Forget tinsel and plastic, make a stunning living door wreath this Christmas.
At this time of year, succulents can be put to work as living festive decorations, as they have a wonderful diversity of leaf shapes and colours, and are water-wise.
Start at the front door with a living wreath. All you need is a wire frame, from craft stores, a block of sphagnum moss and galvanised tie wire.
A succulent wreath needs sun, but it can survive on a shady door for the few weeks leading up to Christmas.
After the festive season, the wreath can be used to decorate a sunny wall or laid flat on an outdoor table as a centrepiece. You can also recycle the succulents to create a tapestry effect in a large, low pot.
Making a succulent wreath
A wreath requires lots of plants, so take cuttings from mature plants, and divide your echeverias and sempervirens. To enjoy the wreath for many months, water it regularly and fertilise monthly with a soluble complete plant food.
Prepare the cuttings from your succulents, removing the lower leaves for a stem about 50mm long. Lay cuttings in the shade for three days so the stem ends form a callus.
Pack the frame tightly on both sides with a generous amount of wet sphagnum moss. Attach a piece of wire to the frame, wrapping it around the moss at 50mm intervals to secure it.
Add the plants using a pencil or chopstick to make a small hole in the moss. Secure with hairpins to hang the wreath, or lay it flat for six weeks until the cuttings have rooted