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Why Succulents are My #1 Choice for Wedding Florals

A fun fact about me, is that I’m 100% a plant lady at heart. My house is filled with them (our bathroom is a jungle!), and a favorite hobby is visiting plant nurseries (especially when we are traveling!) to find new additions and species. One of my favorite types of plant is the succulent!

 

Today I’m going to talk about 5 reasons they are the bomb dot com for your big day, as well as a few tips on how to take care of them!

 

1. Succulents come in a variety of shapes and colors! There are hundreds of different kinds that are categorized into different families. My favorites come from Echeveria and Senecio families (although, I’m pretty much in love with all types!). When picking out different types of succulents, talk with your florist about what kinds they can offer for your bouquet. They also make fantastic boutonnières for the groomsmen!

 ECHEVERIA LOLA 

2. Succulents are tough little cookies! Unlike some flowers that wither quickly, succulents can withstand long periods without water. Actually, they prefer it! So, when it comes to your big day and keeping your bouquet fresh, know that if succulents are your selection of choice, you don’t have to rush them into a vase of water. Setting them down gently will be just fine! (Please note, if your bouquet includes other florals, you will need to place in a vase, usually during the reception!)

 SEDEVERIA LILAC MIST

LAMB'S TAIL SEDUM

 

3. They make GREAT, wedding centerpieces and favors! The great thing about succulents is that they thrive on negligence, so even self-proclaimed “plant killers” can still enjoy and care for succulents with ease. Also, there are so many options as far as containers for your favors or centerpieces! For example, you can get tea cups from thrift stores (use a drill press to create a hole in the bottom for drainage) or even buy mini terracotta pots and paint them to match your wedding colors. Call your local nursery and see if they have a bulk rate for succulents. OR, grow them yourself! (Scroll down to #4 for instructions!)

 ECHEVERIA RED TIPS

ECHEVERIA LOLA

SENECIO STRING OF PEARLS

 

4. You can grow your own succulents! Yep, that’s right! I’ve had brides who actually grew their own succulents for their bouquets to match their color scheme, which is just so cool #icanteven. Start right away if you would like to go this route, as it does take several months for pups to grow into full grown plants. Wondering how this is done? A very simple (and fun) way is leaf propagation! Here are the steps you need to grow your own succulents:

  • Take a cup of dry dirt and fill a pie tin. You will need to pick the types of succulent you want ahead of time and purchase one adult plant to grow from. You can easily find a variety of succulents  at your local Home Depot and usually Lowe's. At the bottom of each succulent, tug leaves from the very bottom left to right, up and down. You should feel the leaf "pop" off. Please note, some succulents are not able to be propagated using this method, including Sempervivum, String of Pearls, Aeoniums, etc. If you are unsure whether or not your succulent can be propagated via leaf, feel free to message me! 

  • After removing the leaf, make sure it is a clean break (no tears) before laying it  on the soil. Leave the tray in shade or filtered sunlight and wait about 1-3 weeks for tiny roots to form. Please note that only a fraction of all succulent leaves will grow into adult succulents, so don't get discouraged if some dry up without growing roots. Refrain from watering or spritzing soil during this stage. 

  • After you see roots, the "pup" is next to grow. Once you see a baby succulent (AKA a "pup"), you can begin watering with a tablespoon and lukewarm water. Rainwater is best (or your fish's water if you have any) for optimal growth. Do not soak the soil, but rather, add enough to wet the roots.

  • Once the pup is about the size of a dime, you can plant the entire leaf with pup into soil. Using a pencil, make a small hole in the dirt (see type of dirt to use under the resources section at the end of this post) and plant the entire succulent leaf and roots into the soil with the pup sitting on top of the dirt. You may then move your pot into bright, filtered light. Water only when soil is completely dry.

5. The last reason to choose succulents (and my favorite reason of all!!) is that after your wedding, you can replant your wedding succulents and grow them forever! It’s such a neat and special way to commemorate and nurture one of the happiest days of your life! It’s also soooo simple! Here’s how you can replant your succulents after your big day:

  • Usually, succulents in arrangements have been cut so that only the head of the succulent is used, wrapped in florist’s tape secured with wire. 

  • Gently pull (grabbing the base of the head) the succulent out of the bouquet. From there, unwrap the florist’s tape and pull the wire out of the succulent. Do this for each succulent and set aside on a paper towel. After all succulents are pulled, you may discard any additional wire and tape

  • Let the succulents sit for 2-3 days. The ends of the succulents need to callous over before being planted into soil. If you do not allow the ends to callous, the succulents may develop root rot, which is fatal for plants. After you see the ends scabbed over (see below) you are ready for the next step!

  • There are two ways you may plant your succulents. The first, is rooting your succulents in water prior to planting. This is helpful as it allows the succulents to grow their own root system before ever touching the dirt. Using a clear, glass bottle with small opening, fill with lukewarm water. Place the succulent in the bottle, making sure the bottom is just below the water. (Do not submerge too far as it can result in root rot.) Place in a partially sunny spot in your home where it will not be disturbed. Once you see roots grow (approximately 1-2 weeks), you are ready to plant!

  • Planting a rooted or root-free succulent is very easy! Grab a bag of cactus/succulent soil ($4 from Home Depot or Lowes) and mix with perlite to create a well-draining, soil mixture. I also highly recommend adding pumice with your soil for additional drainage. Pour into a small, terra cotta pot (4-inches max unless you plan on putting multiple succulents in each). Succulents do not mind being planted tightly with other succulents, so don’t be afraid to place succulents close together. I sometimes will use a pencil or a dowel rod to make a 1-2 inch hole and place rooted or unrooted succulent in, pressing down dirt around the sides to stabilize. Water only when soil has completely dried out! Remember, it’s better to underwater than overwater!

 ECHEVERIA FLEUR BLANC

ECHEVERIA MINIMA

 

Final thoughts:

 

It’s so easy and so special to include succulents in your big day. Not only are they easy and fun to work with, they also can be an everlasting part of your story. My sister and I were given her succulents from our grandmother that she had been given by her mother. They have been in our family for three generations, and I plan on giving them to my son or daughter someday!

 

Favorite places for succulent resources: 

 

Home Depot and Lowe's: great place for reasonably priced succulents and cactus/succulent soil

General Pumice Products: for purchasing pumice as an additional component for your succulent soil

Havel's Flowers and Greenhouses: Local nursery in NE Ohio that specializes in different types of succulents and cacti 

Boyert's Greenhouse: Local nursery with a variety of succulent/cactus options (and some very cool house plants!)

 

 

 

Thanks so much for reading! If you have any additional questions about succulents (or any other plants!), please do not hesitate to contact me!

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Allison Hopkins is a Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh wedding photographer 

focused on unscripted, artfully crafted, and real moments.

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allison hopkins photography is a cleveland and akron, ohio-based wedding and lifestyle photography company focused on unscripted, artistic, and real moments. 

Copyright Allison Hopkins Photography 2019

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