With Valentine’s Day coming up, a boutonniere is a great way to spruce up your date night outfit with a classic look. Given the amount of professionalism displayed in a traditional floral arrangement, it can feel tempting to buy a pre-assembled boutonniere, but you don’t have to be a florist to make one yourself. Plus, using succulent cuttings instead adds a unique, eye-catching twist to any traditional style. You can even grow the succulent cuttings in your home once you’re finished wearing the boutonniere. Here’s everything you need to know about making your own succulent boutonniere.
What’s a Succulent Boutonniere?
Traditionally arranged with flowers, boutonniere is the french word for “buttonhole.” It’s normally pinned to tuxedos or suits for formal occasions. Even so, they can be worn for other reasons outside of weddings, proms, or galas. They can even be made for decoration, especially if you enjoy displaying plants around your home.
As the name suggests, what separates a succulent boutonniere from a traditional floral decoration is the type of plant used for the fashion accessory. Succulent boutonnieres are made from succulent cuttings and decorative materials. Fastened with a pin, it's secured to a lapel or a lapel buttonhole on a tuxedo.
Why Do I Need It?
Succulent boutonnieres are great for formal occasions. If you’re attending a wedding, participating in a formal dance, or going to a fancy restaurant, it can be nice to add a little extra style to your outfit. Since many people go with the traditional floral arrangement, a succulent boutonniere is a perfect way to display your love of plants.
With that said, there’s no rule telling you not to wear one whenever you want. If you’d like, a succulent boutonniere can become a regular part of your style. If you enjoy creating your own plant displays, you can use your boutonniere as a decoration. They’re simply fun, unique, and creative!
How Long Does it Last?
Unlike floral arrangements, succulent plants can last for several weeks. Even though they can last a long time without soil or water, it’s best to give them basic needs as soon as you’re finished with the boutonniere arrangement. If you’d really like to propagate your succulent plant, cut off the stem and let it callous for 1-2 days before placing it in a new pot.
It’s very easy to make your own succulent boutonnieres. Make sure to purchase cuttings ahead of time, preferably patterns or color schemes that match your outfit. To get started with your DIY succulent boutonniere, you’ll need the following materials:
- Succulent Cuttings: we recommend trailing succulents like String of Pearls, or succulents with well-defined stems like echeveria or aeonium. You can use air plants as well!
- Wire cutters
- Floral tape
- Boutonniere pin
- Before anything, double check to make sure there aren’t roots at the ends of your succulent cuttings. If you notice any, simply cut them off scissors. Once that’s completed, begin the process of creating your succulent’s “stem.”
- Unlike flowers, most succulent plants don’t have long enough stems to allow for a pin. To make up for this, insert a wire at the bottom of the succulent and push it in until it’s about halfway through the plant. Once either end of the wire is through at an equal length, bring both ends together.
- Once you’ve finished wiring your succulent, take some floral tape and begin wrapping it around the base of the stem. Continue to do this until you’ve wrapped the tape around the entire wire. Cut off any excess tape once the stem has been completely wrapped. Repeat this process until all individual succulents have been wired and wrapped.
- Once you’re done wrapping all your succulents, start creating your boutonniere. To do this, simply use floral tape to wrap two succulents together. Repeat this process with as many succulents as you want.
- After you’ve finished the majority of your boutonniere, finish it off by adding decorative materials like ribbons. Before adding the pin, cut off any excess stems and tape. Finally, finish off your new boutonniere with a pin. Once everything has been attached, it’s ready to be worn!
Don’t waste your succulents after wearing them. Instead, reuse them by placing them around your living space and using them as houseplants! Thankfully, it’s very easy to take care of succulent plants and even easier to propagate them. Just remember that certain species of succulents are more high-maintenance than others. Before planting new succulents, always do your research to find out if they require specific needs. To care for your plants after they’ve been used for a boutonniere arrangement, follow these general steps:
- Use pruning shears to cut off the succulent’s stem and let it sit for at least 1-2 days until it callouses. Once the area of the cut no longer looks “wet,” your succulent can be replanted.
- Prepare a pot with well draining soil and make a small hole in the center. Plant your succulent in the hole and fill it in with the rest of the soil. Place it in a sunny area and leave it alone for 2-3 weeks without watering.
- Since most succulent plants survive a long time without water, you don’t need to hydrate it until roots start to develop. To check for new roots, revisit your plants after 2-3 weeks and give them a gentle tug. If there’s some resistance, it’s a sign to start watering.
- Water your plants and leave them alone until the top most soil has completely dried. This is to prevent root rot and overwatering.
- Repeat this watering process, moving the plants a little closer to direct sunlight over time.
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