We’ve all gone wild for those dramatic “living walls” of succulents. Here, grower Robin Stockwell shows you how you can make your own
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Plant a living picture
Instead of framing a picture, why not a whole garden? Here, cuttings of assorted succulents knit together to create colorful, textural living tapestries.
Click ahead for more photos and directions for this DIY vertical garden.
2 of 8Photo by Thomas J. Story
Buy a preassembled frame
Build the vertical garden frame assembly yourself or purchase one.
We got ours from in Castroville, California (831/632-0482).
Cost: From $35 for a 6- by 12-inch frame.
3 of 8Photo by Thomas J. Story
Break the small “pups” from succulents you already have growing in your garden (the stems should be at least 1/4 inch long).
Set the cuttings aside in a cool area for a few days to allow their stem ends to dry and callus over. (You’ll want about 60 for a 6- by 12-inch frame.)
4 of 8Thomas J. Story
Set the frame mesh side up on a flat surface; fill it with moist cactus mix, working the mix through the mesh with your fingers. The mesh and a wood backing holds the soil in place.
5 of 8Photo by Thomas J. Story
Poke the cuttings’ stem ends through the mesh and into the soil. Leave the frame lying flat in a cool, bright location while plants take root, about 7 to 10 days after planting, then begin watering.
Once plants are securely rooted―this takes between 4 and 12 weeks―display the frames upright in an area that gets morning or filtered sun.
Water as soil approaches dryness, about every 7 to 10 days. To water, remove frame from the wall, lay flat, water lightly, and let soil drain before hanging up again.
6 of 8Photo by Thomas J. Story
How to make your own succulent frame
1. For a 1-foot-square frame, cut four 12-inch lengths of 2x2 lumber. Nail the corners together for a frame 2 inches deep.
2. Staple or nail ½-inch hardware wire mesh to one side of the open frame. If desired, add trim on top of the mesh to hide it. (If you’re a skilled woodworker, you can also cut a channel into the wood and slide the mesh into the channel, hiding the mesh's cut edges.)
3. Staple or nail a 1-foot square of plywood onto the open back of the frame. Stockwell uses exterior plywood or 1x12-inch redwood.
7 of 8Photo by E. Spencer Toy
All-in-one succulent garden kit
Don't have any succulents growing in your garden? Buy a kit that includes a frame assembly, cactus mix, and succulent cuttings (from $65 for 6 by 12 inches; or 831/632-0482).
Completed succulent “paintings” are also available (from $95 for 6 by 12 inches).