This will allow all the roots to grow and grab on to the dirt and moss.



As with any other succulent arrangement/planter/terrarium, the first 2-4 weeks will be a learning period for watering.  If they are living in a very sun-lit area start off watering every 2 weeks until you get a feel for how dry the soil gets.  If they are in a dim sun-lit area, watch to see if they start growing towards the light and stretching out.

We will post a picture of our hung up 'S' in the next week or so on our Instagram account.  Give us a follow HERE!


>>> QUICK TIP <<<
Succulents and cactus-like dessert-like conditions, meaning...  Like the dessert it is dry dry, then a downpour of rain, so you should try to mimic these conditions as much as you can.

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