by Jennifer Poindexter
Do you ever get tired of working with artificial décor?
It’s so expensive to purchase and doesn’t have the customized flare that many people desire. Did you know that you can grow specific plants which are great for making living wreaths?
Not only will this save money on your home decorations, it will also give you unique pieces to add a welcoming charm to your home any time of the year.
I’m going to give you a brief overview of how to bring these flowers together to form a wreath and also provide a list of the plants you might wish to grow to make a living wreath.
Here’s what you need to know when tackling this DIY gardening project:
An Overview of Living Wreaths
There are a few different ways to make a living wreath. One method is to use wire and tie branches or other plants together to form a circle.
To make a living wreath that’s a little more stable you’ll need a wire frame. You can purchase this at any craft store or even form your own out of chicken wire.
Once you have a base to work from, establish your soil layer. You do this by purchasing moss and laying the colorful side facedown.
Sprinkle potting mix on the moss, flip it right side up again, and begin weaving it around your wire frame. This step can be a little tricky, so remember to have patience during the process.
After your moss foundation is in place, begin planting in the moss. You must ensure you care for the plants adequately and help them receive the right amount of sunlight.
You can also create a living wreath by using flowers you’ve grown and drying them. You can use the moss base or simply weave the flowers together.
Using dried flowers allows your hard work to last and your wreaths to be used time and again. We’ll discuss flowers to suit this purpose as well.
There are quite a few ways to make living wreaths. No matter the method, creating a living wreath can be a fun way to decorate your home on a budget.
Flowers and Plants to Make a Living Wreath
The type of plants you use will vary by the time of year you’re decorating. Whether creating a lush spring wreath or a charming wreath at the holidays, there’s something on this list for every occasion. All you need is a little imagination.
Succulents are becoming quite trendy. They’re low-maintenance, some can handle a lot of light, while others don’t need as much. They can even survive with very little water. Not to mention all of the fun shapes and sizes they come in.
If you’d like a modern design for your living wreath, be sure to explore the different varieties of succulents. Ensure you pick one that can handle the growing conditions of the placement of your wreath.
If you thought your herb garden was only there for adding culinary flavor, get ready to have your mind blown. Herbs make some of the best additions to living wreaths.
Thyme not only brings clean, vibrant color. It also provides a fresh scent, makes for a wonderful accent in a brightly colored wreath, or serves as an accent in wreaths meant to be mainly greenery. The contrast in texture is eye-catching.
Oregano is another herb that’s great for decorating. It typically grows in abundance in most gardens. Therefore, you should have ample to use for culinary and décor purposes.
As with thyme, if you need oregano as a background piece to a colorful centerpiece it can do the job. However, it would make a great addition to a Christmas wreath as well.
Stonecrop is a great choice when growing a garden for the purpose of creating home décor. The reason being is this plant is a perennial. You can plant it once and have it to harvest from, to make a living wreath, for years to come.
This is a mounding plant that produces small, colorful flowers. It could serve as a nice burst of color to your wreath and would also be a wonderful, trailing accent.
Petunias are some of my favorite flowers. They aren’t frost tolerant, but if you add them to your wreath during the warmer portions of the year these flowers could serve as a welcome addition.
Wave petunias are known for their waterfall effect and bright color combinations. If you need a flower that will trail and add lots of color to your design, you don’t want to overlook this plant.
I’m a huge fan of pansies because they’re a durable plant. Plus, they don’t have deep roots which would make them a great choice for planting within a wreath.
Pansies can handle light frost, come in both dark and lighter colors, and could add a splash of cheer to your front door even during a dreary fall day. If you need a colorful flower to decorate with, even when the weather isn’t warm, pansies deserve your consideration.
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs in my herb garden. I love it’s flavor, aroma, but most importantly, I love the way it looks. You could make an entire wreath out of rosemary because of how beautiful it is.
It would actually be a unique take on the traditional “green” wreath during Christmas. Yet, you could also use rosemary as a background for wreaths to decorate during other parts of the year.
When we use the term “living wreath” it makes you think that every plant on the wreath must be alive and functioning. In reality, a living wreath can also be made of dried flowers or plants.
This is a great way to add longevity to your décor. Lavender is a great option to add to a wreath in dried form. With it’s beautiful purple blooms and long stems, it could be the centerpiece or play a part in a flower arrangement on a wreath.
Yarrow is a plant with long stems and tiny blooms which form clusters of color. If you need to make a wreath for an area which receives a great deal of hot, direct sun this flower could be a great addition.
This plant is known for enjoying hot, dry growing conditions. Yarrow is a larger plant, so it might be better if used in a wreath arrangement once it’s dried. As with lavender, you could make an entire wreath based around this flower, but it could also serve as a wonderful accent.
Before we dive into growing gourds, it must be noted that this plant easily reseeds, and most gourds can thrive in a variety of conditions. Therefore, plant gourds with caution because they can spread and take over a growing space.
You won’t be able to use the actual gourd plant in your wreath. However, you can grow gourds of different shapes and colors. Dry them and use them as part of a decoration for your wreath. Ensure you dry the gourd fully to avoid any rot from occurring once it’s included in your design.
11. Brass Buttons
We’re frequently led to believe that the deeper the root system, the stronger the plant. This is true for many plant options, but there are also times when you need shallow-rooted plants. Using flowers in a living wreath is one of those times because these are the plants that should (potentially) thrive in this setting.
Brass buttons are one of these plants. They have a shallow root system, only grow to be approximately two inches tall, and produce small flowers. You could use this plant to cover an entire wreath or use it for a backdrop to other flowers. It’s also worth noting that this plant is a perennial. Therefore, you can divide an established plant and make a new wreath each year, at no additional cost.
12. Creeping Speedwell
Have you ever seen beautiful purple flowers pop-up between the rocks on a walking path? This was most likely creeping speedwell. This is another perennial plant that grows low to the ground.
As with brass buttons, creeping speedwell would make a wonderful wreath. You can divide an established plant from your garden each year and use the newer plant to make a wreath that’s filled with lush greenery and tiny purple blooms.
Did you know that grapes are good for more than eating, making wine, and making jams or jellies? Grapes are actually a wonderful addition to any crafter’s yard. The reason being is once you’re done harvesting the fruit, you can harvest some of the grape vines during pruning.
From there, weave the grape vines together to form a wreath. This would eliminate the need for a wire frame, and you can still wrap the wreath in moss where you desire to add fresh flowers or herbs.
Beebalm is an interesting flower that looks great when used indoors or out. This colorful bloom resembles a sea-like plant rather than something you’d find in a typical garden.
If you’d like to incorporate more of this flower around your home, use it in a living wreath. The root system is shallow, so it would be a great fit for this type of project.
15. Lamb’s Ear
Are you in the market for a green plant to use for making a modern greenery-based wreath? What about a green wreath for Christmas? Don’t overlook lamb’s ear.
This plant not only has floppy, green foliage. It’s also slightly fuzzy. This adds a nice touch of color but also a different texture making it a perfect fit for this DIY project. An added bonus of this plant is that it can handle full or partial sunlight and doesn’t like being overly saturated.
Would you like to use a variety of dried herbs to make a homemade wreath that will last for years? Consider growing sage to add to this project.
Sage has beautiful foliage and light purple blooms. The fragrance of this plant is worth noting as well. Whether you need colorful blooms, greenery, or fragrance for your living wreath, sage could be your plant.
Do you have a vision of a wreath wrapped in long, green stems with small purple blooms popping out for added color? If so, catmint could be what you need. This flower can grow in full to partial sunlight.
Though, you must use a cutting from this plant, or dry your cuttings, as the actual plant is too large to live in a moss base. If you need simple elegance, catmint could be what you’re searching for when creating your DIY wreath.
There are many varieties of sunflowers which come in different heights and colors. For a wreath, you should go with a smaller variety. Sunflowers also should be incorporated when freshly cut from the plant or when dried.
If you’d like to use larger sunflower heads, you can dry them. This type of wreath is gorgeous for indoor use but can also be placed outdoors when you’re done with it. At that point, the wreath can serve as a functional, yet decorative, bird feeder.
When strolling through your local craft store and taking in all of the artificial wreaths, many of them are filled with eucalyptus leaves. This plant is popular right now because of its modern, clean look.
If you’d like a simple green wreath, consider filling a wire wreath frame with eucalyptus leaves. It can add color and simple charm to almost any space.
20. Fir Tree
When do most people make wreaths? When can you see live wreaths for sale on most street corners? If you said around Christmas time, you’d be correct.
Therefore, we can’t end our article without discussing a few popular choices for Christmas greenery. The first option is to use limbs from a fir tree. You can wrap them around a wire frame or zip tie them together to form a traditional wreath.
Holly is another option for a Christmas wreath. You can use it by itself to form an entire wreath or use it along with some of the other options listed here to add subtle charm. The great thing about holly is that it produces berries.
Don’t let these berries go to waste. Instead, carefully apply them to the wreath for a splash of color. Remember, they’re only for looks. These berries aren’t edible. Be sure to take this into consideration when placing your wreath to protect small children and pets.
22. Twigs and Leaves
If you’d like to make a living fall wreath, be sure to collect the items that fill your yard during that time of year.
You can construct a wreath from smaller twigs and colorful leaves to add a bit of natural charm to your home during this season. Coat the leaves with Mod Podge to keep them looking gorgeous for longer periods of time.
23. English Ivy
English ivy makes a wonderful houseplant, but it’s also great when used to decorate a wreath. This plant has shallow roots at the base which help feed it.
However, it also produces air roots which allows the plant to attach itself to something and climb. Because of the plant’s air roots, English ivy would be a great fit for wrapping around a wreath. This plant does best when used in the spring and summer months.
24. Pine Tree
Our final plant, which might be a good choice for making a living wreath, is a pine tree. As with the fir tree, it’s good to take a few limbs from the tree, attach them to a frame or by using zip ties, and create a gorgeous wreath for the holidays.
You can always add bows, berries, or other small objects to bring your decorative vision to life. Creating a wreath from an established tree in your yard is probably one of the most cost-effective options on this list.
This concludes our list of plants that are a great fit for making DIY living (or dried) wreaths all throughout the year. To keep your wreath healthy and vibrant for longer periods, be sure to spray it with a water bottle every couple of days.
You can also spray the wreath with an anti-transpirant to keep the plants from losing moisture. Hopefully, our list has inspired you to try new ways to combine two passions: gardening and home décor.