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How to Make a Succulent Pumpkin Centerpiece

How to Make a Succulent Pumpkin Centerpiece

They really can’t get any cuter

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When the weather cools down and you begin spending more time inside, you might feel the urge to get a little creative. And let’s be honest, what’s more fun than curling up in fuzzy socks and a cozy sweater, drinking your favorite coffee and working on some arts and crafts? If you’re looking for a new way to decorate your coffee table, kitchen table or window sills, succulent pumpkin centerpieces might just be what you need this fall.

What is a succulent pumpkin centerpiece?

What is a succulent pumpkin centerpiece?

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Just as it sounds, a succulent pumpkin centerpiece a fall decoration that involves both pumpkins and succulents. The pumpkin acts as the base, or “flower bed” for the succulents. For an easy way to do this project that doesn’t involve carving, you can use a glue gun to stick the succulents to the top of the pumpkin. For a more advanced way to do this project, you can cut out the top of the pumpkin and plant the succulents inside. If you’ve turned your crafty hobby into a side business and need some inspiration, here you go.

How to choose the best pumpkin

How to choose the best pumpkin

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Making fall desserts is easy — you can pick up canned pumpkin at the grocery store and bake all kinds of pies and pastries. Making fall decorations can sometimes require more work, but the end result will be so worth it. For this project, choose a pumpkin that is round and flattened a bit on the top. If you get a pumpkin that is too tall and skinny, the succulents might not sit right in the makeshift planter.

How to choose the right succulents

How to choose the right succulents

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If you have a home garden with succulents, aim for three to four different types of succulents to vary the look of your final product. Echeveria succulents are a popular form of the plant. Haworthias will make for a good statement piece. Jade plants are vibrant and will be a good fit for the larger pieces you’ll want to put in the middle. For pieces that hang over the side of the pumpkin, use something that droops, like a burro’s tail. Besides varying the type of plant, you can also find succulents in colors other than green. For instance, the purple Echeveria would look beautiful on a white pumpkin.

Make sure you have the right tools

Make sure you have the right tools

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Whether you’re an amateur gardener or a seasoned pro, having the right tools is a must. You’ll need a sharp knife, garden clippers and — if gluing to the top — a hot glue gun and glue sticks. If you don’t have garden clippers, a pair of sharp scissors will work too.

Know how to arrange your succulents

Use the large pieces of succulent as your base

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As mentioned, it’s important to use a variety of succulents in color, shape and size. The large succulents you have should be placed toward the middle where the stem would be. Plant the large ones before incorporating the tiny ones.

If you're gluing: Pick a base for the succulent bed

What to use as the base for the succulent bed

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Preserved moss is an easy, natural way to make the “bed” that the succulents will sit on if you’re going the gluing route. You can find it at Home Depot or Michaels, or order it on Amazon or Etsy. Choose between green or brown hues, whatever tickles your fancy.

If you're gluing: Prep your pumpkin

Getting started

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Lay everything out on your workspace and wipe your pumpkin down with a damp towel to clear away any dirt. Then wipe the pumpkin with a fresh towel to dry it off. The glue will stick best if the pumpkin is completely dry. If you want to paint your pumpkin, do so before placing the moss and succulents on. Next, use the knife to cut off the stem of the pumpkin. If the pumpkin you picked already had a short stem, you can skip this step because the moss will cover it.

If you're gluing: Don’t use the whole succulent

Don’t use the whole succulent

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Before getting right down to gluing, make sure you cut off the roots of the succulent and some of the lower leaves. This will give you room to wiggle the stems of the succulents into the moss and keep the succulents snug in the moss bed.

If you're gluing: Get creative with the smaller pieces

Get creative with the smaller pieces

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Some succulents or parts of succulents are tiny and perfect for tucking into smaller crevices around the large ones you’ve attached. Drape long drooping leaves over the sides of the pumpkin and tuck medium to small-sized plants wherever you see holes in the design. The moss bed should look covered and full, rather than sparse with bits of moss showing through. If you have extra succulents when you’re done gluing, upcycle old household items to plant your leftovers.

Or, try planting

Instead of hot glue, you can plant your succulents for longer life

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Succulents are some of the best plants for rookie gardeners. If you’re working on your green thumb and would rather not cut the plant and glue it only to throw it out at the end of the season, you can cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin and use a clay pot or plastic container as your planter within the pumpkin. When the pumpkin goes bad, you’ll be able to easily remove the succulents and keep them thriving long after fall ends.

If you're planting: Cut a deep hole and scoop out the seeds

Cut a deep hole and scoop out the seeds

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Instead of cutting off only the stem like you would if you were gluing moss on top, cut a deep hole in the pumpkin. This will be similar to the way you would carve out the inside when you’re making a jack-o’-lantern, though it doesn’t need to be quite as hollow. When you scoop out the pumpkin seeds, save them for later. The seeds are a heart-healthy food and they taste delicious when roasted.

If you're planting: Fill the circular opening with a plastic container or small pot

Fill the circular opening with a plastic container or small pot

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Unlike hydroponic plants, succulents require a few more potting necessities than water alone. Place the clay pot or plastic container you’ve chosen in the pumpkin’s hole and sprinkle small rocks into the bottom of the container. The rocks will help with drainage, which is ideal for succulents, which don’t thrive on wet roots.

If you're planting: Instead of moss, you’ll need potting soil

Instead of moss, you’ll need potting soil

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Instead of moss, scoop potting soil over the rocks in the pot or container. Note that you should never soak the soil — succulents do better without tons of water. If you’re afraid of killing your plant, don’t rely on the soil to determine when you should water it. Instead, use the leaf test. If you can squeeze a leaf and it feels soft (think of an overly ripe avocado), it needs water. If the leaf is firm, it’s doing fine.

If you're planting: Plant your succulents in the soil

Plant your succulents in the soil

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Finally, plant your succulents in the soil. Gently remove them from the plastic box or nursery pot and nestle them into the soil. Don’t worry about overcrowding your plants — succulents grow well in close proximity to others. Planting them close together will give the centerpiece a more lush, blooming effect.

Finally, put it on display

Put it on display

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Now that you’ve created your pumpkin succulent decoration, it’s time to display it. The little ones look adorable on window sills. The bigger ones look super cute on the table for Thanksgiving dinner or, if made earlier in the fall season, on your porch with carved pumpkins. If you haven’t carved pumpkins already, here are tips for designing the scariest jack-o’-lanterns.

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