A pumpkin topped with succulents makes a beautiful, one-of-a-kind centerpiece featuring rich colors and textures.
Unlike a scooped-out pumpkin planter (which is great for plants other than succulents) this type of autumn centerpiece has the potential to last several months. The succulents should sprout roots and later can be potted into containers or in the garden.
Follow our easy-to-understand instructions with photos for a gorgeous pumpkin masterpiece!
What You’ll Need
Gather necessary supplies and tools before starting your pumpkin centerpiece project. The following list includes the basics; you may want to add extras, like small fall or Halloween decorations.
- Pumpkin: Any shape will do, but flat-topped varieties like fairytale or Cinderellas are ideal for this project.
- Glue: Hot glue gun, craft glue, or floral glue
- Sphagnum moss
- Scissors or gardening snips
- Succulents or succulent clippings in assorted shapes, sizes, and colors
- Spray bottle of water/mister
- Chopsticks (optional) to press succulents onto moss and pumpkin
Allow Succulent Stems to Dry Out
After clipping succulents, let the stems dry out or callus over. Why? Since they will be planted in medium (including moss), they can absorb moisture too quickly if they haven’t formed a callus, which could cause them to rot and eventually.
Apply Glue to Pumpkin
Wait for the glue gun to heat up, then apply glue in a random pattern to the top of the pumpkin. If using regular craft glue, apply in the same manner.
Stretch out moss and apply it to the top of the pumpkin, covering the surface to create a bed upon which the succulents can be attached. Add more for bare spots. Make sure that the glue is still hot but that you don’t burn your fingers as you press down the moss.
Apply Glue to Succulent
Using the glue gun, dab the stem of a succulent, being careful not to touch your fingers. Press the succulent onto the moss and hold it for several seconds, allowing the glue to set.
Attach Larger Items
An easy way to approach your pumpkin design: larger and taller items look best clustered in the center. It’s also practical: the pumpkin can hold the weight of heavier or larger succulents in the middle. Arrange items and move them around until you get just the right look.
Larger and heavier succulents should be attached to the center of the pumpkin, where the stem was or still is. Picture a floral centerpiece: taller flowers are in the center, with smaller, lighter ones on the edges or sides.
f you have any trailing or cascading succulents—referred to in container gardening as spillers—attach them securely to the moss, underneath other succulents, and allow to fall down the sides of the pumpkin.
Great spillers to try include:
- Sedum Morganianum: burro’s tail
- Sedum tetractinum ‘Coral Reef’: Chinese sedum
- Senecio radicans: string of bananas, banana vine, necklace plant, or fishook
- Senecio rowleyanus: string of pearls or string of beads
- Sedum mexicanum ‘Lemon Ball’: lemon ball stonecrop
Kalanchoe pumila: flower dust plant
Kalanchoe laciniata: Christmas tree plant, cathedral bells, lace-leaf kalanchoe
Crassula sarmentosa ‘Variegata’
Sedum dasyphyllum ‘Major’: Corsican stonecrop
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis: Mezoo Doreanthus
Depending on your climate and where you display the succulent pumpkin (indoors or out), it should be sprayed with a water mister every few days or so, aiming at the moss to keep it moist but not soaked.