Garden Minute: Making a pumpkin centerpiece



by Tina Sottolano-Cain

There are many different decorating ideas for pumpkins this time of year, carving creative faces and scenes on pumpkins along with painting fun patterns. Why not step outside of the Jack-o-Lantern and make a planter out of a pumpkin or create a succulent centerpiece.

Planting in pumpkins is so simple, with my easy to follow steps. But first you want to soak pumpkins and gourds in a bleach and water bath at a 1:1 ratio for 20 to 30 minutes. This removes any dirt and bacteria on the surface.

Next hollow out pumpkin. You can use any size you want. Remove all the inner membrane and seeds and dry out the inside. If you have time you can spray the inside with acrylic or coat with Vaseline and let it sit for 2-3 days.

Now you are ready to plant. I chose to use indoor plants for this project, but you can use mums and cabbage for outdoors as well.

Another fun project is creating s succulent centerpiece. I love this idea because it combines succulents and floral arranging. For this project you can use gourds as well as pumpkins.

What you will need:

1 flat pumpkin or gourd

Spray adhesive

Hot glue gun and glue

Moss

A variety of succulents

Begin by spraying the top of the pumpkin with adhesive and add a thick layer of moss. Now you can start making your arrangement.

Take your succulents and start your arrangement from the middle, creating a mound. Then work your way around and out from the center. Keep adding and filling in spaces with a variety of sizes. When gluing tips be sure your hot glue gun is set on low and don’t worry, the succulents will not mind being glued.

A few tips you need to know: Select a blend of colors and textures so your arrangement is visually interesting.

Arrange cuttings upright or perpendicular when you are working along the edges of the pumpkin.

Add extras like seed pods, pinecones and twigs. Take walk around your property and you’ll be very surprised by the variety of cones, nuts and seed pods that can be used in different floral arrangements.

Caring for your living centerpiece is easy. Treat them like you would any houseplant. Place in bright indirect light and keep away from any heat vents and freezing temperatures. Allow pumpkin planter to dry out thoroughly in between waterings. Mist succulent centerpiece with water daily to keep moss and succulents looking fresh. Arrangements should last up to 3 weeks.