Fall Centerpiece: Succulent Pumpkin

The fall holidays are upon us and I’m here for them! I do love the fall - the weather, the colors and the “calm before the storm” that is December.

This year I’m hosting a big dinner with friends and family since it’s been a few years since I’ve done it and I’m excited to put together the menu and put some fun touches on the table.

I really wanted to bring in the fall by incorporating a lot of color on the table but I also wanted to focus on elements that are living or can be reused or repurposed after the big shindig.

Succulent Pumpkin CenterpieceThis succulent topped pumpkin fit the bill perfectly! Plus, it was pretty straightforward to put together. I finished it all up within about an hour and with 2 weeks to spare. Now all I have to do is remember to water it.

Materials and Supplies:

  • Pumpkin
  • Succulent plants and/or clippings
  • Spray adhesive
  • Sphagnum moss (orchid moss)
  • Low temperature glue gun and glue

Succulent Pumpkin Centerpiece SuppliesThe most important, and perhaps the hardest part of this fun little project, is picking out the elements! You’ll need a (pretty) flat topped pumpkin. Cinderella or other heirloom variety pumpkins will likely work well for their shape and also their variety of color and texture. Think about what else you’ll have on the table and what colors will either coordinate or compliment.

Next, you’ll need some succulent cuttings or plants. If you have any succulents in your garden you probably already know they’re pretty good propagators. You can take cuttings of what you have and ask friends or neighbors too. Or, you can go to your local home improvement store and purchase a few. I recommend looking for different colors and shades. Notice the textures and shapes of the plants too. You’ll also want some variation in size - bigger plants will create the general shape and smaller cuttings can act as fillers. Plants that drape down are great for edges. Mix, match and rearrange until you have a look you're happy with.

Now let’s get to it!
Before you start I recommend wiping down your pumpkin with a damp cloth. They can get pretty dirty even if they don’t look it and wiping them down will not only keep your décor clean it will help the glue stick.

Add the sphagnum mossYou’ll need to spray a good coat of spray adhesive onto the top of the pumpkin. I recommend you do this outside. Don’t worry if you overspray, it won’t be noticeable once it dries. Wait a bit until the glue is tacky then press a 1” - 1 ½” layer of sphagnum moss onto the glue. Press it down firmly.

Succulent RootsNow the fun part! If you have plants that are rooted in dirt you’ll need to knock as much of the dirt off as possible. With the plant in one hand, use your fingers to dust away what you can off the roots and give the plant a little shake. Most of the dirt should fall away easily - they don’t have to be perfectly clean.Attach succulents with glue gunI recommend temporarily arranging all the plants and cutting on the pumpkin first. You may want to move things around until you get it just right. When you feel it looks great, use a little bit of glue from the glue gun to keep everything in place!

To keep everything looking nice all season just spritz the sphagnum moss liberally now. Then, check it every now and again - once a week is probably sufficient - if the moss is totally dry, give it another good spritz (not a soaking, just a good spritz). Over time, the cuttings and plants will try to take root in the moss. Place the pumpkin where there is bright light but not direct sun to keep it at its best.

When the season is over, or the pumpkin begins to break down, you can simply slice off the top of the pumpkin - moss, succulents and all and plant it in your garden or in a large pot. The pumpkin will break down into the soil and the succulents should live quite happily in their new home.

Happy Creating!Royce Signature