A plant centrepiece can instantly transform any dining table. If you’re planning on hosting a special get-together with friends or family, a living centrepiece is a perfect way to transform your table into something truly special.
Unlike floral displays, living centrepieces will continue to serve you well long after you’ve finished hosting.
Pre-made plant centrepieces can be picked up relatively easily, but they’re often expensive and leave you no scope for putting your personal stamp on things.
Thankfully, creating your own plant centrepiece from scratch is straightforward. With a few essential items and a good selection of plants at your disposal, you’ll be able to create a bespoke arrangement for your dining table that’s guaranteed to impress.
Building a Succulent Centrepiece
Succulents are a great choice if you’re thinking about putting together a living centrepiece. There’s ample choice of plant varieties out there, with succulents being particularly easy to care for.
- A planter or bowl to house your plants
- Succulent potting mix
- Pebbles or gravel for drainage
- Activated charcoal
- Decorative elements
- A good selection of succulent plants
Choosing a Suitable Planter
It’s tempting to focus on aesthetics when choosing a planter for your centrepiece. While you’ll want an eye-catching vessel to frame your plants, think practically to ensure your greenery can thrive.
Depth is particularly important. If you plan on using larger, more mature plants in your centrepiece, make sure you’re choosing a vessel that can accommodate their root systems.
Although glass vessels are a popular choice for living centrepieces, they’re not always practical. Once you’ve watered your centrepiece, soil can easily penetrate the drainage layer, making the whole thing look unsightly.
To make your life easier, go for a rectangular planter with solid sides. The functional dimensions of these planters make them an easy fit for just about dining tables, while the solid sides will conceal unsightly soil and drainage layers.
Assembling Your Centrepiece
To get started, you’ll need to prepare your planter. If you’re not using a drainage liner, make sure to add a layer of gravel material at the bottom of your planter.
Ideally, this drainage layer should be 2-3cm deep. Once this is in place, you should add a fine dusting of charcoal. This will help ensure your potting mix doesn’t become saturated with water.
You can now add your soil. If you haven’t been able to find any succulent potting mix, you can make your own. Combine high-quality compost and sand in equal measures, before mixing in a half measure of perlite. This will help improve drainage.
When filling your pot, make sure you’re leaving sufficient space between the soil layer and the rim of your planter. This will prevent spillages and mess when it comes to watering your arrangement.
You can now focus on planting your succulents. Add larger plants to the centre of your planter and avoid grouping individual plants too close together.
Be creative and use an assortment of varieties and colours. Make sure you’re bedding plants deeply enough into the soil, ensuring roots are fully covered.
Once your plants are in place, you can start adding the finishing touches. You can cover barren patches of soil with pebbles or surface sand.
If you’re creating a Christmas dinner centrepiece, think about introducing some festive ornaments into the mix.
With all your centrepiece elements assembled, give everything a once over with a soft bristle brush. Paintbrushes are particularly useful for getting rid of soil and sand particles.
Keep a few of these within easy reach to keep on top centrepiece maintenance in the future.
How to Look After a Succulent Centrepiece
When your succulent centrepiece is complete, make sure you water it. Avoid being too generous, adding just enough to moisten the soil. Remember, succulents are hardy plants and require minimal maintenance.
Succulents only require watering once every week or so. During colder months, many succulent varieties will only need watering once a month.
However, keep an eye out for wilting and discolouration, as this is a telltale sign that your plants are dehydrated.
If you want your centrepiece to last for longer, invest in some liquid plant food. Although many succulent varieties have slow growth rates, you’ll need to keep an eye on their progress. If certain plants are becoming too large, consider migrating them to their own pots.
Putting together your own plant centrepiece for your dining table doesn’t need to be difficult. To make your life easier, think carefully about the kind of vessel you’re going to be using.
Glass vessels are all well and good, but you’ll need to work extra hard when it comes to laying in drainage materials.
Plant selection is also crucial. Choose plants in a variety of colours, heights, and shapes for maximum impact. However, avoid overloading your vessel if you want your plants to thrive.
If you want your living centrepiece to last you for a long time, make sure you’re committed to maintaining it. Avoid overwatering your plants, especially if they haven’t been bedded in with a separate drainage liner.