Growing Succulents In A Pinecone: Pairing Pinecones With Succulents

Pinecone Aside Succulent Plant
pinecone succulents
(Image credit: nobtis)

No item of nature is a more iconic representation of autumn than the pinecone. Dry pinecones are a traditional part of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas displays. Many gardeners appreciate a fall display that includes living plant life, something green and growing that needs a bit of nurture. A dry pinecone simply doesn’t offer this. The perfect solution? Mixing pinecones with succulents to create pinecone succulent planters. Here’s how to do it.

Mixing Pinecones with Succulents

Pinecones are dried seed repositories of conifer trees that have released their seeds and fallen to the ground. Succulents are plants native to dry areas that store water in their fat leaves and stems. Could any two botanical objects be more different? While pinecones and succulents are not natural woodland companions in most areas, something about the two feels like they go well together.

Growing Succulents in a Pinecone

Since succulents are living plants, they obviously require water and nutrients to keep them alive.

Usually, this is accomplished by planting a succulent in soil, then watering it. As a fun craft idea, why not try growing succulents in a pinecone? We’re here to tell you that it really works and charm is guaranteed.

You’ll need a large pinecone that has opened and released its seeds, as well as sphagnum moss or soil, glue, and small succulents or succulent cuttings. The basic idea is to attach some moss or soil into the pinecone openings and rehome the little succulents in the pinecone succulent planter.

Before you plant succulents in a pinecone, you’ll want to expand the space between a few pinecone scales to give the plants more elbow room. Twist off a scale here and there, then pack moist potting soil into the scale openings using a toothpick to get it in as far as you can. Then nestle a small, rooted succulent into the space. Keep on adding until your pinecone succulent planter has a look you like.

Alternatively, expand the bowl area on the top of the pinecone by removing a few of the upper scales. Attach some sphagnum moss into the bowl with glue or adhesive. Arrange several little succulent babies or cuttings in the “bowl” until they look appealing, using a mix of succulents or just one kind, whichever appeals to you. Water the plants by spraying the entire planter with water.

Displaying Your Succulent Pinecone Planter

Once you have finished creating your “pinecone for succulents,” you can display it by using a glass for a base. Alternatively, you can use wire or fishing line to hang it beside a bright window or outside in a spot that gets sun.

Care for this planter couldn’t be easier. Spray it with a mister once or twice a week and rotate it occasionally so that every side gets some rays. The more sun the planter gets, the more frequently you should mist it.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.