the perfect frame for plants


Even though Smith&Hawken is going out of business (30-50% still isn’t much of a bargain for them IMO), I’m still not ready to plop down anything over $60 for their indoor/outdoor vertical planter. Plus, I was really hoping to create more of the effect of the fun succulent wall planters that seem to adorn every bay area home. Now, please understand that I realize how futile the task of keeping these guys alive in the summer might be… therefore investing much money into this venture might be a silly thing for me to do. Otherwise I’d just buy a bunch of the Outdoor Living Wall Panels and call it a day.

Nah… I like the cheap, easy and dirty projects instead… so when I saw this succulent planter idea in the local paper… I just knew I had to share it with you and try it out myself.

How to make your own awesome succulent planter:


Variety of succulent cuttings
Potting soil
Sturdy wood picture frame (no glass or backing)
About 3 feet of woven landscape fabric
Two pieces of metal mesh (1-by- 1/2-inch mesh works well)
Brads or small nails
Heavy-duty staples
Wire for hanging


Wire snips
Needle-nose pliers
Shears or clippers
Heavy-duty stapler
Small paring knife


1. With wire snips, cut two pieces of metal mesh to fit the frame
with just enough overlap to hold the pieces in place without falling
through. Make the second piece slightly larger than the first.

Cut a piece of landscape fabric 2 inches wider than the frame opening
and twice as long plus 2 inches. If the frame opening is 12 by 12
inches, for example, cut the fabric 14 inches by 26 inches.

3. To
the back of the frame, attach the smaller piece of metal mesh using
brads, small nails or heavy-duty staples so it fills the frame opening.

Position the fabric. Fold the fabric in two and lay the fabric over the
mesh with the fold running along the bottom edge. There will be about
an inch overlap on the sides and top.

5. Open the fabric and
layer 1 inch of moist (not wet) potting soil over the half of the
fabric covering the mesh. Fold the remaining fabric over the soil to
form a pouch.

6. Fold the fabric edges over and staple in place to seal in the soil.

Attach the second piece of metal mesh on top of the fabric with brads,
small nails or staples to form the backing. With pliers, bend edges of
the mesh toward the frame.

8. Attach a heavy-duty wire hanger to the back of the frame. (Remember: As the plants grow, they’ll add weight.)

Flip the frame over and lay it down on a flat surface. Working from the
center out, make holes in the fabric with the knife. With the
chopstick, poke in the stems of the succulent cuttings up to their
leaves. (They’ll root inside the fabric pouch.) Allow some space
between the cuttings for growth and around the edges of the frame.

10. Mist with water.

the planted frame to lay flat in filtered sunlight or shade for four to
six weeks before hanging, misting about once a week. This gives the
succulents a chance to root. Once the new plants take hold, hang

Growing tips: “If temperatures are 92 to 100 degrees, water every eight or nine days,” advises Pat Allen of the Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society.
“Don’t flood them. Give them just a little sip if they feel dry. During
the winter from mid-October to March, don’t water them at all. They can
get their moisture out of the air.”

[thank you Sacramento Bee]


  • McCaulie

    How funny, my mom just showed me this article on Saturday! I loved it!! I am so excited to create this for my own home and I can’t wait to see what yours looks like :)

  • Tamara

    How fab is this!!! Just love the idea!!! You have made it very easy to create this natural work of art. Thanks!