The holiday season is just around the corner, and with that comes decorating! As one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, you’ll find Christmas decorations, ornaments, and lights of all sorts in nearly every home store. Instead of buying ornaments this year, give your holiday tree a unique twist with beautiful homemade Christmas ornaments made from live succulents!
Live succulent Christmas tree ornaments don’t actively kill the plant-- you can care for and even repot the ornament after the holiday season. Additionally, DIY succulent ornaments make excellent holiday gifts for friends and family, and they don’t even have to be used for Christmas specifically. You can decorate your ornaments however you like and hang them wherever you want. Recreate this project with (lidless) mason jars to get the same effect but without the risk of your ornament rolling around. To make your ornaments, follow these steps:
What You’ll Need
Before getting started, you’ll need several materials for the ornament itself:
- A glass or plastic hanging orb/open ornament- check out our hanging air planters!
- TIP: Make sure your ornament base is light enough to hang without any chance of falling or harming your tree.
- Your succulent’s potting mixture
- Small stones for drainage
- Moss bedding, like green or brown reindeer moss or Spanish moss
- A miniature, compact, succulent
- TIP: Compact succulents like Echeveria, Sedum, or Haworthia work best. You can also use air plants.
- Twine, wire, or string to hang the ornament
- Ornament hooks (optional)
- Tiny decorations for your succulent (optional)
For crafting your ornament, you’ll also need some scissors, a water dropper to water your succulents, and repotting tools.
Choosing Your Succulents
When choosing your succulent for the ornament, make sure the plant is small enough to fit inside the orb without the need for trimming. Compact succulents like Echeveria, Sedum, or Haworthia work best since they come in all shapes and sizes, including extra tiny two-inch florets. These succulents are also hardy and will be more likely to survive any accidental falls when handling the ornaments.
Although they aren’t succulents, air plants are perfect for homemade ornaments since they don’t need a pot to make a good home. You can place your air plants directly into the ornament and remove them for easy watering.
How to Make the Ornaments
There are many ways to make live succulent Christmas ornaments, but all of them have about the same steps. To ensure the safety and health of your succulents, here are some of the best tips for making a DIY succulent Christmas ornament.
1. Clean Your Ornament
Before getting started, be sure to clean the inside of your ornament with soap and warm water to kill any potential germs or bacteria that may harm your plant. Rinse the soap off thoroughly, and let your ornament air dry before planting your ornament.
2. Place Your Potting
Treat your ornament like a miniature version of your succulent pot. Begin with a thin layer of gravel, then layer over your succulent potting mix. If you’re working with different kinds of succulents that require different potting mixes, label which ornaments correspond with which plant so you don’t mix them up! If you’re working with air plants, you can skip this step if you wish.
3. Overlay With Moss
Your next step is to place a layer of moss over your potting soil. When you place your moss, shape it into a bit of nest for your succulent to keep the plant nice and cozy! Moss helps retain moisture, as well as make your ornament a little prettier.
4. Placing Your Succulent
Water your succulents the night before to ensure the best results. To place your succulent, remove it from its pot and place it gently inside your moss nest, allowing the roots free access to the soil. If you have a bigger ornament, plant the succulent directly into the soil before adding your moss as you would when repotting.
Some gardeners like to loosely wrap their succulent’s roots in a moist ball of moss, then tie it with gardening wire. Topiary artists often use this technique in floral sculptures to keep plants watered for longer periods.
5. Add Embellishments
If you’ve got any fun decorations you’d like to add to your ornament, now’s the time to do so!
When you hang your ornaments, make sure your succulent is getting plenty of its required sunlight! Place your tree near a window to ensure proper lighting for your succulents throughout the season. To water, keep up your watering schedule as you would any other time of year. For air plants, remove the plant to water them however you wish. For your traditional succulents, water them using a succulent water bottle, a few drops at a time to ensure you don’t have any excess water in the ornament.
You can repot your succulent as soon as the season’s over or when you choose to take down your Christmas tree. Unless you’re working with air plants, succulent ornaments are not a healthy substitute for a proper pot! Make sure you repot your succulent as soon as possible, and if you’re giving an ornament to a friend or family member, provide them with a pot and some potting tools to help with the transition as well.
Happy holidays, and happy gardening!
See more about DIY Easy Christmas Succulent Centerpiece & Snowman
For Types of Succulents Careguide. Read more information here.
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