Succulent bouquets are perfect for both the do-it-yourself brides and the environmentally conscious ones.
Succulent plants have been gaining popularity in place of — or as a supplement to — traditional flower bouquets, and it’s easy to see why.
The thick, fleshy “petals” of succulents come in a variety of amazing colors (moon glow, anyone?); the succulents can live out of water for several weeks, allowing the bride to make the bouquet in advance; and after the wedding, the succulents can be replanted!
Here, we take you through the basics of making a succulent bouquet that you and your groom can treasure in the garden or windowsill for years to come:
- Succulents (about two dozen rosettes for a full succulent bouquet, and a dozen or less for a bouquet supplemented by succulents)
- Filler plants and flowers (eucalyptus, dried baby’s breath, lavender, etc.)
- Floral tape
- Floral wire (I used 20-gauge, pre-cut wire)
- Burlap/fabric/ribbon for bouquet handle
- Scissors and/or wire cutters
Discard roots and wash stem
Remove succulents from pots and discard the roots and dead leaves. Wash and dry stems.
Insert floral wire into the base of succulent
Push floral wire through the bottom of the succulent stem.
Reinforce the stem
For some succulents, wiring the stems alone is not enough because it can easily snap at the wire or right above it, says Marialuisa Kaprielian, owner of Succulently Urban in San Diego. Sometimes it is important to drive a wire diagonally through the head of the succulent and down into the stem or along the side to prevent snapping of the stem, she says.
After inserting the wire into the base of the succulent, reinforce the stem by folding another wire into a loop and placing it against the base (stem) of the plant. Use the un-looped portion of the wire and wrap it around the succulent stem, twisting your way down the floral wire.
Wrap floral tape around wire stem
Starting at the bottom of the succulent rosette, wrap floral tape down the wire stem. Stretching the tape as you make your way down the stem causes the tape to stick to itself, Kaprielian says. Follow the aforementioned steps with the other rosettes until you have about two dozen for a full succulent bouquet, fewer if succulents are only the supplement.
Gather flowers to experiment with the arrangement
It’s helpful to do this in front of a mirror to determine how the bouquet will look as you walk down the aisle.
Wrap two succulents together
Once you have a “rough draft” of your bouquet, gather two succulents and wrap them together with floral tape.
Keep gathering flowers, eyeballing
the arrangement along the way
Each time you add an item to the bouquet, wrap all the stems together with tape and use a chopstick to strengthen the stem, Kaprielian suggests. She uses kalanchoe tomentosa around the base of the bouquet to hide any open spaces.
Tape all flowers together
After you have finished adding all the flowers, tape the entire bouquet together.
Wrap the bouquet handle
Use the burlap or fabric of your choice, pinning at the neck of the handle to secure it. Then continue wrapping it until you reach the bottom. Secure with floral pins. For extra flair, wrap or tie a ribbon around the handle.
About three to four weeks after the succulents have been living on wires as a bouquet, they will start to grow roots and are ready to be replanted, Kaprielian says. Then you can enjoy them for years down the road!