A succulent Christmas tree is the perfect small-scale decoration you can either make yourself or order from a local florist. Succulents are very easy to propagate and care for, which makes them ideal for this festive project.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your own succulent Christmas tree. You can either select cuttings in uniform shades of green, or opt for something a little more interesting, and incorporate varieties with variegation, or in mauves, earthy browns or even orange.
The size of the tree is also up to you. You can either make a mini version for a sideboard or dining table centrepiece, or go all out with an oversized beauty that will put traditional Christmas trees to shame!
Best succulent variety for making a Christmas tree
Every year, Adelaide-based succulent artist Tammy Kennett of Living Bunch, makes (and sells out) of her mini succulent Christmas trees. She says that if you’re planning to make one yourself in December, to select dormant succulent varieties, “aeoniums are less likely to stretch.”
Stretching refers to the tendency of succulents to pull away from the base of the tree in search of sunlight – a growing habit that will eventually alter the shape of the tree.
One way to resolve this is to dismantle the tree at the end of the season, and replant them in another pot (or create another DIY succulent masterpiece) that receives plenty of light.
What you’ll need:
- Small cone frame
- Sphagnum moss
- Geotextile fabric
- Mix of large, medium and small succulents
- Succulent potting mix
- Shallow pot
- Scissors or sharp knife
- Small festive decorations and a star topper (optional)
- Soak the sphagnum moss in a bucket of water.
- Meanwhile, line the inside of the plant training cone with geotextile fabric, ensuring that the edges overlap.
- Fill the inside of the cone with sphagnum moss. Squeeze out any excess water.
- Place the base of the cone inside a shallow pot. Back fill with succulent potting mix.
- Place larger succulents at the base of the tree in the pot and backfill with potting mix.
- Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut a hole in the geotextile fabric and insert succulents. Secure with extra moss. Repeat until the entire frame is covered. Use smaller succulents, small Christmas decorations or sphagnum moss to cover any gaps.
- Complete the tree with a festive tree topper.
Head over to Better Homes & Gardens to watch Melissa King’s video tutorial and Graham Ross’s illustrated step-by-step guide to making a succulent Christmas tree.
How long will a succulent Christmas tree last?
A succulent Christmas tree will stay looking fresh for up to three months, with the right care. Tammy recommends going easy on the water if you want the tree to look fresh on Christmas day. “Do not water it until the week before Christmas. You can also give it a decent soak for 30 minutes in diluted seasol.”