In the Garden > Gardening Tips, Books, Techniques and Tools
Don and Cheryl Maddocks teamed up to make a magnificent, succulent ball. While hanging baskets are eye-catching, a hanging succulent sphere is simply riveting. Visitors will be amazed when they see this beautiful ball suspended from a tree or pergola, or taking centre stage in your courtyard.
1. Purchase two hanging baskets and remove the chains. Attach 2 wires securely to the rims of each basket or just below at 90 degrees so that they criss-cross in the middle. The wires should be stretched tight.
2.Take individual echeverias (Don and Cheryl used Echeveria secunda var. glauca) and tie 15cm lengths of wire around each plant at a point just below the leaves. Tie firmly but without damaging the plant.
3. Place each plant in the hanging basket with the roots facing inwards. Fix into place by tying the wire on the echeveria to the wire running across the middle of the basket. Do this until you have around 20 plants in place.
4. Layer several centimetres of sphagnum moss over the echeveria roots to hold the plants in place. Then continue tying the plants on and covering the roots.
5. When finished, place the baskets on plastic pots and fill them with compost.
6. Place a flat piece of board over one basket to keep the moss and compost in place when you invert and place it on top of the other basket. Slide the board out and tie the baskets together with wire. Attach a chain and hang your sphere.
The succulent ball will need to be watered about once a week to keep it looking good. You could water the entire ball with a hose, but as the succulents grow and cover the entire sphere it will be difficult for water to penetrate inside. So Don inserted about 10 cm of plastic hose into the top of the ball as a way of ensuring that water reaches the centre. Use a dibble to make a hole in the top of the ball and push the hose down into the hole for permanent water access. Pour water gently into the hose to saturate the inside of the ball.
Echeverias are available at nurseries. They cost $2-$5 for a 75mm (3") pot.
Tie wire is available from hardware stores, for about $6.50.
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