How to Plant Succulent Topiaries


In regular topiaries, the plants are trimmed regularly to create the desired shape. Succulent topiaries are different. They are planted into a topiary form to achieve the desired shape. As they grow, the topiary form becomes covered with succulents, displaying the overall shape. Succulents are taking over in arrangements that traditionally had herbs, dried flowers or plastic fruit.

Step 1

Cut succulent pieces that are several inches long. Prepare 100 succulent cuttings for every square foot of topiary. Clip off the leaves on the lower part of the stem so that you have 1 inch of bare stem at the bottom.

Step 2

Let the cuttings sit out for one to two days before you plant succulent topiaries so they can develop calluses on the bottom.

Step 3

Lay sheet moss out on a flat surface. Add some potting soil to the surface and wrap it up. This will provide the succulents with needed nutrients.

Step 4

Insert pieces of the sphagnum moss into the topiary form to create a planting surface for the succulents. Fill in all empty spaces.

Step 5

Fasten the moss with wire or fishing line. Wrap the fastener around the moss, connecting it to the frame. Leave 1 inch gaps where you can insert the succulents.

Step 6

Place the topiary form in water or run a hose over it until it's thoroughly wet. Drain it and move to a flat surface.

Step 7

Poke holes into the moss with a pencil. Make the holes 1 inch deep and space them 1 inch apart.

Step 8

Stick the ends of the succulent cuttings into each hole. Make sure the stems touch the potting soil inside. Secure them in place with floral pins.

Step 9

Let the succulents root for one week. Keep the topiaries in partial shade and increase their light exposure so they can get used to sunlight. Do not rewater the succulents after the initial watering until they completely dry out. The water will wash away the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Succulent pieces
  • Topiary form
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Potting soil
  • Wire or fishing line
  • Water or hose
  • Pencil
  • U-shaped floral pins
  • Container


  • P. Allen Smith: Margee Rader Describes Making a Succulent Topiary
  • Bella Online: Topiary with Succulents
Keywords: succulent topiaries, topiaries, plant topiaries

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.