How to Make a Hanging Succulent Ball

Hang this modern twist on a hanging basket from your porch or the side of a garden shed for a plant display that wows.

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 26 weeks, 1 day
  • Skill Level: Beginner

If you have a serious succulent addiction, this project is for you. A modern take on the classic hanging basket, this hanging succulent ball is a showstopper. Be warned; it takes 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 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, remove the succulent plants from their pots and wipe away any excess soil. Clip the 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 unique succulent cuttings you may never find near you.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Cardboard
  • 1 Screwdriver or awl

Materials

  • 2 Identical metal hanging baskets with coco liner
  • 1 Succulent/cactus soil
  • 2 Florist foam blocks
  • 1 Zip ties
  • 1 Sphagnum moss
  • 1 Floral wire
  • 1 Succulent cuttings
  • 1 Floral pins
  • 1 Chain for hanging

Instructions

  1. Make the Ball Form

    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 the cardboard, secure one side with a zip tie. Continue removing the cardboard, adding ties as needed.

  2. Add Moss to the Ball

    Soak your sphagnum moss sheets in water and squeeze out the excess. Apply the wet moss to the ball form, securing the sheets in place by wrapping them with floral wire. Keep adding pieces of moss until the entire orb is covered, securing it in place with floral wire or pins.

  3. Insert Succulent Cuttings

    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 the 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.

  4. Add Chain and Hang

    hanging succulent ball on front porch

    When the succulent ball is officially ready to be hung, attach the chain to the sides of the ball. After the ball is suspended, 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 the ball 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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