Create your own Thanksgiving day decoration with these easy DIY succulent pumpkin planters.
DIY Succulent Pumpkin Planters
Fall is my favorite time of year. It means sweaters, warm drinks, and cozy fires. Living in Pennsylvania means the leaves are turning from green to golden yellow and fiery red. Ahhh, Fall! 🍁
Fall also means the holidays are just around the corner. I have exchanged summer salad recipes for thoughts of pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and roasted Turkey. Our Family’s Thanksgiving dinner plans have begun to take shape.
For most of us this year the coronavirus pandemic will likely alter our dinner plans in some fashion. But even if our Thanksgiving tables have fewer place settings we can still keep our tables and homes festive, creating a warm, welcoming environment for ourselves.
Pumpkins are a traditional Thanksgiving day decoration and I have always been drawn to the lovely white Cinderella pumpkins. Several years ago I happened to see the lovely combination of these white pumpkins and green succulents and I fell in love.
For the past few years, these little pumpkin planters have been a staple of my fall decorations. It is such a great way to reuse succulent plants leftover from my summer outdoor planters.
I am going to share with you how quick and easy they are to make. Use them as a centerpiece or place them on a shelf to create a Thanksgiving day vibe in your home.
Here is what you will need:
- Pumpkin carving tools
- A medium pumpkin (I prefer white)
- A few of your favorite succulent plants
- Potting soil
- A plastic container small enough to fit inside your pumpkin.
Over the years I have tried several methods to preserve these pumpkin planters. At best, I have been able to keep the pumpkins indoors for about 5-6 days. If you are planning on using this as a Thanksgiving day decoration it is best to make it the day before to guarantee freshness.
To start, I chose a medium-sized white pumpkin from a local farm market. I was not able to find a Cinderella white pumpkin but decided that this white pumpkin variety would suffice.
Preserving the Pumpkin
To help preserve the pumpkin follow these steps:
- Wash the pumpkin in a mild solution of bleach, water, and dish soap. Use 1 gallon of water, 2 Teaspoons of bleach, and a drop of Dawn dish soap.
- Dry thoroughly.
- *I have read that after you have carved the pumpkin, rubbing petroleum jelly along the cut edge can help preserve it (I did not do this).
**I have since read more on preserving pumpkins and loved this non-bleach version from Chemistry Cachet. I plan to try this on my next pumpkin carving project.
Cut the Top and Remove the Seeds
I happen to like the kid-friendly pumpkin carving kits better than using a kitchen knife. I actually feel like I have more control of the cut and less fear of injury using these handy little tools. You can find these at your local Dollar Store or Wal-Mart.
I was careful to cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin wide enough to match the rim of the plastic container I planned to place inside the pumpkin.
Planting Your Succulents
I made sure the container was smaller than the depth of the pumpkin. This was so the rim of the pumpkin remained higher than the dish.
I then placed the dish inside the pumpkin. I needed to re-cut the pumpkin edge and scrape more off the bottom of the pumpkin to make it properly fit. Next, I placed the container in the pumpkin and added the potting soil.
Planting the Succulents
I prefer to go outside to do this step, as I tend to make a royal mess when potting any kind of plant.
I arranged the succulent plants in the soil. Of course, this is my favorite part!
Here is how my Thanksgiving pumpkin turned out this year. 🤗
NOTE: If you water your succulents while they are in the pumpkin try to keep the water inside the plastic container. This will help prevent the pumpkin from rotting. Succulent plants can survive with little water so if you only keep your pumpkin planter for 5 days you may not need to water at all. When you notice your pumpkin is starting to rot simply remove the plastic container from the pumpkin and replant the succulents into a pot.
I also found this awesome post from Stone Gable Blog by Yvonne Pratt using tiny white pumpkins and succulents for place cards. These little pumpkin succulent planters are so cute and would make an excellent complement to the larger pumpkin planter.
Want more Thanksgiving Day inspiration? Check out my post on Thanksgiving Family Traditions.