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Make This Lasting Bouquet That Needs No Water

Make This Lasting Bouquet That Needs No Water

Did you know that you can transform awkward, leggy, overgrown succulents into a bouquet that requires no watering? Gardenista editor Michelle recently learned this. Here’s what she writes:

“I discovered the trick the other day when I wandered into a local floral shop called Green Door Design, where owner Susie Turner had brought in thick-stemmed echeveria succulents pruned from her garden. Tied in bunches, they were lying on tables around the shop.”

“You can put them in a vase—with no water—and they’ll be happy for a month or longer,” Turner told her. “Then, stick them in dirt and they’ll grow.”

Sold, Michelle decided to make one of her own. Here’s how:

Photographs by Michelle Slatalla.

Above: Better than fake flowers. Native to the mountains of Mexico, echeveria are happiest in the desert. What this translates to at home: no maintenance, no upkeep, and they’ll last for weeks in a vase.

When choosing a vase, remember that succulents, plump from hoarding water in their leaves, look good juxtaposed against metal or rustic surfaces.

Above: There are a lot of different types of echeveria. The genus belongs to the Crassulaceae family of succulents, and was named after the 18th-century Spanish botanist Atanasio Echeverría (who collected plants and made drawings during an expedition to Mexico).

Michelle says not to worry about getting “the right echeveria.” All you need to make a similar bouquet is a few leggy succulents with a rosette-shaped flower at the end of each stem.

Above: To make a bouquet, step one was to prune woody bits off each stem. The idea was to make a tight clump of flowers (so the woody parts don’t show); the straighter the stems, the tighter you can clump them.

Above: Michelle tied twine around a “base bouquet” that consisted of several stems cut to a similar length.

Above: The “base bouquet” still had lots of gaps in it, so the next step was to tuck in individual stems to fill out the arrangement.

Above: The result was a pillowy, sensuous ball of flowers.

Above: Michelle kept the height of the bouquet low to create the effect of a plush pincushion above the lip of a painted iron vase from France (circa 1920). An urn shape with a wide mouth is a good shape to hold the stiff bouquet in place.

Are you a sucker for succulents? See Gardenista‘s tips on How to Stop Killing Your Indoor Succulents and instructions for making a DIY Succulent Table (with a permanent centerpiece).

Read more: Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Gardenista, Green Home Decor, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Materials & Architecture, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Activities, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Surprising uses for ..., , , , , ,

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Gardenista

Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.

103 comments

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7:54AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

But why deprive the poor plant of water?
I feel sorry for this succulent .
Yes it can survive in all kinds of extreme conditions, but it is still a living thing that will die from this treatment,

I dislike this idea.
Plants are my friends. Why keep it in a vase without water when I can give it all the water it needs?

4:31PM PST on Dec 13, 2013

Very cool, thank you!

10:05AM PST on Dec 9, 2013

Noted, thank you!

11:11AM PST on Nov 27, 2013

Interesting - but won't it soon shrivel?

4:47AM PST on Nov 25, 2013

noted

7:40PM PST on Nov 24, 2013

They're so pretty!

12:46AM PST on Nov 21, 2013

Thanks for Sharing

10:00PM PST on Nov 11, 2013

this looks interesting...ty

6:58PM PST on Nov 11, 2013

Love this. Not sure how well they'd hold up in low-light settings, though I suppose some would do better than others.

7:02AM PST on Nov 7, 2013

well I know what I am getting to decorate the house lol

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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