I went into my sister’s wedding week with no knowledge regarding how to properly prepare succulents for use in bouquets and boutonnieres. Through a lot of google searches and trial and error I came up with the following hybrid method for securely wiring succulents for use in bouquets, table arrangements, and groomsmen’s boutonnieres, so I thought I could share that with you today. Let’s start with the basic wiring method, and then I’ll show you how to turn a wired succulent into jaunty little boutonniere!
- Floral tape
- Florist wire – 24 gauge (sold on spools and paddles) AND 16 Gauge Stem Wire (sold in pre-cut lengths)
- Needle-nose pliers with wire snips
- Small succulents
For each succulent you will need to have two portions of 24 gauge florist wire, each cut to approximately 6 inches length, and one 16 gauge stem wire . If you will be using the succulent in an arrangement or bouquet, be sure to keep your 16 gauge stem wire nice and long.
1. Start by removing any wilted leaves from the underside of your succulent. | 2. Take your 16 gauge wire and insert it into the center of your succulent’s stem from the underside of the plant. Make sure the wire is fully embedded inside the stem. If it pushes through the front side of your succulent, don’t panic…just pull the stem wire back a bit until the end is hidden back inside the succulent.
3. Pierce your two 24 gauge wires through the succulent stem in a cross-like fashion, leaving an even amount of wire sticking out on all four sides. | 4. One at a time, carefully begin twisting the 24 gauge wires up around the thick 16 gauge stem wire.
5. Once all wires have been wrapped securely around the stem wire, use your pliers to snip off any excess wire. Be sure to leave the large stem wire intact. | 6. Starting near the succulent stem, begin wrapping floral tape around the wires. Work your way downward, and then back up again to finish. Snip tape. TIP: be sure to pull the floral tape outward as you work to activate the adhesive.
You’ve now successfully wired a succulent!
- Wired succulent
- Floral tape
- Ribbon (non-wired | approximately half inch width)
- Hot glue gun (low heat) with glue stick (not pictured)
- Pruning shears
- Scissors (not pictured)
- Corsage pin (not pictured)
- Greenery | I used two Dusty Miller leaves (from Flower Muse)
- Filler flowers | I used Baby’s Breath
1. Select the greenery and any filler flowers that you would like to use. I chose two Dusty Miller leaves for this boutonniere, as well as some Baby’s Breath. Since the backside of the Dusty Miller leaf is just a paler shade of green than the front, I chose to face one leaf forward and one backward for a contrasting effect. | 2. Place your greenery and filler flowers exactly how you’d like them to look in the finished boutonniere and use floral tape to attach them together. Start taping at the top, work downwards, and then wrap upwards again to finish where you started.
3. Place your pre-wired succulent on top of your taped greenery, and wrap both layers securely together with floral tape. Use pliers to snip off excess stem wire. TIP: make sure to cut the wire all the way back to the edge of the floral tape so that the loose end doesn’t snag on any of the groomsmen’s jackets. | 4. Place a dab of hot glue on the top backside of your boutonniere and adhere one end of your ribbon to it.
5. Wrap your ribbon around and down the stem, and then back up again. Apply a small dot of hot glue on the top backside of your boutonniere (where you started) and adhere the end of the ribbon to it. | 6. You’re done! Be sure to include a corsage pin with each boutonniere.
Succulents are easy to work with and look fantastic in all sorts of arrangements…but the best thing about using succulents for your wedding or event is that you can plant them when you’re done! I followed this tutorial from Needles + Leaves for propagating succulents, and the ones we have from my sister’s wedding are already sprouting roots!
Have fun and let me know if you have any questions! xo Ez
A special thank you to Flower Muse for providing the florals, greens, and succulents used in this post.