When it comes to modern decor, plants have become a favorite way to bring color and life into a room. Succulents are a great, and manageable, way to incorporate greenery into your home. We love a good succulent just as much as the next gal, so we asked landscape designer Molly Wood to help us mimic the look of her coveted arrangements. Her well known – and loved – home & garden designs are pretty incredible, so you’re in for a treat! Try your hand at crafting this perfect succulent arrangement, or pay a visit to one of her Costa Mesa or Newport shops to pick out your own, and steal some major garden inspiration from her Instagram!
1. Select a container that fits the style of your home or the style you want to introduce. For exterior arrangements, make sure the container has a drainage hole.
2. Cover the drainage hole with weed block, which is available at your local gardening store in rolls. If you don’t have weed block, you can also use an old piece of fabric – this is so water will still drain but soil won’t fall out. Drainage is the most important thing for exterior succulent arrangements!
3. Add Soil. If possible, use cactus mix, but regular soil mixed with Perlite works fine, filling the pot almost completely full. Don’t forget to use gloves!
4. Choose succulents. Succulents tend to fall into three different patterns:
Graphic: Usually a star or rosette shape
Spreader: A soft texture that contrasts graphic and vertical shapes and can be divided at the root.
Dangler: These succulents aren’t necessarily straight up and down but have some sort of linear texture.
When selecting succulents, pay attention to color combinations. Look for textural contrast with similar and/or complimentary color groupings. I also like using plants that are easily dividable. This allows you to spread out textures into smaller groups and create a more cohesive arrangement.
5. Plant. Knock or massage soil off roots of plant so you can get them as close as possible. Start planting from one side and work your way around, letting the plants lean on each other as you go. As you plant the succulents, think about where the arrangement will be placed. Does it need a “face” (i.e. if it’s against a wall) or will it be seen on all sides like a table centerpiece? Put spreaders or danglers on the edge so they have enough room.
6. Water. Once an arrangement is complete, water it in. A Rain head spout is the best, most gentle way to water it, and you want to give it a good soak.
7. Finishing Touches. Select a topping for the soil such as small pebbles, moss, gravel, sand, shells, sea glass, or coral etc. If you’ve done the arrangement well, there won’t be a lot of dirt space to cover. Make sure to keep the focus on the succulents, not the topper. Tuck the topper in and let the succulent come over the edge.
8. Maintenance. Water occasionally, but outdoor succulents can take a deep watering if they completely dry out. Think of thunder storms that roll across the desert, drenching the earth with water. Succulents store water in their leaves because there is no knowing when it will rain again. Most succulents prefer dappled shade over strong, intense sunlight.