Learn how to make a dIY succulent driftwood planter at home
We show you how to create a DIY succulent planter with this easy family-friendly tutorial. It’s inexpensive, artistic and adds beauty to any and all home decor. Let’s get started!
How cool are succulents? I know. Pretty cool. Here’s the amazing part. You don’t need any gardening experience or a “green thumb” to create an indoor/outdoor living art piece. And all you need are simple materials like this found piece of driftwood and succulent plants. Actually, succulents are the PERFECT plant for people with little to no gardening skills because of all plants they require the least amount of on-going care. All you need is a little instruction in how to plant them and care for them. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
I have included a few affiliate links if you choose to shop on-line.
Who is this DIY succulent project perfect for?
- loves plants.
- has no planting or gardening experience.
- would love to add more natural elements into their home or outdoor patio.
- doesn’t have time or energy for a full garden.
- doesn’t have a lot of space for a real garden.
- is ready for a no-fail project for the whole family.
- wants to create something unique and special.
What to Buy For Your Succulent
- Succulent clippings (quantity will depend on the size of your driftwood or container).
- Driftwood piece of any shape or size. Projects can also be adopted for other types of containers but deeper containers might involve additional steps. See “Adaptation notes” at the end of the post.
- Floral Glue or hot glue gun. You may use either glue and no, the hot glue won’t harm the plants. However, I read that the floral glue tends to hold up and have more staying power when used with succulents. Hot glue will do fine if that’s what you have on hand.
- Sphagnum moss (absorbent moss to help support succulent health).
Step 1. Cut your succulent plants
The first thing you’ll need to do if you are using a solid piece of driftwood without any crevasses (like I did) is to cut the roots off the succulents.
To do this simply:
- take the succulents out of their planter
- remove the dirt
- using a scissors or gardening clipper snip off the roots
I know this may be difficult but I assure you, it’s ok. The succulents will live fine for awhile without their roots (about 3 months). This is also a good time to remove any of the old or dry leaves. This will expose the stem a bit more which will also help it survive in its new home.
Note: If you do have some deeper crevasses in your driftwood you may consider adding moss and retaining some of the roots as long as you can still attach the succulent so that the roots are hidden and only the head of the succulent is showing. If you have enough room you could even put in some fast drying succulent soil as well to help your succulents thrive. Make sure that there is some way for the moss and/or soil to drain or else you may have to create some holes to prevent root rot. If you care for your plants you can expect them to last about three months without soil. You can maintain your succulent garden indefinitely with soil.
Step 2. Map Out a Plan for placing your succulent plants
Map out where your succulents will go. Take a look at the space and how many succulents you have and how you will group them. Start with the biggest ones first because it will help to balance these out. Each large succulent can function as a focal point around which you may choose to group several smaller succulents. You may want to consider varying the types of succulents in each grouping, mixing textures and colors to create interest.
Step 3. Prepping your Moss
Soak your moss. It is much easier to work with once it is wet.
Note: Succulents can live without moss but adding the moss, especially this type of absorbent moss will prolong their life, especially if you maintain regular watering. Plus it adds to the aesthetic appeal of the garden sculpture you are creating.
Step 4. Attaching Moss
Add floral glue or hot glue to the area where you want to place your first succulent. Add a small amount of moss. Note, It’s easier if you squeeze the excess water out of the moss before adhering.
Step 5. Attaching Succulent Plants
Step 6. Adding More Succulents
Try packing your succulents tight, tucking smaller ones in next to the bigger ones. This will help them adhere better. Continue until you’ve used all your succulents and/or when you feel like you’ve used enough to create the look you are going for.
Step 7. Add Decorative Moss (optional)
After I finished with the succulents I also added some decorative moss. This is totally up to you as it is not essential to helping the succulents survive but is, as I mentioned, purely for decoration. I simply used some hot glue and tucked a few bits of this decorative moss here and there to fill in a few areas. It adds to the layered, textured look of my piece. At this point I still wanted to keep some of the wood showing so I was careful not to add to much.
Artistry of your Succulent Planter
There is no “right or wrong” when it comes to the overall look of this project. Think of it as art because that’s really what it is. Here are some ideas to think about when creating your art:
- Keep some of the wood exposed rather than covering every inch with succulents. The texture and color of the wood can add contrast and interest to the overall project.
- Think of your piece as a three-dimensional sculpture. You may want to display your driftwood project as a centerpiece on a table, in which case it would be seen from all sides. Don’t forget to turn your piece around so that you consider the view from all angles.
- Just as you are varying the shapes, sizes, colors and varieties of succulents, you may also think about attaching them to your driftwood at different angles. Unless your driftwood is totally straight (and some are) and unless you are going for a more modern look (which is also a great option).
- You may want to try follow the same wandering, organic flow of the driftwood and avoid placing each succulent in a “perfect” line. If you are like me I sometimes have to fight doing things “perfectly.”
Step 8. Watering and Maintenance of Your Succulent
Do not water right away. If you soaked your moss they will absorb the water they need from that. Give them a few days for them to “recover.” You can use a spray bottle or a watering can to soak the moss and the driftwood which will both hold onto enough moisture to help keep your plants healthy.
Everything you read about how to water succulents talks about how much it varies from region to region. If you live in a dryer climate, you guessed it, you will have to water much more frequently. If you live in an area that is very mild and humid you will find you need to water much less frequently. For container planting or areas where you have used soil and maintained the roots, the rule of thumb is that you want to soak the roots and the soil (in our case, the moss) to encourage the succulents to establish themselves or at least last as long as possible.
Adaptation for other types of succulent containers
If you’re thinking of planting succulents in other types of containers you will need to adopt these steps and your materials a bit. Succulents need drainage so make sure you use a fast drying succulent soil like this one and that your container has drainage holes. And an important tip when planting succulents in containers, be sure to plant above the rim of the container so that plants won’t ever sit in pooling water.
Have Fun with Your Succulents
If this is your first adventure with succulents then you are probably as excited (and nervous) as I am. Like any new adventure, enjoy it. Consider your first try as an experiment. Because plants react differently to every new environment consider your first planting with succulents a learning experience. Watch them closely. Before you water them check the moss to see if it’s dry. Don’t over water. You will likely find that some varieties will do better than others. Consider replacing those that don’t seem to thrive with others that are doing better. You may want to research different types of succulents and choose varieties like air succulents that don’t require any soil.
A Family Affair
My husband and kids are so excited about our new “Live Succulent Sculpture.” They even asked that we place it center stage on our kitchen island where we can admire it. I have a feeling placed here it will get all the love, care, and attention it needs to thrive. We are already planning our next beach combing trip to look for more driftwood. Everyone wants to make one of their own. Now I call that success.
Your driftwood succulent art piece is really unique…. I think it would look great on a boho style home, but it’s so neat I think it would look great in any style! Thank you once again for March madness, sincerely Patti
sharon Pierce says
What a cute idea! This would make a great gift on a smaller scale.
Denice Hicks says
I would have never thought of this, but it is so cool! Thanks for the tutorial, too. I would have made a few potentially fatal mistakes ; 0
Melissa mamula says
I can’t wait to try! This piece I think would look good in my teenage boy’s room…since he won’t let me decorate anything else in there or my husband’s office. It has a handsome, manly feel that they just might let me put into their spaces…
Jackie Schaeperklaus says
Your driftwood is pretty cool. We live in fla. So it is pretty easy find the wood and this project. Air plants would work really well also.
How fun!! We recently moved to a lake and I look forward to summer when the driftwood comes to the surface. We have a few fun ways we plan to use it but this is so great. It would look amazing with birch wood in the fall too!
I really like this idea. I’ve been wanting to use succulents in my decor but all the ideas i found seem boring. That is until your blog. Thank you for sharing and thank you for march madness
Great idea ladies!! I have already killed 2 succulent plants in the past but it seems I may have over watered them after reading your post. Maybe 3rd time is a charm???
Debbie Rosalis says
That’s a cool project. You did an amazing job !! March Madness ????
sarah wagner says
Love succulents! The only plant I can keep alive… great job!!
I want to hop up right now and go get the materials to do this project! I love succulents and driftwood so this is an amazing combination! Thank you so much for guiding us through and explaining the steps so well! You ladies are awesome and so is this March madness you are doing!! Thank you!
I need to try this! I watched your live video of you making this with your cute son. Great job! March Madness!
what a cool idea to do with the kids ????????
Shalini singh says
This is uber cute !!
Jodie ~ This is such a fun post! I love succulents and have then all over our home.. although I have never tried using driftwood! This is a beautiful idea and want to try it. Thank you for all the detail in this post. ????
You did a beautiful job. Thanks for sharing the step-by-step tips and tricks. I am notorious for killing succulents and am curious how well they do on the driftwood. March Madness.
how cool is this?!?
Stacey Sapp says
Now this is a very unique and fun project! Your succulents look awesome in your driftwood planter! I would have never thought to do that, but great idea!
Beautiful succulents! March madness! ????????
What a great idea! I am so bad with plants so this may be perfect for me! Thanks for sharing!
Very neat! Thanks for this! This post made me think I could actually try this too! Thanks so much! March madness!
Thanks for sharing. I have an analytical mind so bear with me. It seemed you were saying that snipping the roots and gluing the plants down and not using soil (i.e.: planting them on driftwood branches) that they can live about 3 months. Succulents are slow growers and need little water but they ARE plants, therefore, if I read you right, doing this project is basically decorative, knowing the plants will slowly die due to me?.
If that is true then sadly I can’t make one of these. ???? I love my plants ????????????
Succulents are very easy to grow pretty to have around the house! March madness.
Ann @rekindledsigns says
What a beautiful project!! March madness!!
So cool! I watched your live video making this. March Madness
Dori Fiedler says
What an amazing project! Love it so much and love succulents so very much!! MARCH MADDNESS ????
Lisa (@cottagestyle) says
I love succulents AND driftwood so this tutorial is right up my alley! Such a clever idea to mix the two. Thanks for sharing! ❤
Let’s get physical physical????????♀️….,campfire ???? candles??? ohhh YUK???? March Madness go Wisconsin Badgers ????????
Judy O'Nan says
Beautiful! I tried succulents once without success. Maybe I need to try again. I love the look of them. Love march madness too!
Abigail freund says
Watched part of your live video for this! Your boys were adorable reading all of the comments!
MARCH MADNESS !!!
Moriah Elise says
Love you driftwood planter!! I adore driftwood! I have a little nativity scene for Christmas that is made out of drift wood! Great work, love learning from you❤️
March madness giveaway
Kathy Beltran says
I absolutely love this diy project! I definitely think this is something I can do! ????
Glory Galbraith says
What a chic idea! It looks so soft and natural. It’s subtle shades speak to my green loving soul. I am definitely going to give this a try. My heart skips a beat when it comes to succulents. Your video was very well done. Thanks for sharing.
Rhonda Comus says
I am amazed and in awe of how this turned out. I hope you keep us posted on how it is doing. I just love the different colors, shapes and textures of succulents. I’m ready to head to the store to pick out some. What a fun project for the family. Once again, you’ve girls have blown me away with all your talent.
???????? March Madness ????????
So beautiful! March madness????
Looks great! I look forward to finding driftwood this summer. March Madness
Shelly fonda says
I think I need to try to make one.:) !maybe a little smaller! You did such an awesome job! Thank you for sharing! I live near the beach so I’m hoping to find some drift wood!
I love this. Well being that flowers are my life. Happy march maddness. .
Jill Stephenson says
Thank you for sharing!! I am looking forward to beach walks with my family to pick up a piece of driftwood as beautiful of yours. I tried my hand at diy succulents over the winter and they completely died on me????. You have given me new inspiration and ideas.
Kudos and Cheers!
Have a blessed day!
I never, ever imagined I could have plants without dirt ! Love this and succulents seem to be all the rage now???????? Inspired yet again! Do you girls need another sister… triplets?? March Madness has gone to my head LOL
I am doing this tomorrow! I have a similar piece of driftwood that has held beach glass for a few years. It is looking like it needed a change. Kaboom! So glad I saw your clever idea!
I’m so glad you chose to do a blog post on this! I saw it on IG first and absolutely loved it! I’ve not worked too much with succulents, but I’ve read they’re pretty low maintenance so maybe I can keep them alive for the 3 months haha! I can’t wait to try one ???? March Madness
Linda Greer says
Gorgeous!! Maybe that’s something I won’t kill!! ????March Madness
This is a wonderful project and it is very pretty for adding into the design of your space. Plants always add that very special touch to our home. Thanks for this new way to display succulents. Also thanks for an opportunity to win some great products too! Lovin’ this blogger
March Madness! Happy Spring! ????
I seriously can’t wait to try this!!! Such a sweet & springy touch!! Thank you girls for the detailed step by step!
This looks like fun! I’m in since I do not need to have a green thumb!!!!
MARCH MADNESS!!!!! MARCH MADNESS!
I’m really starting to have a thing for succulents. Great spring time project!
Sarah Maney says
Oh my gosh! I love this idea! I’m such a fan of decorating with some natural elements in my home, and this project mixes some of my favorites. I’ll be making my own driftwood succulent planter for sure! (march madness)
I absolutely love drift wood and succculants. I have 2 big ones growing in our courtyard. I snapped a piece off of one and stuck it in some soil, watered it and it is almost as big as the other one. I also made another one for the back yard. They are the most forgiving plants. I think what you made is s piece of art. Thanks for the tutorial ????
Sandy Belabin says
This will be my next project! I ordered my rosary beads and a pillow cover. So excited ????. Slowly but surely my bedroom is coming together thanks to all of your tips.
March Madness ????????????
Kelly Eastman says
Super cuteness!! What a cool idea. I have never used succulents before, but am now inspired! March Madness ????
Brenda Galiher @growingingracedaily says
This is totally gorgeous.. thanks for the DIY, step by step, going to make this!! #MarchMadness
Went looking for driftwood yesterday. All we saw was dead fish because of red tide.will try again today. Want to make one for my daughter.
Happy Tuesday!! I love your positive spirit…it is contagious ???? Your giving hearts are to be admired with your March Madness give away. God Bless you both ????
Love, love, love succulents and what a great way to display them!
What a great project! And simple too! Now to just find me some driftwood ….. Bring on the March Madness! My Jayhawks are still dancin’!
Dori Fiedler says
I did succulent centerpieces for my sons graduation party last spring. I used old fossil (the watch company) tins. They were so unique and all different! Loved how they turned out. MARCH MADDNESS.
You did a great job!!! March Madness!!!
Jan English says
How unique! I just love this idea, the wood and succulents pair perfectly????????. Another successful project under your belt????????. Here’s to March Madness! ????????. Have a blessed day, sweetness!???????? Jan, HomeGirls Design
You do such creative beautiful work!! Look forward to your posts everyday… March Madness
This is so cute and a great project to try. Very good instructions on how to make it. March madness
Shelly fonda says
I tried to find drift wood at the beach today , but no such luck:(. Will look on Amazon. Can’t wait to make one!! Thank you for all the detailed instructions????❤️!
Debbie Rosalis says
March Madness ????????????????
I think all the natural elements just came together so well! This looks like a high-end piece without it being high and dollar. Thank you for the tutorial!
Stephanie Hall says
I’m giving this a try. Thx! March madness
Great blog and tutorial – thank you! What a fun and funkie project! I absolutely love it! I have driftwood in my gardens and can’t wait to add some succulents to them. Who knew you could cut the roots down so much?!! Would look great with air plants too.
I love your blogs! You two gals never cease to amaze and delight us all!
I love this so much — it truly is a living work of art! Thanks so much for your ideas, and March Madness!
March madness ❤
Janneth Tauriello says
I totally enjoyed the live video and the interaction with your kid, it was very entertaining and interesting. March madness !
Pat Howe says
This so cool I love it thanks for sharing I can’t wait to try this. March Madness
I loved watching this on Instagram, thank you for the step by step!! March madness ❤❤
Your DIY tips are so awesome! Thanks for sharing your creativity. So inspirational! March Madness!
I love reading your posts and looking through your pictures for inspiration as I am currently decorating our home right now ???????? march madness
Love the way you have played around with the succulents. This is truly inspirational. I was working on re-potting my succulents this weekend and there is still lot of work to be done. But you made it sound so easy and fun. I am going to make this my stay home date idea. I am sure my husband will love the idea too. ????
I hope to win this giveaway ????????
Love this! Never had much of a green thumb up this even i could do! March Madness
Pati Gould says
This is right up my alley- succulents are about the only plant I can grow ???????? I just can’t remember to water other live plants as needed ????????♀️, but succulents are much more forgiving, thank goodness! Can wait to check out more of your blog-already an inspiration and I’ve only reviewed a couple of topics so far. ???? March Madness????????
Oh my, I love this! My husband and I found a beautiful pierce of driftwood the day we got engaged. It has survived 5 years of marriage and a move! I am going to defiantly try this with that piece!
Maryellen Kawalec says
Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to try this. March Madness
I love this project! I hope I remember to look this up when we are done with our big renovation.
While I was visiting my bff in so cal, she gave me a bunch of succulents to take home. I have some driftwood and would love to try this project 🙂 fun March Madness!