It’s that time of year again friends, I can’t even believe it but summer is coming to an end. To celebrate such an amazing season we wanted to make a unique summer-themed pumice project we’d never tried before, & honestly what says summer more than an old barbecue grill OVERLOWING with succulents & Pumice?!
(Please note: no bbq’s or succulents were harmed in the making of this Labor Day Party centerpiece; We only created it as a temporary piece, the succulents will all soon be replanted in long-term containers with drainage holes & the bbq will be once again used to flame-grill delicious meats)
SO LET’S GET TO DIY-ing! Here’s how this baby came to life & how you can make your own! First things first, let’s talk SUPPLIES!
What you need:
- Old Barbecue (any style works really! whatever you have laying around or find that you like)
- Succulents (…too obvious? LOL Really though, make sure you buy a good variety of sizes & colors that work well together!)
- PUMICE, lots & lots of pumice! Shop OUR pumice here!
- Quick-draining Soil (I always buy Kellogg’s Palm, citrus, cactus soil; or E.B. Stone Succulent soil from Home Depot/Lowe’s because both of those already have a small % of our pumice in them!)
- & lastly, an ice cold Lemonade & some summer tunes to enjoy while you pot.
That’s literally IT. That’s all you really need, it’s a ridiculously easy & inexpensive yet chic way to show off your succulent planting skills & fancy up your backyard for an end of the summer bash!
Next Step, Soil & BBQ Prep. (& puppy petting)
What many people fail to realize is how important using GOOD SOIL is to the life & quality of your succulents! I always tell people that the principle “you are what you eat” applies to your succies, they will only be as healthy & vibrant as the “food” (soil) you plant them in. Succulents need soil that drains extremely quickly since they do not like excessive hydration, especially around the root zone. This is why using PUMICE is so crucial:
Our Pumice absorbs any excess water that might gather around your succulent’s roots or in the soil & locks that moisture in until the soil has dried out & needs rehydrating! Pretty crazy right?! PUMICE is even more crucial when planting in something that does not have drainage holes, like this grill; I wanted the grill to still be use-able after we took the succulents out, so I didn’t drill holes in the bottom. Because of that, I used a higher percentage of pumice (60% pumice, 40% soil) than I typically would (standard succulent soil for pots with drainage holes is 50% pumice 50% cactus soil). If you want your succulent BBQ to be a permanent fixture in your backyard however, simply drill a dozen or so drainage holes in the bottom!
Using pumice also makes the soil much less dense, which allows more oxygen to the roots, because the pumice creates pocket airways for the oxygen to flow through, which also helps boost the vitality of your succies.
Once you’ve mixed your pumice & soil together, fill the grill ALL THE WAY to the brim, & then create a tall mound in the center of the grill. Creating a mound will give your arrangement a more eye-catching dimension, so all your succulents are not all laying flat at the same depth & squished together. Planting the succulents at gradual heights using the mound displays each & every gorgeous succulent individually.
NEXT, once you have your grill filled & mound formed, I like to “pre-arrange” the succulents inside the grill on top of the soil in their nursery pots to get an idea of what they will look like once planted (like a succy schematic). This is mainly just to envision what succulents will look best color, size, & shape-wise next to one another. There’s no exact science to it, so just let your creative juices start flowing & figure out which textures & colors & sizes you like next to each other & then snap a photo to look back to reference once you start actually planting! Or forget the blueprinting & just gung-ho start planting away, we all need to just fly by the seat of our pants sometimes, right?
NOW LET’S PLANT BABAY! Once you’re ready to start planting, begin by taking the succulents out of the nursery pot & removing all of the old soil from the roots
completely. This ensures that the succulents will be fully exposed to the healthier soil you’ve mixed & the roots can breathe much better & receive proper drainage. Then, just plant away, making sure you dig deep enough holes for each individual succulent so that the entirety of the plants roots will be submerged & also have room to spread if it’s a permanent fixture.
Remember, planting isn’t a science, it’s an artistic expression & every single person has a different design eye & style, which is what makes succulent planting so awesome & each project so SO unique! Think about it, I could give you the same exact BBQ, with the same exact succulents I used here, & your BBQ would probably turn out COMPLETELY different & just as if not even more gorgeous! So while you’re planting remember that, it’s not supposed to be stressful or rigid, it’s a fun experience meant to be enjoyed & meant to be an outlet for you to express your creativity & personality/style!
So that’s really all it takes, friends! It’s honestly super simple, easy, relatively inexpensive & SO fun, especially if you invite a friend over to do it! We just jammed out to some good ‘ol 90’s music, drank lots of iced coffee, enjoyed ourselves & got to create something gorgeous that was a HUGE topic of conversation at the summer bbq party, & I hope you’ll do the same if you choose to make this beauty! Thanks so much for reading & happy end-of-summer dear friends.
Oh! & before I forget! For upkeep, if you choose to make this a permanent fixture in your yard, I would suggest watering it at least once a week (or whenever the soil is dry to the touch when sticking your finger as deep down in the soil as possible). Note too, once it gets cooler where you live, then you may be able to get away with once every other week, watering schedule for succulents in the winter is always different than watering in the summer, don’t forget that! Also, if it gets very chilly at night where you live or over the winter I would suggest either covering it with a blanket or protective covering of some sort, OR transplanting these babies into a greenhouse or individual pots until it warms up again (that’s what I chose to do).
If you have any questions at all, or if I left anything out PLEASE feel free to comment below! I’d love to hear from you guys & what you thought of this blog/creation!!!
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to enjoy the last few days left of official summer, so until next time friends,