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Succulent Orb Experiment

Ever tried replicating one of many inspiring photos, either here on Hometalk or Pinterest, only to have it NOT turn out as planned? You know, that "nailed it!" moment, right? Well, I pinned a photo of a succulent orb a year ago and finally got around to trying it. Come see how, when inspiration strikes, it turns out to be a slightly different version, but still works out anyway. Step-by-step process for how I tried my hand at a succulent orb with blog link below....
With a little digging on the originally pinned site's content, which reviews the book from which this idea comes, "Succulent Container Gardens", by Debra Lee Baldwin, I found comments giving how-to instruction ideas (not necessarily the author's prescription).
I found the 10" hanging baskets at the Dollar Tree (without the liners), so then planned a trip to Lowe's to scout other supplies.
Succulents are expensive, at $3.98 for a 3" container at Lowe's. I checked the orphan rack - none there. I found two succulent containers, without prices. They each had 7-9 of the 3" succulents arranged inside (which would've been $28-$36 for each, or $56-$72 total). The manager got on the computer and made two tags for me - $9.98 each - BOOM - $19.96 total!
I gathered some cactus soil and a 14" basket liner that I decided to cut to 10" (none of those were to be found, either, but I still had the one from last year's purchase). Total money investment, with tax: $30 (including baskets from Dollar Tree).
I cut my liner, and filled each of the hanging baskets with the soil. I used the entire bag, packed it down, then soaked it, as the reader comment on the original pin site suggested.
After aligning the baskets into an orb, I slid the bag out from between the two, and connect the baskets. I used twist ties (didn't have those plastic, self-adjusting ties).
The directions said to then cut X's into the liner, and place the succulents into the orb / ball. Easier said than done. It was more like cutting and stuffing, trying not to sever the succulents into the orb. I used one entire container's worth of plants, and still had space on my upper half of the orb. Not to be discouraged, I spaced what I had of the one container on the upper half.
Lol, my 'orb' looks nothing much like the Pinterest inspiration! For now, I've decided to leave the basket orb as it is, and come back to it once the succulents have a chance to take better root. Then, maybe I can flip the ball and hang it upside down and work right side up with the side now untouched. I like the hanging basket, and I still have an untouched container that I can leave as is, or use to fill the other side of the orb later on.

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Ask the creator about this project

  • Krista @ thehappyhousie
    Krista @ thehappyhousie Canada
    on Jun 22, 2014

    This is so awesome- I absolutely LOVE it- thanks for the tutorial!!

  • Michele Eures
    Michele Eures Conowingo, MD
    on Jun 22, 2014

    I love that! Could you maybe put some other plant in the bottom half of your orb? Like maybe something viney or would the roots disturb the succulents? I don't have any experience with succulents but I would love to try them.

    • Rita C. - Panoply
      Rita C. - Panoply Charleston, WV
      on Jun 22, 2014

      @Michele Eures , I'm not sure about anything else, but quite possibly. In this case, though, I filled both sides with cactus soil, so I'll likely stick with succulents. Planning ahead might allow for some other type of soil/plant. :)

  • Sherry
    Sherry Canada
    on Jun 22, 2014

    Love this! What a great idea! You know, you can take cuttings from those succulents, just leave them out to 'scab over' and start growing hair roots, then stick them in to fill in the empty spots without buying more plants. It will look fabulous in no time!

    • Rita C. - Panoply
      Rita C. - Panoply Charleston, WV
      on Jun 22, 2014

      @Sherry , thank you for that tip! I grew jade plants (indoors) long ago, and then chicks & hens in outside containers. I was thinking as slow as succulents grow it might take 3-4 years to fill this orb, lol. But your advice infers otherwise - that's a good thing! When you say 'scab over', do you mean to actually let them somewhat dry out, and the tips will start growing the roots? I have had only a few tips fall off in the process of planting, and I just stuck those into loose, open dirt around the edges, hoping for new roots.

  • Sandy F
    Sandy F Omaha, NE
    on Jun 22, 2014

    OMG!!! Absolutely brilliant!!!!

  • Lori Otto
    Lori Otto Huntsville, AL
    on Jun 22, 2014

    Hens and chick's would work well

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!