DIY Driftwood Succulent Garden

Like the rest of the world, I’ve jumped on the succulent train. I’ve already written about making a Faux Succulent Wreath and I’ve talked about my love for these little plants. It turns out, I’m not the only one who loves having these small interesting-looking plants in their home. Ever since I made my succulent wreath, I’ve gotten so many compliments on it from strangers who’ve stumbled across my blog post, to Instagram followers and just about everyone who comes to my house, including our mailman.

As I mentioned before, my skills are pretty low when it comes to taking care of plants, but succulents have been the one type of plant I’ve had some luck with. Since things were going well with my fake wreath and the real plants I had scattered about my home, I thought it was time to try something a little more challenging. A year and a half ago I was shopping at Dillon’s Distillery in Beamsville when I saw a really unique looking table centerpiece. It was a piece of driftwood that had plants and moss and stones placed inside it and it looked so whimsical. It wasn’t for sale, but I snapped a picture because, as per usual, my mind was running a mile a minute trying to figure out how I could create it myself. When the spring came around, I decided to offer to make one of these for my mom as a mother’s day gift. It turned out that both her and my sister wanted to learn how to make one as well, so we scheduled a day to try our hands at making our own Driftwood Succulent Planters.

IMG_20170629_140333.jpgToday I’m going to share with you the step-by-step instructions for how to make one yourself. I love this project as a DIY because it gives you complete freedom to express yourself individually. There are so many great ways to make this your own. There are just a few steps to follow, but let your creative juices flow. When you shop for succulents, pick up whatever your drawn to. Maybe it’s the ones with a pretty colour or interesting texture. Maybe you get some that will hang over the edge, or maybe they will all be upright. It doesn’t matter – the only thing that matters is that you love it!

You’ll need:

A log or piece of driftwood – ideally you want one that is about 4 inches thick so you have enough room for the plants and soil. Then length is up to you

Drill with 1 ¼ or 1 1/8 drill bit


Safety glasses

Succulents – whatever variety of sizes, types and colours you like


Cactus soil or regular potting soil

River rocks or decorative moss, if you want

A spray bottle with water or a small bowl filled with water

IMG_20170629_130931.jpgThe first thing to do is prep the log by cleaning it and making sure it is free of bugs and dirt. The easiest way to do this would be to hose it off outside and leave it in the sun to dry. Once it’s dry, decide which side you want to be the top of your planter. The log needs to lay flat and not tip over. Mark on the log where you want the plants to go. Using a drill and drill bit, slowly drill into the log about 2 inches deep, being careful not to split the wood or go all the way to the bottom. Continue to drill along the top to create the opening where your plants will go. Then, use a chisel to even out the bottom and remove any excess pieces of wood from the opening. Since it’s going to be covered, it doesn’t have to be perfectly flat or neat, so don’t worry too much about it. My dad did this part and I think he did an awesome job. Thanks, Dad!

Once your log is ready, you can start planting. First you need to line the bottom of the planter with a thin layer of moss. Make sure the moss is damp so you can spread it out evenly. On top of the moss, place a thin layer of soil. Don’t make the soil layer too deep – you need room for your plants’ roots.

IMG_20170629_132109.jpgArrange your plants until you are happy with the layout. I like to play with different colours, heights and textures. I also like the idea of having a few pieces hanging over the edge a bit. When you are happy with the placement of your plants, remove them from their pots, remove any excess dirt to expose the roots. Lightly mist or dampen the roots and place in the soil, gently pushing them into place and securing with more dirt.

IMG_20170629_132903.jpgTo finish it off, add more dirt to the top of the planter so the roots are covered and your plants are secured in place. You can then add some moss or river rocks for decoration, or you can go without – your choice. And that’s it!

Taking care of your driftwood garden is easy. Succulents don’t need a lot of water, so you can let the soil dry out in between watering. Don’t overwater your planter – when in doubt, wait a couple of days. The soil should be dry to the touch on top and slightly moist below the surface. If it still feels moist, you can wait. Your garden will like it best in an area that gets a good amount of light (direct or indirect is fine). When in doubt – just follow the instruction card that came with your plants or ask the staff at the greenhouse.

IMG_20170629_141315.jpgThis driftwood succulent garden will look great in any room in your home. I put mine on my dining room table in front of a big glass patio door so it gets plenty of light. It catches the eye of everyone that comes over and brings a little of the outdoors in.

IMG_20170629_140437.jpgIMG_20170629_141302.jpgI hope you enjoy making your own. If you do, be sure to share your pictures. Tag me in your Instagram or Twitter posts @kels_blisslist for both.

Have fun!


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