Palm Frond Succulent Planters with Shirley Bovshow

"Home & Family" garden expert Shirley Bovshow has another great living indoor DIY. These arrangements are made from palm fronds and succulents. They live in a mossy bed wrapped in chicken wire. It's easy to make. When finished, elevate the arrangement with driftwood, glass blocks or books to keep the surface off your table. Moisture will transfer.

Palm fronds are all over the roads in California. Are these the same?
Yes. Just pick them up and take them home.

What if you live in a cold climate without palm trees?

  • Many indoor shopping malls have palm trees. Ask them when they clean them to save the fronds for you. Check your larger nurseries also.
  • You can also buy them from a craft store.

What do you look for in a palm frond?

  • Strength, stability, cracks are ok for character, but you want them to be sturdy.

What are succulents?

  • Plants that store water. Thicker stems. Can live without soil.

Why don't you need soil?

  • All they need is moss and moisture. The plant sucks up the moisture and creates thick stems full of water to feed off.

How often do you water them?

  • Maybe twice a month. Use a spritzer bottle.

What materials do we need?

  • Palm frond, succulent plants, outdoor acrylic craft paint, polyurethane varnish, sphagnum moss, plastic or metal chicken wire, twine or wire, pencil or screwdriver to poke holes in the moss

How do we start?

  • Prepare the palm frond. We are going to clean it, paint it, and seal it.

Palm frond preparation steps:

  1. Clean it: this is an untouched frond. We clean it with a copper dish scrubber.
  2. Paint it: then we paint it on all sides and let it dry.
  3. Varnish it: then we seal it with a glossy polyurethane varnish and let dry.

Tip: Clean palm fronds with a copper pot scrubber.

How do we make our moss/wire wrap?

  • Roll out the wire and cut to size.
  • Fill with moss and roll up like a burrito.
  • Fasten the ends with wire or twine to secure.
  • Poke holes in the moss with a sharp pencil or screw driver.

Are there different kinds of moss you could use?

  • "Sphagnum" moss is best for this as it holds water. You can supplement your arrangement with Spanish moss or other varieties for appearance, but this is best for the succulents to live in.

Tip: Use sphagnum moss for the base of your moss "burrito."

  • Take the prepared palm frond and arrange the moss "burrito" in it.
  • Next, arrange the succulents by inserting them into the mossy bed.
  • Use a pencil or pointed screwdriver to create "holes" in the moss.
  • After inserting plants, build up the moss around the entry points.

How do you approach the arrangment?

  • Variety, color, juxtaposing vertical elements with horizontal, spikes, fruit, choosing colors that complement each other.

How long will it last?

  • If cared for, a couple of years.

Where would we display this?

  • Elevate them off the surface of the table. Driftwood or book or glass blocks.
  • Or hang them. Don't leave them sitting on a wood surface.
  • Moisture will transfer.

Approximate materials costs:
Palm frond from a craft store- $12
Paint- $2
Succulents- 2-$6 each
Sealer polyurethane- $10 for a large bottle
Moss- $4/bag
Plastic chicken wire 24" by 25 ft.- $10
DIY palm frond succulent cost- under $50

Watch video>>

Succulents courtesy of

Check out Shirley Bovshow's garden designing expertise at and follow her on Twitter @EdenMaker.

Get more great recipes and crafts by visiting us on Pinterest at and follow "Home & Family" on Twitter @homeandfamilytv and Facebook. Plus, check out our YouTube channel for backstage videos.

Return to episode guide>>

How to Start a Garden
How to Start a Garden