Succulent Sphere with Sean
Tip: Since hens and chicks is a hardy perennial, you can leave the sphere outdoors all year round in most regions; and, since it is a succulent, the plants need relatively little water. The sempervivum die after they have finished flowering; you can wait for baby "chicks" to replace them, or fill in the holes with new plants.
Resources: We used an unplanted hanging sphere and succulents from Conway's Nursery. Plants came from Conway's Nursery, Under a Foot Greenhouse and Gardens (503-581-8915), Abbey Garden (562-905-3520), and California Cactus Center.
- Steel sphere
- 5 to 6 medium to large pieces of sheet moss
- Ballpoint pen
- 10 to 12 five-pint sempervivum plants
- Lightweight potting soil
Line the bottom third of the sphere with sheet moss. Mix a generous amount of perlite into your potting soil, and use it to fill the sphere to just below the moss line.
Using a ballpoint pen, poke a small hole through the moss on the side of the sphere. Take a cluster of sempervivum from its pot, and separate it into individual plants.
Remove the soil from the roots of one plant, and gently push its roots into a hole on the side of the sphere. Reach in through the opening on the top of the sphere, and, pushing aside the soil, pull the roots gently until the crown of the plant is flush with the moss on the outside of the sphere. With the end of the ballpoint pen, wedge a small piece of moss into the hole to secure the plant in its place.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 as you make your way around the sphere.