Upon being gifted with a dozen red roses, is your first response wondering what happened to your partner’s imagination? You need something exceptional for your wedding flowers. Enter the succulent. This unassuming plant is actually a superstar when it comes to decoration and ornamentation. Its durable leaves don’t show wear and tear easily, and won’t even begin to droop by the end of your wedding day. Plus, succulents come in a variety of exotic forms and colors that the majority of your guests will have never seen before. It’s easy to make a splash when you center your wedding flower design on succulents.
A “Living Wall”
The great thing about succulents is their longevity—they will go on living and thriving for a long time, no matter where you put them. They don’t need water or soil to stay fresh and perky in corsages and boutonnieres for weeks on end, so you can make these well ahead of time.
If you do give them a bit of water and something to wrap their roots around, succulents will thrive indefinitely. You can extend this concept to create a “living wall,” or a patch in any shape that holds living plants together on a vertical surface. You can buy these ready-made, or construct your own using a series of shallow shelves with a waterproofed exterior. Simply pack your succulents into the shelves in an aesthetically-pleasing way, and secure them with fine wires where necessary. You can line the shelves with a shallow layer of soil, or a growing medium like coconut fibers or sphagnum moss, for the plants to root securely into the structure.
The “living wall” can be anywhere from a few feet in diameter to the entire length of one of the walls of your venue. They can be constructed in any shape; use stand-alone pyramids or boxes as table centerpieces. Just be sure to fill the wall with enough outward-facing succulents so the overall effect is one of cascading greenery. Water it sparingly–just enough to moisten the plants’ roots once a week will be more than enough, making it a great, low-maintenance decoration. When you set it up at the venue, don’t forget to set it off with dramatic lighting!
Using Succulents in Bouquets
Using succulents to make your own bouquets is easy. Simply break off any piece of the plant that you fancy, wash and dry it, and wrap the stem with a fine, narrow wire. If there’s not enough stem to work with, you can insert a thicker gauge of wire into the center of the bottom of the sprig and use it as an artificial stem.
Wrap the stem and wire firmly with floral tape in any color you choose, and you may use your custom “flowers” as you would use any long-stemmed rose. For best effect, combine a wide variety of succulents in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You can use the same approach, with shorter stems, when making DIY corsages and boutonnieres.
A succulent starts small and gets bigger as it grows, keeping roughly the same shape the whole time. This is great news for your wedding accessories, as it allows you to coordinate your large and small decorations perfectly–just use the same type of plant! Succulents make fantastic additions to hair ornaments, brooches, and even cake decorations.
Succulents aren’t just about producing different shades of green. Research the type of succulents you’re using and what types of flowers they grow. If you catch them at the right time, they’ll put forth gorgeous floral blooms in every shade from pale pink to brilliant crimson. Succulent leaves vary widely, as well, from dark, tiger-like striping to a frosted, wintergreen look. The more types of succulents you combine, the more ornate and exotic your accessories will be.
The best part about succulents? Many of them are able to grow entirely new plants from a single, broken-off piece. So when you’re done with your wedding arrangements and decorations, shake the plants free of their wrappings and plant them in your garden. They do well in pots that drain easily, and they don’t need to be watered often. You’ll soon have a blooming reminder of your wedding day that you can enjoy every time you look out of your window.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.