I got the idea to make pumpkin succulent planters after scrolling Pinterest late night a couple of weeks ago. I saw that someone had made a faux succulent planter using a craft pumpkin, which got me thinking that I could potentially make a real succulent planter with a little research.
Today I’m giving you a step by step tutorial of how to make one of these pretty little succulent planters! You don’t have to spend hours researching how to do this, or watching a ton of youtube videos, because I already did that for you lol!
I made a smaller arrangement for myself and a larger arrangement for my mom! Not gonna lie – my mom’s came out better! I hope the two different sizes give you an idea of the variety you can have with these arrangements!
Tips when buying materials:
I suggest buying your craft pumpkin first, then the terra cotta pot, and then lastly the succulents. The size of the pumpkin will determine the size of the pot you can fit inside it, which then determines the number of succulents you can work with.
Tips specifically to buy succulents:
When it came time to buy my succulents, I definitely looked like a crazy person, as I was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted for over an hour. My Home Depot had A TON of options to choose from, and I kept thinking I had it just the way I wanted it, until I stumbled upon a new succulent lol.
Even though I was a bit excessive, I really enjoyed this process. Here are a few tips for you before you go shopping for succulents:
- Choose one main focal succulent. This succulent should be a bit larger than the rest so it stands out and is the anchor for your arrangement.
- Work in odds, meaning get 1 large succulent, 1 or 3 medium, and 1 or 3 small succulents. Odd numbers always look better in arrangements!
- Think about your color palate – are you trying to go for a vibrant arrangement, muted, monochromatic? I wanted a muted palate that still had a range of pale green, duck egg blue, and pastel purple.
- Style your arrangement in the store and take pictures. Okay I looked a bit crazy here, but it REALLY helped me visualize the arrangement. I practice arranging the succulents and putting them in the pots to help me visualize. Taking the pictures also really helped me see it from different angles.
- Succulents *note the number of succulents will vary based upon your pot size:
- 1 large focal succulent
- 3 medium succulents
- 3 small succulents
- White craft pumpkin
- Terra cotta pot (make sure it fits the size pumpkin you are working with)
- X-acto knife
- Potting soil
- Bucket or pot to mix soil in
- Optional: paper towel
- Optional: gardening gloves
- Spanish moss
- Hot glue gun & sticks
Step 1 – cut a hole in your pumpkin
Turn the terra cotta pot upside down and trace the rim on the pumpkin using a sharpie. You will use this as a guide to cut out a hole for your pot.
Next, use the X-acto knife to carefully cut out a hole for your pot using the circle you just traced. Be careful not to cut yourself. I went pretty slow during this process, as the pumpkin foam was decently thick.
Once you have cut out this hole, see if the terra cotta pot fits inside this hole. Chances are, It’s probably a tight fit. I went back after this step and made my holes a bit bigger in diameter (about a half inch or so). I just eyeballed this, but if you are a perfectionist you can certainly measure. You do not want to make the hole too big, as this gap will show after you place the succulents. Refer to my pictures to see how tight of a fit I made mine.
Once your pot fits nicely inside the pumpkin, you’re set to go to the next step!
Step 2 – plant the succulents
Remove the terra cotta from the pumpkin and set the pumpkin aside. Before planting your succulents, arrange them how you would like to plant them in the pot (I did this on my table). Refer to the pictures you took at the store to choose your succulents!
In a bucket or separate pot, make a mix of potting soil and perlite. Perlite can provide succulents with more drainage, which is what they prefer. I eyeballed a mix that was about one third perlite and two thirds potting soil. My potting soil was damp, so if yours is dry I would add a small amount (remember succulents don’t require a lot of water, but will need just a tad to get started after being potted).
If you would like to prevent soil from falling out of the bottom of the pot, fold a paper towel and place it in the bottom of the terra cotta pot. Fill the pot with the soil mixture, until it reaches about 1 inch from the top. Carefully plant your succulents into the pot. I use gardening gloves to help keep my manicure from getting damaged (lol priorities). Start with the largest succulent, and then work your way around clockwise. Fill in any holes with the soil mix.
Step 3 – Add the Spanish moss
Take small amounts of the Spanish moss and carefully tuck it into the spaces between the succulents, covering the potting soil. Also tuck the moss on the edges of the arrangement so the terra cotta pot is hidden and the gap between the pot and pumpkin is hidden. If you made a really tight fit between the terra cotta pot and pumpkin, you may not have many gaps to fill around the pot. My smaller arrangement ended up working out like this.
If you have a larger gap to hide between the pot and pumpkin, you will likely need to use a hot glue gun to help hide the edges of the pot and the space. Carefully hot glue small amounts of the moss on the edges of the pot, until all of the terra cotta is hidden. If needed, you can also hot glue Spanish moss to the edge of the pumpkin to cover the gap between the pumpkin and pot. This is a pretty easy fix, it just may take you some time.
That’s it! I love these pumpkin succulent arrangements because they can be used every year! At the end of the fall season, I simply can take the pots out, and store my pumpkins for next year. I’m still trying to think about how I can keep incorporate these succulents for my Christmas décor. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!