Spruces and firs aren't the only Christmas trees this year! We're using succulents to showcase this season's spirit.

By BH&G Holiday Editors
Updated September 22, 2020
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Move over, evergreens! This year's hottest Christmas tree is made from an unexpected plant variety—succulents! And the best part is, with proper care, you can keep the succulent display alive just as long as a live tree. There are plenty of succulent Christmas trees you can buy, but if you have a green thumb, it's easy to create your own with a just a few materials.

Be sure to use a variety of hues of succulents to make your Christmas tree pop: Keep your eyes peeled for purplish hues in addition to the bright and more muted greens. The key to keeping the tree alive all season is to use a topiary frame, geotextile fabric, and soil. The gardening material will help hold the succulents in place, but wont' prevent the plants from taking in water (we recommend spritzing the display once or twice a week to keep the succulents fresh).

While you probably still want to put up a full-size decorated Christmas tree, this succulent tabletop Christmas tree can be used as a decor piece throughout the holiday season. Display it on a mantel or use it in place of your traditional Christmas centerpiece.

Succulent Christmas tree on a dining table

How to Make a Succulent Christmas Tree

Supplies Needed

  • Shallow bowl
  • Succulent soil
  • Cone topiary frame
  • Geotextile fabric
  • Spaghnum moss
  • Various sized succulents
  • Decorative moss

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these simple how-to instructions to assemble your succulent Christmas tree. You should be able to complete the project in a few hours.

Step 1: Purchase Succulents

The size of your succulent tree will depend on how many succulents you have, so before you get started, you'll want to lay out all the succulents you have. Of course you can use plants you already have, but if you need to fill in we recommend ordering a box of bulk succulents so you can pick and choose which ones you like. You'll likely need more succulents than you think (the tree looks best when the succulents overlap), so order a lot.

Editor's Tip: Individual succulents can get pricey if you buy them at a garden store, but you can usually find a good deal when you buy them in bulk, like this 24-pack of mini succulents ($40, Etsy).

Step 2: Form the Base

Once you have all the succulents, plan out the size of your tree. Lay out all the succulents so that they overlap a bit; use that as a size measurement for how much surface area you can cover, and make your topiary frame to match. Start with a shallow bowl (it makes a handy base) and fill it with succulent potting soil ($5, Lowe's).

Then prepare a wire cone topiary frame (ours is about 18 inches tall) by lining it with geotextile garden fabric ($2 per foot, Lowe's). Trim any fabric hanging below the frame, then fill the lined topiary frame with dampened spaghnum moss. Place the lined and filled topiary frame in the center of the bowl.

Step 3: Attach the Succulents

When your frame is ready, begin placing succulents into the frame. Make small cuts in the garden fabric and carefully insert each succulent stem into the opening, so that the base of the succulent sits against the fabric. Make the cuts as small as you can, so that the fabric holds the succulents in place. Start by placing the largest succulents around the bottom of the cone frame, and fill in any gaps with smaller succulents. Work your way toward the top, placing the smallest succulents at the point of the cone. Add decorative moss to fill in around the succulents and top it off with a decorative star! When the display is finished, spritz it with a water bottle to keep the succulents hydrated. How you care for the succulents will depend on the varieties used, so you may need to do some research to find out how much and how often to water it.

Comments (1)

December 9, 2018
I love the look of this; very unique, but realistically, I'm afraid it would be too costly for me to make. There has to be $200 worth of succulents in that display.