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Hanging Succulent Sphere

Posted by slr8 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 10, 10 at 19:30

Yeah, I know, I know...not garden junk...but I am having a hard time finding anyone who has made one of these so I am going to the group of people who are the most creative and constantly making beautiful items for their gardens. If someone could respond to this here, it would be so much appreciated.

I want to make a hanging succulent sphere and I was hoping for pictures of any that you have made. I see the ones on the internet but they are made by professionals and I want to know, truly, how easy they are to make and manage over time. I want to make one with Hen and Chicks specifically. Any information, pictures, tips or opinions would be wonderful!

Thanks

Hanging Succulent Sphere


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

*Left Click on the picture to see it bigger*

SLR8 - welcome to the forum with the most creative people around ! Your idea sounds awesome - I know for sure you'll get plenty of advice here. In fact - I was looking for a way to display my hen & chicks - I never thought of a ball. we might both end up making something together ! LOL
I feel a flood of ideas from awesome people coming your way :)


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

I read a tutorial on this years ago, when I made a living wreath of succulents.

At the garden centers you have probably seen the half-round metal baskets lined with dried moss that you buy and plant yourself. You will need two of these half-rounds in order to make the solid ball. You will fill each side with potting soil and then carefully wire the two sides together to make a full circle. Now you have a ball of soil, encased in dried moss, inside of a metal cage. With a sharp knife, you will cut a slit large enough to plant your succulent - planting enough succulents to nearly cover the ball, but allow for spread. Add a chain for hanging, and water well. I found that mine tended to dry out very fast. Good luck.
-Sprout


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

What Sprout is describing is something like this, though mine doesn't have the moss or the soil, or the succulents!

[IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/34rvo0x.jpg[/IMG]


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

The owner of Mexican Hat Cactus in Riverside, Ca removes the pot from a hens and chicks plant, leaving the roots as is. He 'sews' sturdy thread through the roots and hangs it up by the thread. The hens and chicks grow all around the bottom of the roots and become a sphere. I'm guessing they get submerged in a bucket of water about once a week, probably with very light fertilizer.

A round shaped cage can be lined with moss and the center filled with soil. Set it in a flower pot and poke cuttings into the soil on the top half. Once they're rooted, hang it with the plants hanging out the bottom and plant the top half. Dunk it in a bucket of water about once a week and hang it back up. Hens and chicks may work best, but other succulents will work. Just trim them back if they get leggy.

Round cages can be found in all the usual places, yard sales, TSs, etc. Tell everyone you know you're looking for one and it may show up on your porch. Hope this helps. Linda

Here's one that Edna is working on.
Photobucket

The arch is this photo is a CD holder. Any shape can work.
Photobucket

Here's a wreath. They're all made the same.
Photobucket


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

neeeeat! How are those little guys attached in there?^


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Glad you saw this thread, sewandsew...you know so much about these succulents...but I couldn't find any pics of yours. These are just beautiful! Love the wreaths, too! Kudos to Edna! Should be an inspiration for slr8 who does so many beautiful things in her yard! TFS! Jeranne S.

I planted some hen & chicks in this "egg basket" (May pic) & they are doing pretty good...I've removed the German Ivy now & added more Hen & Cks & an ornamental cabbage. What fun!

Chicken & Egg Basket 5.10


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

Edna's projects are beautiful and that egg basket is so cute.
I'm going to have to try some of those.

I've read about this, but haven't done it yet and one good tip I found was to put a piece of cardboard or something on top of one basket so the dirt stays in when you turn it over to put them together. The pull the cardboard out before lacing the baskets together.


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

If you use the 2 baskets, I wonder if you couldn't
put a piece of styrofoam in the center of each
to cut down on the weight? I don't think that hens
and chicks have a really deep root system.
And putting a block of styrofoam might alleviate the
weight... just a thought... even a small ball
of foam could help.

I think I need to look in to this! lol looks fun!


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RE: Hangdfing Succulent Sphere

Here is Tasymo's picture... I hope Tasy doesn't mind.....


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GOSH! I wish I could grow a variety of sedums.
I found a picture of a wreath (with directions)in an issue of Sunset magazine when we were stationed in Seattle in the 1960's. It has been in my folder ever since. I have bought (and BOUGHT) and tried them and they just don't work for me. Maybe it is the humidity of my area. They just rot, except for ONE hen and chicks that has been around a long time. My grandma had some of it. It's like the greyish/green one in the wreath shown here. I would love to have a sphere!!!!


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

Hi Ladies,
I was going to say the same thing as sprout.

Nona,
I have a Rain Forest tillandsia that was huge so I put it in a 1/2 round but it has grown so humonguous that it looks like a ball now. Here is a pic that looks almost similiar to mine now. You might try these if you live in a humid environment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tilly in a Ball shape


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

That tillandsia is gorgeous.

Great idea on the styrofoam, one of the reasons I haven't tried it is concerns about where to hang it and how to keep it from falling in the wind since it would be so heavy.


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

Thank you, Kat Wa! Sorry about the bird poop in that pic. There is a robin's nest in the bush behind the sphere, and they love to perch there. My sphere was made from two metal baskets zip tied together. I think a styrofoam ball, surrounded by moss and soil inside the cage would work great for succulents.


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Many, many, many thank you's to all of you. I have so much to say to each of you! I love all the pictures that I see! That's exactly what I was looking for. Pictures of projects in the making. Not these beautiful, professional aged ones. I need to know what mine will look like initially too.

I love the idea of the Styrofoam ball in the centre, Katwa! I bought a large bag of perlite to mix with the soil to cut down on the weight because I knew it would be an issue. But a styrofoam ball from the dollarstore would do the trick!

I just love Sewandsew's comment about hanging the hens and chicks and allowing them to grow into a sphere! That's interesting, isn't it? They would be definitely smaller and might look very neat with the large one near it. Also the CD case is quite cool...never thought of using other metal shapes! That's a good idea. An arch way would be something quite spectacular and unexpected in a garden.

Tasy's metal globe is really neat. If you read this Tasy, Do you expect to plant in it, or is it for decoration the way it is? Either way, what a find!

Nona, I am sorry yours don't turn out. But after seeing other varieties of plants that can be planted this way, I wonder if someone has other ideas. I thought everyone could plant succulents. That tillandsia is so AMAZING! I love that plant! I just have never heard of it until now. I saw a Jade plant sphere done on the internet too. It would be a neat indoor plant to hang, Nona

Ok, I bought the two metal baskets and the moss. I bought the perlite, as I said, and wire. So I am ready to begin. Then yesterday I thought, hmmm...Hens and Chicks, and lots of them. So I posted on a local site telling people I wanted some and two people responded with four buckets full of unwanted Hens and Chicks! FOR FREE! Can you believe that! I am so excited. So I think I have it figured out thanks to you guys.

I love the idea that RockOakDeer had about the cardboard being placed as you flip them to keep the soil in it. I wondered about that. I couldn't figure that part out. So I do believe I am ready now. I really wanted a variety of hens and chicks so that the colours, textures and shapes would be different, but it would be costly. I just filled my front garden with a dozen varieties of hens and chicks but they haven't had a chance to fill out yet. So I may take one from each grouping but it certainly won't fill in for a long long time. So regular green ones will be my main grouping, but I will throw the cobweb, red and brown ones in too and one day they will grow and fill in. I wish I had the number that SewandSew has! Those wreathes and spheres are going to be amazing.

Sewandsew, did you make that recently, then? Will you have pics of them growing and spreading, or will it take quite some time for that to happen?

Anyway, keep in touch if you find more examples of the spheres. I will keep checking back in and I will post my final project. Thanks again!


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

The succulents I posted are in my friend's yard. The link is below to all the photos there. Some are the same spots at different times. She has a lot of great junk and succulent ideas and runs out of room sometimes, but never great ideas.

The styrofoam ball will probably work fine. The plants are attached just by their roots. Most of Edna's are pushed in as cuttings and grow roots after. When the roots hold the plants, they can be turned sideways or upside down.

Susiewantsroses suggested to use black weed cloth for lining, then just cut a hole where you want to insert the plant.

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Edna's garden


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I may end up turning my metal sphere into a succulent ball, if the Clematis doesn't do well. I'm hoping the Clematis will swarm up the post and become a mass of beauty, but it's taking it's time...


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I like the succulent wreaths but that ball is very cool too! I have 2 of those hanging planters so whenever I get a yard, I might just have to try this idea. TFS slr8 and the rest of you who contributed to this thread!


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When making the succulent ball do you 'crowd' the succulents or space them to give room to grow?


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If you crowd in the succulents, they'll fill in faster. They can always be thinned out later if necessary. Linda


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This is not a succulant ball, but last year I saw a tall boot with holes cut up and down and hens and chicks growing in the holes, I do this with all kinds of shoes and I have a couple boots to plant just haven't gotten to it yet. It looked really cool with those plants growing out hte sides.


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I have a question about over wintering. Are you all in a zone that have mild winters or what do you do? Cheap me doesn't want to pay for all the succulents and have them freeze.


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I am in Wisconsin and have my hens and chicks in pots. I put them in the garage over the winter to protect them a little, but they still freeze. I throw a handful of snow on them once in a while. Worked great last year!


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I am in zone 6 and the hens and chicks stay outside and survive just fine. I have some on a rock (without dirt that I can see) and they just keep on living. I recently made a hen and chick garden which holds nothing but rocks and Hen and Chicks, and with the 12 different varieties, it looks quite nice, I think. I actually have pics posted on the forum somewhere. They haven't filled in quite yet, but in a few years, it should be really nice. I also have a miniature garden started with only hens and chicks. So the succulent ball was inevitable. I have been testing the idea of hen and chicks for some time. So the succulent ball should be very nice. I would NEVER pay the price of succulents if they didn't overwinter. I will probably put this ball in the garage and perhaps water once or something. I am not sure what to do...I don't want to lose them either. BUT, I did get these particular Hens and Chicks for free from a couple of people in town, so if they did die, at least I didn't spend money on it.

Edwena, too funny. The boot idea looked really cool the one time I saw it. I have yet to find a cool boot to do this too. I check second hand stores once in a while. Do you have pics of yours to post?

I am going to put them close together because I don't want to wait for them to fill in. Could take a lot of time. They don't multiply necessarily too fast. I hope others try to make these so we can post the pictures.

I have seen it made with sedums and stonecrop. If you don't have enough of the Hens and Chicks, you could fill in with sedum clippings or whole plants. You just pinch back as you want. I have also seen it done with petunias. Really pretty too but I couldn't imagine trying to keep it watered. How often would you have to do that?

Oh, I should mention that I read that you should put a small tube in the finished sphere in order to water the soil inside. The hens and chicks, once crowded, make it hard to water the ball.

I will be starting to make the ball in the next couple of days. I hope I do this right...


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How do they fair in the sun?


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Thanks for the suggestions by those who responded to my woes of not being able to grow succulents....I keep trying different ones....Can't help myself!


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@Nona have you tried agave s or sansevarrias? You could try the succulent forum. There has to be some that you can grow.
@slr8 I haven't actually put the boots together yet maybe this weekend.
@chickiebabeblue I live in mn I had some chicks in a shoe last year and stored them behind an old storm door we have in the back yard and they were fine. To my surprise and great delight, this was the first winter I tried to overwinter in the shoes.


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I live in Ohio - zone 5. I leave everything with hen & chicks in it outside in my flower beds all winter. This year they were covered for a LONG LONG time with about a 3' drift of snow. They went absolutely nuts in the spring. They like the moisture in the winter. I have lots of planted shoes and one pr. especially has been in my flower bed for about 15 years and I've never moved them anywhere in the winter. Love the sphere look - be sure to post pictures!
Arlene


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Edwina, I do have a 'century plant' greenish gray, but the varigated one will freeze here in NW Florida. The 'mother-in-law tongue' will survive some of the winters, but they freeze too. We have sudden freezes (75 degrees one day, below 30 the next) instead of cool down times for adjustment. A lot of things will freeze that have not been acclimated. Neither of those, however, are suited to a WREATH which I would love to have! Grin.


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I definitely will post pics as soon as I get a chance to build it. So little time with a toddler and an infant fighting for my attention. But I have to do it soon...the hens and chicks sure don't want to live in plastic bags for very long. Soon...


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I LOVE this idea!! I've been thinking about it for days and found two wire baskets in my garage. I've been talking with a seller on Ebay who sells collections of different varieties of miniature sedums and sempervivums. He has built a couple of these spheres before and said he especially liked the ones which mixed both plants. He said I could probably leave it outside over the winter (zone 7) but that he overwinters his in the garage (he's up north somewhere) I'll try to attach a link to his ebay store if anyone is interested. Of course... SLR8 has the right idea... FREE is soooo much better!! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: sedums & sempervivums


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Just to show the difference...I added more Hen & Chicks & they do take root fairy quickly ... my Egg Basket Hen & Cks...pic from yesterday (in-between rains)! H&Cks certainly are a forgiving plant! Jeanne S.

Egg Basket Hen & Chicks & Sedum 6.10

This is the pic that "inspired" me ... had it saved in my Future Projects Album...is this Cindee's, too? Anyone know? Think it's in the Inspiration Album, too! I LOVe this terracotta hen!

Photobucket


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ladycraft, succulents are hardy to zone 3! They need plenty of sun and well drained soil. A nursery in Wisconsin specializes in succulents and sells them on the internet. They are in northern Wisconsin, further north than the frozen tundra of Green Bay. lol! You should be able to grow any kind of succulent in your zone 6b.


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I gave away hundreds of hens and chicks at a plant exchange a couple of years ago. They go nuts in certain places in my garden, and I had to dig up a flower bed when we repaired the back porch footings. . If only I'd known about the sphere I could have tried that!
Love all the pics and what different people have done.
Kathy


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My hens and chicks stay in the ground year round.... I tried putting them in pots and overwintering them in the garage but I forgot to water them.
This spring I put a few in some old wooden Dutch clogs that I saved from my Grandparents when they were downsizing but I have a stubborn chipmunk who keeps pulling them out.

They grow like nuts in my front flower bed that is full sun.

I think I want to make one of these-- but I'm going to aim for basketball size.... and then I'd dunk it in my goldfish pond once a week.
I think it would be cool hanging from an arch covered in morning glories (or any other vine of choice)
If I had enough I would so love to make an arch like Linda posted, but I wouldn't be able to dunk it and would worry about it getting enough water.


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Well, I am slightly embarrassed. I started my sphere, using one half of the ball, of course, and it just didn't work out. It's a lot harder than it looks and I was trying to wire each hen and chick in. There was wire all over! HA HA HA! I really am not good at some of this stuff. Holy! But, I am going to try again. Especially after checking out how much these are to buy, I want to try again! I went to a greenhouse called Colasanti's (Southern Ontario Canada) and they had huge pots of over-flowing Hen and Chicks for $1.50. There were so many different types that I bought as many as I could afford. I am sure they are going to throw out what they don't sell, and then I started to feel bad for them, so I bought some more. LOL. Anyway, I think I will try to do it again with these ones because they will have a much better root system than the ones I was trying to work with. The "free" ones I got are now growing in my gardens. My husband is not too thrilled as he really doesn't love these plants. HA HA HA! Poor guy. I made a Hen and Chick garden in the front, and then I talked about a sphere (he admits he would be afraid of this ball, lol) and now they are all sprawled all over the gardens. I just didn't want them to die. Anyway, when I told him I bought some more, he was soooo afraid. He hasn't seen the box of them yet as they are at my mom's. He will be very afraid when he sees the number I bought! Sheesh! If anyone has any tricks about how to be successful with this project, I would love to know. I must be missing something.


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anyone from this post have any luck??


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Not yet, but I've got the plants to give it a try this spring.

I found another tip which is to use florist foam (instead of styrofoam) in the middle because it will hold water.

I may do a flat one for the first attempt.


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i was thinking the same thing abought the styrofoam ball..maybe put the ball in a large zip-lock frezzer bag??


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You could use hair pins to hold the plants to the ball intead of fussing with wire or florist's greening pins.


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I have read instructions for making the wreaths with succulents and they all say to leave the wreath lying flat for a few weeks so that the succulents' roots have time to grab hold. I imagine with the ball, you'll have to plant one side and let it sit for a while before planting the other side. Maybe plant the bottom portion first and then the top. You do need to use something to "pin" them in. I like club_53's idea of the hair pins if they'd work!


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I'm so glad somebody brought this thread to the top again! I am VERY MUCH in love with that sphere with the hens and chicks! It's DEFINITELY on my try list for this year!

I have seen the pic of Tasymo's sphere before, but just figured out that it's actually 2 baskets hooked together! OOOOOH! I have the perfect spot for one of those, too!!! What a fun thread!


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I have made them. They can be found at dollartree stores. There they come with or have available the liners. They work well for a long time. Succulents need to go easy on water. you need to water from top and let it run til it drains thru bottom at least once a week. On P Allen Smith they had a segment on these. The lady prepared the ball and then took the succulents out of a small pot. She used long tweezers to make a hole in the ball and then used it to insert the plant. This holds them very well. But she said she always wires them also. I like the hairpin idea. They mentioned using wet spagnum moss to line the basket. You should be able to hang it up before placing the bottom plants in. She suggested not crowding since they grow quickly.

I think perlite would not be good. They have cactus mix that seems to be pretty light. I used a light board to hold dirt in and turned top onto the bottom basket. I used the wire chain to hook both together and also added more wire.
I also made a couple of 'balls' and only put plants in the bottom half. Then put the top on etc. The plant inside the ball will grow up and out the top and look nice also.

I went to Mexican Hat Cactus in Riverside, Ca with Linda and the balls he made were great. I bought one that was in the pot and spilling over. I have had it two years but it has not gone into a ball....but it is still hanging there and has had flowers. Good Luck


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For those of you who like videos, I have this one flagged for when I can get around to it (Martha with some garden expert doing the wreath) http://www.marthastewart.com/article/succulent-wreath

Here is a link that might be useful: mists and enchantments my blog


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I have an old rusty grocery cart I plant every year. I lined it with burlap then filled it with soil. (It's held up about 4 years so far.) I made cuts in the burlap on the sides of the cart and push plant roots into the holes so they grow out the side of the cart as well as planting the top. I like using burlap because it's one big piece rather than trying to make a solid "skin" of moss made up of multiple sizes and shapes of moss.


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Prestonsnana, Would love to see a picture of your shopping cart. Can't imagine how many plants it must take.


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Here's my tillandsia that is growing into a sphere.It's the same as the above posters plant.Mine is in one of those baskets that has the coconut fiber in it,i just added some spaghnum moss,and this is the results.I have newer pictures of it now and it's bigger and has more blooms,but i havn't uploaded them to PB yet.

air plant

Kathi


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I've just started wreaths for Christmas gifts. It does take a long time for them to grow in. They say you need 100 cuttings to make one, but I don't have that many for 6 wreaths!!! So I have to wait for the ones I do have to grow. They are done on 12in forms, but are about 14-16in with moss. I use florist pins to hold the cuttings in and the wreaths can be hung after a couple of weeks. It's not my intent to hang them, however. They do dry out too fast when hung I think. They look nice on the patio tables. I also bought two sphere frames to do kissing balls which I haven't started yet.


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I love this thread. I'm intrigued by the Christmas gift idea. How do you store them for Christmas? Or are you in a warm clime?
Kathy


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I live in Southern California, so winter is not a problem for me. This first photo is a little wreath that I did first. I made newbie mistakes! You can see that I have forests and flat lands. They were such cute little plants in their tiny pots!Let me see if I can insert a photo.
Photobucket
But I went on to do the bigger wreaths. This is how I soak it when they get dry. They really are growing big and I may have to prune them before December.
Photobucket


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You have me wanting to make one, too! I did a google image search for "hanging succulent sphere and came up with this hit with good instructions, and pictures from beginning to end.

http://www.drought-smart-plants.com/succulent-sphere.html#axzz1WKPY0Rrj


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Here are some detailed instructions with pictures. I hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Make a Succulent Kissing Ball


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Here are some newer pictures of mine.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cacti/msg051651336138.html
kathi


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RE: Hanging Succulent Sphere

What wonderful ideas. I have some succulents and was wondering yesterday what to do with them. Now my mind is exploding with new concepts.


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