November 2013 Newsletter

How-to Create a Succulent Pumpkin Planter

by Kit Wertz

Succulent Pumpkin Final
We were inspired by a succulent designer from San Diego when creating these beautiful pumpkin planters. These should last a few months as long as they are misted twice a week with regular tap water and kept in a cool spot. They would do well with a dose of daily morning sun, too! Enjoy this tutorial and get your pumpkins now before they are all gone from the stores and pumpkin patches! Design by Flower Duet. Photo by: Kit Wertz


Pumpkin Succulent Planter Supplies

Succulent Pumpkin
Large Fairytale Pumpkin – The flat top is easy to work with in this type of design. Tall narrow pumpkins will offer more of a challenge for the first-timer. (Pumpkin Beer is optional!)
Succulent Craft Glue
Craft Glue – Use the spray glue to attach the moss to the pumpkin and the tacky glue to attach the succulents to the moss. We purchased these glues at Michael’s Craft store.
Succulent Pumpkin Moss
Sphagnum Moss – When working with this, it’s best to wear latex or nitrile disposable gloves. This moss has sometimes been linked to a long-term skin infection caused by a fungus found in the moss.
Cutters and Scissors – Cutters for the succulent plants and scissors to trim moss.
Tray of Assorted Succulent Plants – Two-inch pots are good candidates for this design as well as cuttings from larger plants like jade and aeonium. Also, be sure to have some trailing type of succulent like sedum or burro’s tail.

Steps to Make a Pumpkin Succulent Planter

Step 1: Attach Moss – Spray the glue onto the pumpkin top and attach the moss. Press down the moss to attach firmly.
Succulent Glue
Step 2: Trim Moss – Trim moss to make it neat and tidy. Your goal will be to cover all the moss with succulents, so you don’t want any stray strands.
Trim Moss on Pumpkin
Trim Moss on Pumpkin
Step 3: Attach Glue to Succulent – Use the gel tacky craft glue to attach the succulent to the moss. Just do one succulent at a time. Glue then place…glue then place. NOTE: The succulents will attract water from their leaves and send out roots to the moss from the other parts of their stems. It’s okay to cover the bottom of the stem with the glue.

Add glue to Succulent
Step 4: Build Design – Start at almost center with larger cuttings and work your way out to the edges using smaller plants and cuttings as you go. The glue will take about 30 minutes to dry, so keep that in mind as you are working. Also, don’t try to do this outside on too cold of a day or the glue won’t set quickly.

Build design from center
Build design outward
Step 5: Add some Spilling Succulents to Add Interest – Add some trailing succulents to add interest to your design. Sedum is a good option.
Add Spiller Succulent
Step 6: Fill in any Moss with Small Succulents or Leaves – Make sure the succulents are well-packed within the design. In about a week, the plants will start to shrink a bit so you want all the holes well covered before this happens. Use smaller stems of succulents or the leaves of succulent plants to fill holes.
Fill in holes


Pumpkin Succulent Planter Care Tips

  • Mist twice weekly with plain tap water. Don’t overwater…pooling water on top of the pumpkin will cause it to decompose.
  • For best results, keep outside in a frost-free cool spot and give it a healthy dose morning sunlight to keep plants healthy looking.
  • Place pumpkin on a trivet if outside (will decompose if sitting right on top of concrete) or on a plate or platter inside to prevent any staining if you are using for a centerpiece.
  • When the arrangement has faded or you are ready to start decorating with a more winter theme, don’t throw the succulents away. Instead carefully remove them from the pumpkin moss, remove any dead leaves and plant in some light cactus mix. Any roots that have shot out will grab onto the cactus mix and the succulents should grow. Even single leaves will root and send out little offshoots that will become mature plants.

Here are a few little ones I did using the mini white and mini zebra pumpkins. I used just the tips of some small succulent blooms to make these. The Zebra pumpkin is about 4.5 inches tall by 5 inches wide and the white pumpkin is 4 inches tall by 4 inches wide. These little ones make great gifts.
Mini Pumpkin Planters
Mini Zebra Pumpkin Succulents
Mini White Pumpkin Succulents
Get more pumpkin succulent planter ideas from Design for Serenity and more succulent crafting ideas from Debra Lee Baldwin’s book Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties.

Wedding Flower Journal: Pinks, Peaches and Creams Wedding

by Flower Duet


Here’s a lovely wedding from this fall on a windy day at Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda. When the Santa Ana winds come through Los Angeles, it’s a bit of a challenge getting flower petals to sit down on a wedding aisle outside. We tried a new trick for this wedding that kept the majority of petals down for the ceremony. Enjoy this photo essay featuring peaches and cream roses along with Cymbidium orchids.

Arch Decor Left
Arch Decor Right
Arch Decor: Featured Coral, Peach and Cream Roses, Honey colored Hypericum Berries, Leather Fern and Peachy Spray Roses.

Aisle Decoration
Wet Petals
Aisle Decor: Featured Hanging glass vases from the chairs on the aisle and petals on either side of the fabric runner. For windy days when petals need to be down on the aisle well before the ceremony (for photos, etc.) instead of leaving the petals with the wedding coordinator to remember to put down, here’s a nifty trick. Wet down the petals with clean water before laying them on the aisle. We dunked all the petals for this wedding into water and then put them down on the aisle. They stayed put during some pretty hefty winds.

Orchid Centerpiece
Orchid Cake
Reception Decor: This bride wanted to feature Cymbidium orchids inside three vases of various heights. Each vase had a floating candle and we added votives to the table. The cake also featured just a few orchids on top as per the bride’s request.

Hanukkah Floral Design Ideas

Hanukkah FlowersHanukkah begins on Thanksgiving Day this year so we wanted to feature a few floral ideas for everyone who celebrates Hanukkah. The colors for Hanukkah are white and cobalt blue so we had fun with a silver vase accented with a blue satin ribbon so it looks like a present. Then we added white Alstroemeria and green Kermit mums to the low compact design. A few of these on a long table would make a great table design. Add blue candles and napkins to complete the look.

White Tabletop Flowers
Hanukkah Tabletop Flowers

A winter white table top with silver vases, mercury glass candlesticks and silver charger plates can be easily transformed into a Hanukkah table with the addition of blue vases, blue marbles, and blue napkins. Don’t forget the blue mineral water, too!
White Placecard Flowers
Placecard idea

Add a flag inside this small silver mercury glass votive candle holder floral design for an individual place card setting. It also can be a favor that the guest takes home.

Book Recommendation

Simple Stunning Parties at Home
Flower Duet just held a sold out tables cape floral design class in October and we are still inspired to learn more about the art of the table top. This month’s book recommendation, Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas, and Inspirations for Creative Entertaining, does just that with tips on how to create the perfect ambience for guests at the dinner table. There are a lot of books on tabletop design for entertaining, but this one seems to strike the best chord to the flower arranger who also happens to enjoy hosting luncheons and dinner parties.
Simple Stunning PartiesAbout the author: Karen Bussen is an entertaining expert and the author of the popular “Simple Stunning” series of entertaining books (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). Karen creates one-of-a-kind celebrations for luminary hosts and A-listers in the worlds of business, media, and society.

From her website: “A quintuple-threat expert in food, wine, hospitality, flowers and design, Karen believes a truly great party is filled with unique, well-chosen details and inimitable personal touches. Her mantra of “less waste, more taste” has struck a chord with brides and home hosts who love to entertain simply and beautifully.” Learn more at the authors website and order the book Simple Stunning Parties at Home from


Floral Design Tool: Craft Glue

Craft Glue
As we discussed in this month’s “How-to Make a Succulent Pumpkin Planter” article, we suggested that you use two kinds of Craft Glue. There are many types of craft glue but we liked the clear Gel and spray because they clean up easily with water. When they dry, the glue is clear and flexible. Even though the glue manufacturer does not discuss using its craft glue on moss, pumpkins or succulent stems, we find that it works perfectly well on these surfaces. Other uses for this type of glue include:

  • All Craft Surfaces
  • Ceramics/Plaster
  • Home Decorating
  • Jewelry
  • Kids Crafts
  • Leather & Suede
  • Paper
  • Plastic/Vinyl/Plexiglass
  • Scrap booking
  • Styrofoam
  • Wood

Purchase from or at your local craft store:

Aleene’s All Purpose Tacky Adhesive Spray

Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue



3 Pings & Trackbacks
  1. […] If you want to learn how to cre­ate on of these your­self, we show you how in our step-by-step How to Cre­ate a Suc­cu­lent Pump­kin Planter arti­cle we designed and wrote for our Novem­ber 2013 newslet­ter. You can sign up for our […]

  2. […] Pumpkins with succulents at Flower duet […]

  3. […] is a repost from a blog: Flower Duet. Written by Kit WertzDesign by Flower Duet. Photo by: […]

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