It’s not as hard as it looks! Follow our step-by-step instructions and make your own live wreath centrepiece.
Florist’s wire or fishing line
Quality potting soil
Sphagnum sheet moss
Planting awl or chopstick
Step 1: Building
Your wreath utilizes a metal wire frame for form, but requires careful construction to provide a stable medium for the many plants you will include. One of these frames, bound carefully, works fine for the centrepiece. If you decide to try and make a hanging wreath instead, you’ll need to find a frame designed to hold potting soil.
The sphagnum moss contains bacteria that can be an irritant to skin, so you may want to use gloves while building your wreath. Begin by placing the wreath frame on a large flat surface. If you are using a single frame, have the open side face down.
You want your living moss to be well moistened. Either soak the moss beforehand, or as I prefer, keep a misting bottle handy and mist as you go. Tear sections of the sheet moss into pieces that will extend approximately two to three inches beyond the inside and outside edges of the frame. Slide the moss green face down under the frame. Do not worry about overlapping pieces, and try not to have any holes.
Pour handfuls of potting soil over the frame and onto backside of the moss. Mist the soil after each handful to ensure a hospitable medium for your plantings. Work in circles as you pour the soil, until the frame is covered. Try bending a section of the moss up around the soil and frame to ensure that you have not put on too much or too little.
Next start to bind the moss around the frame and soil. If it does not seem that your moss will be sufficient to hold the soil, try using some sheet coconut fibre as backing. Just cut a 2" or 3" ring that can sit over the soil. Attach the florist’s wire, or fishing line to a point on the frame. Tuck the inside and outside edges of the moss at that point up around the soil, and begin wrapping. Do not worry if the binding is loose at first. As you continue around the wreath, you will notice that you can gradually make things tighter. This might take three or four times around. You will know that you are finished when your wreath feels firm and stable.
Step 2: Planting
Consider the planting of your wreath as an arrangement or design project. Balance the colours, shapes, and textures around the circular form. Consider the inner and outer sides of the wreath in the arrangement of your plantings. Keep all your plants close at hand, and have fun filling out the form.
Use a planting awl, chopstick or other pointy device to pierce the moss casing. For most species, you will need to pry open the moss quite a bit to accommodate roots. Feel free to adjust the wire as you need during planting.
Some plantings may not sit exactly as you want them. Use floral pins to secure them. Pins will also support bushier plants, giving them a more attractive form.
Saving smaller, delicate varieties and succulents until the end. Use these to cover holes and add balance to your arrangement. At this point, you may also want to add cuttings of ivy, boxwood, or flowers. If you decide to use fresh-cut flowers use water reservoirs.
Mist frequently as you plant. Water thoroughly once finished.
Step 3: Caring
Since it is a living arrangement, your wreath needs to be cared for in the same way as any of your potted plants.
Ensure that it sits in a place where it will get sufficient light, and where it is not too warm or cold for the species of plants you have chosen.
Mist regularly. Soak weekly. Ensure no standing water accumulates on the tray underneath.
Prune when necessary to encourage lush and balanced growth.
After the first year, you will need to begin feeding your wreath with a nitrogen rich water-soluble fertilizer.