How To Make A Living Wreath

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Wreaths add a welcoming touch to every home. Wreaths can celebrate a holiday season or decorate a door, entryway or fireplace. And, wreaths can be made of any material imaginable. If you are looking for a wreath that will grow and change with the seasons, create a living wreath filled with live plants. Any small plant can be used in a living wreath. Interesting and colorful wreaths can be made from herbs, succulents, orchids and ivy.

Selecting Plants for a Living Wreath

A living wreath can be created from many different types of plant materials. Herbs, succulents and small flowering plants are some of the more popular types of living wreaths.

An herbal living wreath is an unusual way to grow a small kitchen herb garden that can be hung in a sunny window. Herbs that work best in a living wreath are those herbs with small root systems and a vining growth habit. Herbs such as mint, oregano, rosemary and thyme are excellent choices for an herbal living wreath.

Succulents can be used to create a slow-growing living wreath that has a multitude of textures, shapes and colors. Most any type of succulent can be used in a living wreath. Look for an assortment of hens and chicks, sedums, aloe, jade plants, kalanchoe, euphorbia. Succulents can be used in a living wreath in two ways: as small potted plants or as cuttings. To prepare a succulent cutting, follow these steps:

  • Cut a stem section that is about 2 inches long.
  • Remove the lower leaves, leaving only the top rosette or cluster of leaves.
  • Place the cuttings on a tray or paper towel and let sit overnight or until the cut end dries out.

Small flowering plants and colorful leafy plants can also be arranged into a living wreath. Ivies and other vines can be trained to circle around the wreath. Petunias, impatiens and orchids add color bright blooms to a wreath. Coleus adds beautiful color and texture which can be kept short and bushy.

how to make a living wreath  how to make a living wreath

Creating a Simple Living Wreath

To create a simple living wreath, the following materials are needed:

  • A wire topiary or living wreath form. These wreath frames come in different shapes from circles and hearts to balls and other topiary shapes.
  • Potting soil appropriate for the type of plant that will be used in the wreath.
  • Spanish moss
  • Small plants or cuttings. Use plants that have been growing in 2 inch pots.

Follow these directions to build the wreath:

  • Soak the Spanish moss in water for about an hour.
  • Place a layer of the Spanish moss inside the wreath frame. Gently squeeze out the water before placing the moss in the frame.
  • Place a layer of potting soil over the layer of Spanish moss.
  • Place a layer of moss over the layer of potting soil.
  • Set the wreath on a flat surface and arrange the plants around the wreath. This will help you visualize what the finished wreath will look like and make it easier to put the wreath together.
  • Use a knife to make a lit in the moss and insert the cutting or the root ball of the plant.
  • Water the wreath and let it sit on a horizontal surface and away from direct sunlight until the roots have a chance to become established. It may take as long as a month. Craft clips or floral pins may also be used to help anchor the plants.

Caring for a Living Wreath

After the plant roots have had a chance to grow and the plants are secure inside the wreath form, the wreath can be moved to a new location. If the wreath will be moved to a sunny area, gradually increase the amount of light provided to the plant.

A living wreath will need to be watered when it feels dry. The amount of time between waterings will depend on the wreath’s size, the temperature, humidity level and amount of sunlight. To water a living wreath, soak in a shallow container of water for an hour. Mist once a week and fertilize one a month with a water soluble fertilizer. Water as needed to keep the moss moist.

Creating a living wreath is the perfect way for a gardener to showcase their creativity and the beautiful plants in their garden. By making your own living wreath, you can create a wreath that suits your tastes and save a few dollars. Although it may look difficult to make a living wreath, with a little patience, anyone can do it. And, with the right care, a living wreath will last for many years.

Last Updated: June 7, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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