When it comes to bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages, a surprising new plant is making an appearance amongst the roses and baby’s breath. Succulents have become a popular addition to weddings and romantic bouquet gifts. Not only do these plants provide a unique look, they can also be removed from the original floral arrangement and planted as a way to remember your special day. This article will show you how to successfully transfer your succulents from your wedding centerpiece or Valentine’s Day bouquet to a beautiful floral arrangement in a planter.
How to Remove the Succulents from the Bouquet
Step #1 Remove the Ribbon and Cut the Tape
In order to plant your succulents, you first must remove them from the bouquet. To access the stems of your bouquet first remove the ribbon wrapped around the bottom of the bouquet. You can do this by cutting through the ribbon with a pair of scissors or by simply untying the ribbon in order to save it for a later project. Next, cut through the floral tape to access all of the stems and wires.
Step #2 Find the Succulents
After you have removed the floral tape, sort through the bouquet and set aside any of the flowers that are not succulents. If desired, you can preserve these flowers through a variety of methods including, pressing or drying. Check out this article How to Preserve Flowers by HGTV to learn how.
Step #3 Remove the Wires
In order to create the bouquet, a piece of floral wire is typically stuck into the bottom of a succulent. Then, it is wrapped in floral tape to hide the wire when the succulents are arranged with the other flowers. Before you can plant the succulent, you must first peel back the floral tape. Then, clip the wires near the base of a succulent using a pair of wire cutters. Gently remove the wires from the succulent so you are left with only succulent.
Step #4 Remove Dead Leaves
Before you plant your succulent, examine the cutting and remove any dead leaves from the bottom of the plant. Removing these leaves will not hurt the plant. In fact, it will prevent rot from setting in after you’ve planted the succulent.
Step #5 Allow the Succulents to Dry
Now that you have successfully removed the succulent from the bouquet, it is recommended that you allow the succulent to dry out for a few days before planting. Place your succulent cuttings in a warm, dry place away from direct sunlight. This gives time for any open wounds left by cutting the succulent or the floral wires to heal.
How to Plant and Care for the Succulents
Step #1 Choose the Right Container
It is important to choose a planter that is the right size and made from the right material. If a container is too big, the roots will spread too quickly for the plant to grow, but if the planter is too small there won’t be enough space for the plant’s roots. Look for a pot with a diameter that is 5 to 10 percent larger than the size of the plant. Ideally, choose a ceramic or terracotta planter with drainage holes. Succulents do not require a lot of water so it is important to keep their soil well drained. The ceramic material also allows the planter to breathe.
Step #2 Choose the Right Soil
Once you’ve chosen your planter, it is time to fill it with soil. Because succulents are native to dry, desert areas they do not require a lot of water. These plants will thrive with a lightweight, well-draining soil composed of verlite, vermiculite, and sand. Look for soil mixes that are specially designed for succulents or cacti.
Step #3 Plant the Succulent
Fill your container nearly to the top with your chosen soil. It’s recommended that you leave a bit of extra space at the top to ensure that the succulent has room for its roots. Gently nestle the cutting into the soil until the stem is submerged.
Step #4 Add a Top Layer
Once you’ve planted the succulent, add a top layer of gravel, pebbles or even crushed seashells. Not only will this add a unique, stylish element to your succulent, it will also help keep the soil properly drained as you water.
Step #5 Water Sparingly
One of the biggest mistakes that beginner gardeners make is overwatering their succulents. Unlike other plants that require constant watering, succulents only need a small amount of water to survive. After you’ve planted your succulent, wait two days before watering for the first time. Water enough to dampen the soil, but there should be no standing water. Only water them when the soil is completely dry. During the winter, succulents go dormant and only need to be watered once or twice for the entire season.
For more tips on how to properly water your other houseplants, check out our article, How to Water Potted Plants for Happier, Healthier Greenery.
Bouquets are a lovely way to celebrate special events like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day. You can enjoy the beauty and memories of your special day for much longer by taking a small piece from a bouquet and turning it into an elegant succulent container garden. Plus, succulents are low-maintenance, forgiving houseplants that are perfect for beginner and expert gardeners alike.
For additional tips on how to tend all the plants in your home or garden, check out our other Outdoor Living blogs.