DIY:Making a Hen and Chicks Wreath

This is a great project for the heat of the summer! Here is a step-by-step guide to making a beautiful Hen and Chicks & Succulent wreath for your home or as a thoughtful gift.

Make this perennial wreath that can withstand heat and full sun.
Make this perennial wreath that can withstand heat and full sun.

What you’ll need:

A table outside! This project can be very messy…

(2) 10″ or 12″ Wire Floral Wreaths  $2.29 ea.

(1) Green Craft Wire on paddle $2.49

(1) Bag of Decorator Sheet Moss $4.99

(3) Quarts of Hen and Chicks  $4.99

I used 2 quarts of ‘Pilioseum’ and 1 ‘Red Beauty’

(2) Quarts of small leaved sedum $3.99-4.99

I used 1 quart of ‘Ezawe’ Sedum and 1 qt of ‘Purple Form’

(1/2) Foot of Coco liner $1.50

Total cost: $38

Other Materials:

Scissors, Large bowl of water, 1 Cup of Dirt, any Sedum clippings from your garden.

Feel free to substitute varieties of Hen and Chicks for color variation.
Feel free to substitute varieties of Hen and Chicks for color variation.

Note: To reduce stress on plants water well the night before starting wreath.

Step 1:  Take about 1/4-1/2 of your sheet moss and soak in cool water. Wring and push around until completely soaked.

Step 1: Soak sheet moss
Step 1: Soak sheet moss

Step 2: Lay out both wire wreaths so that raised side is down. Tear strips of sheet moss (wring out first) about the width of wire wreaths and line the inside.

Step 2: Line the inside of wire wreath with a layer of sheet moss.
Step 2: Line the inside of wire wreath with a layer of sheet moss.

Step 3: Pull apart layers of Coco liner so that they are relatively thin and then cut them to width of wreath.

Step 3: Pull apart a section of Coco liner.
Step 3: Pull apart a section of Coco liner.
Step 3: Cut Coco liner into strips about as wide as wreath.
Step 3: Cut Coco liner into strips about as wide as wreath.

Step 4: Push Coco liner into both wire wreaths on top of sheet moss.

Step 4: Push Coco liner on top of moss and secure loosly in wreath edges.
Step 4: Push Coco liner on top of moss and secure loosely in wreath edges.

Step 5: Spread a thin layer of dirt on top of Coco liner on one wreath. This will be your bottom wreath.

Step 5: Spread a thin layer of soil onto one wreath. This will be you bottom.
Step 5: Spread a thin layer of soil onto one wreath. This will be you bottom.

Step 6: Keep soil lined wreath on table. Flip opposite wreath on top of soil lined wreath, so that lined sides are facing each other and convex sides are facing out. The area inside is what you will be filling with plants.

Put wreaths together, keeping soil lined wreath in place.
Put wreaths together, keeping soil lined wreath in place.

Step 7: Tie the end of your green wire securely onto the wire wreath. Keeping the wreaths flat as not to disturb soil inside, lift and begin to wrap wire around entire wreath leaving about 1.5″ between wraps. Cut and tie the other end when you are finished. It should be tight enough as to where the two sides don’t move.

Keeping your wreaths flat, wrap wire securely around them.
Keeping your wreaths flat, wrap wire securely around them.

Step 8: Now its time to start filling your wreath. I recommend starting with your largest Hen and Chicks first. This will help you gauge the balance of the wreath.Tip you quart upside-down in your hand and shimmy the plants out. Firmly grasp one of the “Hen” plants, pulling the plant and roots at the same time. Its easiest to do this by shaking some of the soil out, leaving some on roots for planting.

When planting larger Hen and Chicks you may need to loosely secure them in place with wire.

Step 8: Seperate plants from clump. Take care not to pull of roots.
Step 8: Seperate plants from clump. Take care not to pull of roots.

Step 9: Using your finger push a hole in between the Coco liner and soil. You may also make a cut in the liner with your scissors. Ensure it is slightly smaller than your root bundle to keep plant from falling out. Begin working at the roots end gently pushing roots in. You may have to loose a bit of soil off roots to get it to fit.

Step 9: Planting. Make a hole with your finger slightly smaller than root ball.
Step 9: Planting. Make a hole with your finger slightly smaller than root ball.

Step 10: Repeat, working your way around the wreath. At some point you can switch over to planting your Sedums, as they can take up alot of room. Repeat separation process, taking extra care not to tear from roots.

Pinch plants at base of roots to prevent tearing.
Pinch plants at base of roots to prevent tearing.
Move back and forth planting both Sedums and Semperviums.
Move back and forth planting both Sedums and Sempervivums.

Step 11: Plant any extra clippings from your personal garden. Sedums tend to take root easily. Once you feel satisfied with the amount of plants in the wreath, begin filling top and sides with sheet moss to cover metal rings. The moss will also help keep moisture near roots between waterings.

Plant Sedums from your own garden for extra interest.
Plant Sedums from your own garden for extra interest.

Make sure to plant any leftover plants in a sunny location in your yard! Keep planting and adding moss as necessary of the next few weeks as plants settle.

Care:

Make sure wreath is left in full sun.

Leave the wreath lying in a flat position for at least two-three weeks. This gives the plants time to root themselves in place.

Water every 2-3 days if it hasn’t rained.

After first frost place on ground in a sheltered area in your yard. Make a shallow hole and push dirt and leaf compost up around edges and inside, so that it is flush with the wreaths top and edges. Do not compact. When it gets colder yet cover completely with leaf compost. Remove in early spring after last snowfall.

(Note: Sempervivums can survive the winter in a cold dark location, such as a  garage without water. You may loose a few of your Sedums storing it in this manner, but it is an alternate method of storage.)

Enjoy for many years to come!
Enjoy for many years to come!