How to Use Humble Succulents as Your Sukkah Centerpiece
The first thing I purchased when we moved into our house six years ago was a succulent. I had a wooden folding table and no chairs – but in the centre of that surface was a four-headed plant in an aged brass planter that made me feel like I HAD IT TOGETHER. Spiky, quirky, beautiful – the plants didn’t demand much; they didn’t need their stems snipped just so on a diagonal, they didn’t need water warm like a baby’s bath, and they didn’t need any floral tape. They asked for little and they made me feel much.
If there’s one thing to learn about me, it’s that I am the anti-green thumb. Find me a cactus surviving eight years in the heat of the Sahara and I will annihilate it. I fastidiously read the little clipped-on instructions attached to every orchid ever gifted, I vow that THIS time WE WILL SURVIVE, and yet here I stand, tail between legs, staring at the desolate branches to the left of my powder room sink.
BUT: SUCCULENTS. Hardy little guys, conveniently trendy: this, I can tackle – and with the following how-to guide, I think you can too.
What are they?
Succulents are plants that have telltale fleshy leaves containing sap. They have those leaves so they hold as much moisture as possible.
Why are they so popular?
Aside from the décor angle (where today’s phase of eclectic/boho-chic design is in sync with the look of the succulents), here are a few plant-heavy reasons:
- They’re low maintenance. They require less watering and little to no pruning.
- They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. This includes very tiny plants in small pots which can easily find a home on a desk, so with little effort or money, you can beautify your home.
- They attract fewer pests. Many times plants bring about pests because of the constant need for watering. When you don’t have to water the plants as much, such as with succulents, the risk of pests reduces dramatically. The thick, waxy leaves of succulents are also more difficult for pests to penetrate and feed through.
What is the care like?
- They don’t require much water, nor do they need to be repotted (although you can if you want to for aesthetic reasons). They grow slowly and do not need to be pruned.
- The only thing to watch out for is the tendency people have to over-water succulents.
- It’s often written straight out that they do not need much water, but so many people have a natural tendency to want to water plants daily. This should not happen with succulents. All I would recommend for you to do is test the soil and see if it’s dry.
- If you do water your succulent and keep it in a saucer, remove it and hold it under a tap and let the water drain. Or, if you use a watering can, once you water the plant, check later to see if it is sitting in water. If it is, remove it from the saucer and toss it away. When soil is dry, avoid light watering – always water the plant thoroughly when needed and discard any excess water.
- They thrive when left near light. The truth is, lightly spraying them with water about once a month can help them survive for a period of time.
To Create the Look Shown Here:
What You’ll Need:
- 8–14 succulents
- Terracotta planters
- Optional, spray paint to match sukkah theme/decor
- Optional, 3 terrariums – see note
- Measure table length and subtract one to one and a half feet from either end. That should give you length you need to fill down centre.
- Purchase succulents of various styles.
- If spray painting, spray paint planters in colour that suits sukkah/house the best. Alternatively, go straight to simply placing succulents in planters.
- Place succulents clustered down the length of the table. There is no method to this – be natural and place randomly!
Note: If table is long enough, or you like the look, arrange terrariums randomly down the middle. Fill spaces in with succulents.
For the table, earthy tones suit this energy well. Any neutral cloth can work – the key here is to not overthink, and let the natural, outdoorsy vibe take centre stage.
Photography by Chani Edell @imagesbycarolinephotography
Plants from RS Floral Design @rsfloraldesign
For more great holiday ideas, check out Dip the Apple.