If you have a serious succulent addiction, this is the project for you. A modern take on the classic hanging basket, this hanging succulent ball is a show-stopper. Be warned, it does take a lot of succulents to fill a large orb like the one we used here. We made it more economical by picking up succulents at the end of the summer season when stores had them marked down and we chose some less expensive varieties like hens and chicks. We also filled our orb a lot so it would look great right away for photos, but when you're building yours, you'll want to leave more space for the succulent cuttings to grow and fill in over time. Add enough succulents to look complete without packing every inch.
Prep your succulents at least a day before you start this project—the succulent cuttings will need to develop scabs where the stem is cut. To prepare, simply remove succulent plants from their pots and wipe away any excess dirt. Clip succulents, leaving a stem to insert into the form. You can also order succulent cuttings online. Check Etsy or other online sellers to find all types of exotic succulent cuttings you may never find near you.
Fill each hanging basket partially with soil. Place one large floral block in each basket and finish filling the baskets with soil. Place a piece of cardboard on top of one of the baskets; firmly hold the cardboard in place and flip it on top of the other basket to create an orb. Make sure the hanging basket edges are lined up and slowly start pulling the cardboard out. Before completely removing cardboard, secure one side with a zip tie. Continue removing the cardboard, adding ties as needed.
Soak your sphagnum moss sheets in water and squeeze out the excess. Apply the wet moss to to the ball form, securing the sheets in place by wrapping with floral wire. Keep adding pieces of moss until the entire orb is covered, securing in place with floral wire or pins.
To add succulents, use a screwdriver or awl to poke holes in the moss and down into the foam. Be sure to leave room between plants for growth. Use floral pins to secure if necessary.
The roots of your succulent plants will take about six months to fully grow and latch on to the material inside your ball frame. In the meantime, leave your hanging succulent ball sitting on top of a container like a plant pot or can—you won't want to hang it upright until the plants are firmly rooted.
Editor's Tip: If you want to keep your succulent ball outdoors all year round, choose succulent plants that are cold hardy. Sedums and hens and chicks are types of cold-hardy succulents that will work great in this project.
Once your succulent ball is officially ready to be hung, you'll attach the chain to the sides of the ball. Once the ball is suspended, you can add a few more plant cuttings to the empty parts of the orb if you like.
Editor's Tip: To water your hanging succulent plants, submerge it in water and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Be sure to let your succulent orb dry completely between waterings.
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