Succulents are a great way to add freshness to any space. From table centerpieces to suspended terratriums, these small thick-leaved desert plants have made their way onto the home decor scene in more ways than one. If you’re looking to add some color or interest to a wall in your home, a succulent wall garden might be just what you need. Instead of framing a picture, why not a whole garden?
Succulents are an excellent choice for a vertical garden, thanks to their easy care regime and hard-to-kill nature. With bold forms and unique textures, you can transform any space into a lush botanical sanctuary in just a few quick steps. The best part? Creating your own living wall garden might be easier than you think.
If you’d like to create a succulent wall garden for your space, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our step-by-step guide and video tutorial will help you create an enticing succulent display of your own. Before you get started, check out the materials you’ll need below.
Succulent Wall Garden Materials
Succulents – Pick out a variety of your favorite succulents. We recommend selecting greenery with leaves and stems that are flat so that they don’t protrude too far out of your display. To get a better idea, take a look at our list of recommended succulents below. To give you a reference for the number of succulents you might need, we used approximately 35-40 succulents for a 11×14 frame.
Shadow box frame – The deep shadow box frame will allow you sufficient room to add soil and plant your succulents. We recommend a frame of the following dimensions: “8×10,” “11×14” or “16×20,” although you can create a display as small or as large as you’d like. To help you determine what size frame might be right for you, think about where you’d like to hang your succulent garden. If you’re interested in using a standard frame for the project, you can also opt to build your own shadow box. Find instructions for doing so here.
Landscaping plastic – Landscaping plastic will be used to protect the shadow box from the soil and will also help avoid any water drainage from your display.
Hot glue gun – Use a hot glue gun to adhere the landscaping plastic to the frame.
Sphagnum moss – You’ll use sphagnum moss to fill your shadow box frame, plant your succulents and keep them fresh.
Wire mesh – Wire mesh is ideal for keeping the soil in place. You can find this at your local hardware store or order online. For this project, we used 1in.x 2ft.x 25ft. poultry netting.
Staple gun – A staple gun will help you assure the wire mesh is securely fastened to the shadow box frame.
Scissors – Scissors will be needed to cut materials throughout the project, so be sure to have them on hand.
Having trouble deciding which succulents are right for your display? Use our recommended list below to inspire your design.
Recommended Succulents for Your Wall Garden
These versatile air plants come in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. As we mentioned above, it’ll be important to select plants that are on the smaller side so that they don’t protrude too far out of your display. Select plants in varying colors to give your wall garden a more versatile look and feel. We also recommend picking a few different sizes to work with as well. We recommend the following succulents:
Blue Pearl or Graptoveria
Blue Giant or Graptosedum Hybrid
Moon Silver or Pachyphytum
Golden Glow or Sedum Hybrid
Chocolate Soldier or Kalanchoe Tomentosa
After you’ve hand picked the succulents you’d like to display, it’s time to get started. Read on to find out how.
Succulent Wall Garden Step-by-Step
Project Time: 1 Hr
Step 1: Cut and layer a piece of the landscape plastic to fit the inside of the shadow box frame.
Cut enough plastic so that it extends up and over the outer edges of the shadow box. Place the plastic in the shadow box to make sure you have the right size to fit the frame.
Pro Tip: Be sure the piece of landscape plastic you use is slightly larger than the shadow box base. You can always cut off the excess afterward.
Step 2: Use the hot glue gun to secure the landscape plastic into place.
Hot glue along all four edges of the plastic and use your fingers to press it into place. Be cautious as the glue will be hot to touch. Once the plastic is secure, use scissors to cut the excess around the edges.
Step 3: Fill the bottom of the shadow box frame with sphagnum moss. Add enough so that the box is full.
Fill the shadow box entirely, shaking it side to side to assure the moss is evenly spread throughout. Due to its ability to retain water, the moss will give your succulents the perfect amount of moisture they need to survive.
Step 4: Place the wire mesh to fit the frame of the shadow box.
After you cut the wire mesh, lay it onto the frame of the shadow box to assure that it properly fits and extends onto the wooden frame edges. When you’re sure you have the correct size, secure the mesh into place by using a staple gun along the edges.
Step 5: Prune the roots of each succulent for planting.
Now, it’s time to give your succulents a new home. When repotting the plants, you’ll need to prune the roots of each in order to ensure proper growth and a thriving succulent wall garden. Use your hands to release the roots from the excess soil. This will also make it easier to plant your succulents through the wire mesh.
Step 6: Now it’s time to plant your succulents in the shadow box.
Before pressing the roots of the succulents into the moss, use your fingers to make room. Place your succulent in proper position and then firmly press into the moss. Repeat this step until your shadow box frame is full of lush greenery. Stand back from your design every once in awhile as you’re placing your succulents to get a better feel of what the finished product might look like.
Pro Tip: When your succulent wall garden is just about finished, if there are a few small places where you can see the moss, just cut off small bits of a full succulent plant and use them to fill the holes.
Step 7: Hang your succulent wall garden and enjoy!
These easy-to-care-for displays should prosper just about anywhere. Set the living succulent picture on a table, shelf or hang it on a wall. You’ll want to wait until the plants are securely rooted (between four and 12 weeks) to hang your display. Hang your wall garden in a spot that gets moderate to bright sunlight. Since succulents are desert plants, they’ll enjoy the nice warm atmosphere. Whether indoors or outdoors, this decor piece is sure to bring some life to any space.
Now that you’ve created your own succulent wall garden, it’ll be important that you continue to care for it properly. Follow the care instructions below.
Water the succulents once a month. Lay the display on a flat surface and thoroughly moisten the soil. Keep the display down for an hour or so and make sure that the frame is dry before hanging it up again. Also keep in mind that the box doesn’t drain, so be careful not to overwater your succulents.
Mist your display once a week. The moss in the soil will enjoy the light moisture.
A dramatic living wall is a stunning way to display your succulents. After you’ve created one for your home, make another for someone else. This DIY project makes the perfect gift for the person who appreciates something out of the ordinary (no matter if they have a green thumb or not!)