All Posts   Posted:   October 22, 2015 by Jennifer Williams

Succulent pumpkins are all the rage this season; they take everything wonderful about fall and distill it into the perfect, long-lasting arrangement. The only problem is we can't seem to keep them in stock! As soon as we make up a batch, they disappear with a happy customer. In the spirit of their popularity, we thought you might enjoy a quick DIY tutorial below!

We also have a wonderful SUCCULENT PUMPKIN WORKSHOP at Cedar Hills, Lake Oswego, or Bridgeport Village on October 19th!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • Fancy Pumpkin(s) - My favorite ones to use are the fancy Cinderella pumpkins that come in an assortment of colors and sizes. They offer a larger planting surface and look balanced when topped with succulents. Choose from all shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. Go wild!
  • Spray Adhesive - Aleene's Tacky Spray is a good one and can be found at most craft stores.
  • Craft Glue - Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue is what we use; this can also be found at most craft stores.
  • Moss - Everything is better with moss. My favorite is SuperMoss Preserved Sheet Moss; it is actually moss and comes in handy sheets. I've also used moss out of my yard (which has had time to dry out) or bagged Mountain Moss sold at all of our garden center locations.
  • Succulent Cuttings - Purchase 2–6" succulents and sedums, or take cuttings from existing plants. If you want your succulent pumpkin to live indoors, it's safe to use non-hardy succulents, but if you plan to keep it on your porch, you will want to use the hardy ones. Repurpose annual types that won’t live outdoors through the winter anyway (much better than waiting for them to turn to mush with the first freeze). I like to work with a variety of 5–7 succulent shapes, sizes, and colors so my arrangement has lots of variation; this is where your creativity comes in.
  • Seasonal Accents - Anything goes, as long as it will keep on top of a pumpkin for months. Some of my top picks for this time of year are poppy pods, billy balls, hops flowers, and rose hip sprays.

Step 2: Select Your Pumpkins

Choose something with a little character, like a small white one with green stripes, an orange one with warts, or a smooth, blue-skinned pumpkin. TIP: Pick one(s) that have a depression around the stem to make it easier, and avoid the largest pumpkin in the patch. Good stems are not necessary.

Step 3: Prepare Succulent Cuttings

Gather a collection of sedum cuttings in a variety of textures/shapes that will complement each other. I like to raid annual sedums from outdoor pots this time of year because I can snip to my hearts delight with the knowledge that their season is coming to an end. I find that sedums with many branches of small rosettes work really well, but larger chunky pieces are harder to work with. You’ll want to have a good handful of sedum cuttings for small pumpkins and 2 handfuls for larger ones (more if you prefer a plump, full look).

Divide succulents that have multiple stems into as many rosettes as the plant has and shake soil from the roots. Try to avoid using plants without any sort of sturdy stem. If you have the patience, it is recommended to let the succulent cuttings rest for 24 hours before continuing the project... I'm not a patient person so I skip this step and have still had great results.

Step 6: Pick Out Seasonal Accents

Remember to keep it light and somewhat preserved (think dried pods). Try to color-coordinate with your sedum choices for a harmonious arrangement. Again, our favorites include poppy pods, pilly balls, hops flowers, and rose hip sprays.

Step 4: Prepare Your Pumpkin

  • Wipe down and dry the top of your pumpkin.
  • Snip the stem of your pumpkin so it is no longer than 1/2-inch.
  • Apply an even amount of spray adhesive to the top of your pumpkin and immediately apply a layer of moss. Have your moss ready to go and place it accurately on top of the pumpkin; the glue dries fast and once it dries, you won’t be able to move it. The moss will serve as the planting medium for the cuttings and plays an important role in holding moisture to keep the cuttings alive.

NOTE: Many people are surprised that these pumpkins are not actually cut open and planted into. Because of this, they have a much longer life span!

Step 5: The Fun Part... Arrange Succulents!

Working from the center of your pumpkin, start laying out the arrangement of your succulent cuttings. Once you have your design, simply apply a small amount of craft glue to the stems of the succulents and place them into the moss bed. If your cuttings are having a hard time staying put, try wiggling the stem into the moss as far as you can. I like to use rosettes towards the center of my arrangement and trailing, longer cuttings around the edges. You’ll want at least an inch of stem to work with for each cutting. Work on getting the bigger features set first and then fill in with smaller accents tucked in between. Place your finished succulent pumpkin arrangement in a dry spot overnight to make sure the gel glue sets well.

How to Care for Your Succulent Pumpkin

It's simple! Make sure your succulent pumpkin receives lots of light and spray the moss with water once a week. Feel free to let your arrangement take a vacation for the weekend to any spot in the house you'd like to adorn, but make sure it returns to its ideal living conditions for most of its life. With proper care, these beautiful, festive pumpkins can last 6–8 weeks and serve as Halloween and Thanksgiving decor.

And just like that, without actually ever cutting into a pumpkin, it will look like you have planted one full of sedums—MAGIC!

Succulent pumpkins are all the rage this season; they take everything wonderful about fall and distill it into the perfect, long-lasting arrangement. The only problem is we can't seem to keep them in stock! As soon as we make up a batch, they disappear with a happy customer. In the spirit of their popularity, we thought you might enjoy a quick DIY tutorial below!

We also have a wonderful SUCCULENT PUMPKIN WORKSHOP at Cedar Hills, Lake Oswego, or Bridgeport Village on October 19th!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • Fancy Pumpkin(s) - My favorite ones to use are the fancy Cinderella pumpkins that come in an assortment of colors and sizes. They offer a larger planting surface and look balanced when topped with succulents. Choose from all shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. Go wild!
  • Spray Adhesive - Aleene's Tacky Spray is a good one and can be found at most craft stores.
  • Craft Glue - Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue is what we use; this can also be found at most craft stores.
  • Moss - Everything is better with moss. My favorite is SuperMoss Preserved Sheet Moss; it is actually moss and comes in handy sheets. I've also used moss out of my yard (which has had time to dry out) or bagged Mountain Moss sold at all of our garden center locations.
  • Succulent Cuttings - Purchase 2–6" succulents and sedums, or take cuttings from existing plants. If you want your succulent pumpkin to live indoors, it's safe to use non-hardy succulents, but if you plan to keep it on your porch, you will want to use the hardy ones. Repurpose annual types that won’t live outdoors through the winter anyway (much better than waiting for them to turn to mush with the first freeze). I like to work with a variety of 5–7 succulent shapes, sizes, and colors so my arrangement has lots of variation; this is where your creativity comes in.
  • Seasonal Accents - Anything goes, as long as it will keep on top of a pumpkin for months. Some of my top picks for this time of year are poppy pods, billy balls, hops flowers, and rose hip sprays.

Step 2: Select Your Pumpkins

Choose something with a little character, like a small white one with green stripes, an orange one with warts, or a smooth, blue-skinned pumpkin. TIP: Pick one(s) that have a depression around the stem to make it easier, and avoid the largest pumpkin in the patch. Good stems are not necessary.

Step 3: Prepare Succulent Cuttings

Gather a collection of sedum cuttings in a variety of textures/shapes that will complement each other. I like to raid annual sedums from outdoor pots this time of year because I can snip to my hearts delight with the knowledge that their season is coming to an end. I find that sedums with many branches of small rosettes work really well, but larger chunky pieces are harder to work with. You’ll want to have a good handful of sedum cuttings for small pumpkins and 2 handfuls for larger ones (more if you prefer a plump, full look).

Divide succulents that have multiple stems into as many rosettes as the plant has and shake soil from the roots. Try to avoid using plants without any sort of sturdy stem. If you have the patience, it is recommended to let the succulent cuttings rest for 24 hours before continuing the project... I'm not a patient person so I skip this step and have still had great results.

Step 6: Pick Out Seasonal Accents

Remember to keep it light and somewhat preserved (think dried pods). Try to color-coordinate with your sedum choices for a harmonious arrangement. Again, our favorites include poppy pods, pilly balls, hops flowers, and rose hip sprays.

Step 4: Prepare Your Pumpkin

  • Wipe down and dry the top of your pumpkin.
  • Snip the stem of your pumpkin so it is no longer than 1/2-inch.
  • Apply an even amount of spray adhesive to the top of your pumpkin and immediately apply a layer of moss. Have your moss ready to go and place it accurately on top of the pumpkin; the glue dries fast and once it dries, you won’t be able to move it. The moss will serve as the planting medium for the cuttings and plays an important role in holding moisture to keep the cuttings alive.

NOTE: Many people are surprised that these pumpkins are not actually cut open and planted into. Because of this, they have a much longer life span!

Step 5: The Fun Part... Arrange Succulents!

Working from the center of your pumpkin, start laying out the arrangement of your succulent cuttings. Once you have your design, simply apply a small amount of craft glue to the stems of the succulents and place them into the moss bed. If your cuttings are having a hard time staying put, try wiggling the stem into the moss as far as you can. I like to use rosettes towards the center of my arrangement and trailing, longer cuttings around the edges. You’ll want at least an inch of stem to work with for each cutting. Work on getting the bigger features set first and then fill in with smaller accents tucked in between. Place your finished succulent pumpkin arrangement in a dry spot overnight to make sure the gel glue sets well.

How to Care for Your Succulent Pumpkin

It's simple! Make sure your succulent pumpkin receives lots of light and spray the moss with water once a week. Feel free to let your arrangement take a vacation for the weekend to any spot in the house you'd like to adorn, but make sure it returns to its ideal living conditions for most of its life. With proper care, these beautiful, festive pumpkins can last 6–8 weeks and serve as Halloween and Thanksgiving decor.

And just like that, without actually ever cutting into a pumpkin, it will look like you have planted one full of sedums—MAGIC!