heat proof flowers


When the weather heats up, those of us who can’t live without flowers in our house face a sticky situation- blast the AC even if we’d rather only use it for the hottest days or let our beloved flowers wilt when all we want is the windows down.

After a trip to the Wave Hill where I couldn’t stop ogling the the succulent greenhouses, I decided the solution to my summer flower conundrum was to recreate a bit of jungle fever using succulents as heat-proof flowers. Now I’m able to get my flower arrangement fix, regardless of the mercury.   — Amy M.

Learn how to make this arrangement after the jump…

Succulents make a perfect focal point for an arrangement. Since they normally have little to no stem, piercing their underside at least an inch deep with a sharp kabob stick gives you a secure stem. Bonus! When the rest of the arrangement fades, they can be put in a small dish with sandy soil to root.

Since this arrangement is in a wide bowl, I soaked a cube of oasis foam and cut it to size. The trick to working with oasis is to thoughtfully place each flower or else you run the risk of crumbling your foam from too many holes. Every time you remove a stem from oasis and decide to move it elsewhere, you have to reclip the bottom to allow the stem to drink. I started this arrangement with a base of the sturdiest stems I had: unripe blueberry branches.

Next I added the succulents as I would have the focal flowers. It makes a nice impact to cluster two large elements together, offset at different heights. Putting one large element just along the lip of the vase also helps to create a focal point.

Turning the arrangement, I added more blueberry and lots of other small bits and pieces of interesting green textures — scabiosa buds and pods, fiddleheads, jasmine vine and pulsatilla. The trick is to not sweat making it perfect — the wilder, the better.

  1. Kate says:

    Yes, yes, yes…This is what I do, and I love that part of Wave Hill too! You’ve made me want to go back. Thank you for the tutorial too.

  2. ANNE says:

    I love succulents and never get tired of seeing interesting ways to incorporate them into designs. Beautiful!

  3. I *love* this arrangement! I just chucked several ratty old looking succulents. Stupid Karen. I should have clipped them and done this. Now I know. Thx!

  4. Shay says:

    And piercing them doesn’t make them die faster? Oh, boy. If no, then I am 1000% on board with this idea. Super-ginormous double thumbs up!

  5. Amber says:

    A friend of mine just got married in May, and used succulents throughout her wedding. The bouquets, boutonnieres, cake, centerpieces, were all arranged with these little cuties. They even gave them as gifts to the guests. I love it.

  6. I love these flowers! I think they look so pretty when they are sitting up on a kitchen window in little arranged pots!!

  7. Marina says:

    I have one of these succulents… thx for the tips.

  8. Danielle says:

    Succulents are so pretty. I’ve always wondered how to incorporate them into a larger arrangement. Thanks!

  9. Claudia says:

    I am getting some succulents today, actually! My front yard gets sun all day long and I need some plants that can deal :D

  10. alita says:

    nice, i love “suculentas” , i dont know the name in english..
    i love all your post..
    hugs From Chile

  11. libby says:

    gorgeous! i love succulents, so i am going to try this!

  12. robin says:

    does heat proof mean terrarium-loving? i can’t have succulents because my cats try to eat them (which makes them pretty sick). and while i love their look, i’m also afraid of having them in a sunny place in a terrarium.

  13. Laurel says:

    They aren’t completely heat proof though! If you’re keeping them inside, you’ll be fine, but mine are having trouble tolerating 100+ degrees here in Texas even in the shade. They will show signs of burning on their petals. But I love now knowing that I can snip off some of my “blooms” and how to use them inside in arrangements.

  14. amy m says:

    Thanks all!

    Robin, succulents are happy in open terrariums with sandy soil. Closed terrariums are too humid for them!

  15. Carly says:

    that arrangement is gorgeous–nice work!

  16. Can someone please help me on how to take care of succulents? Sounds crazy right but somehow I keep killing them! I only water once ever 1.5 weeks during the summer and they get indirect sunlight. Do they need direct sun? Last time I left mine in direct sun they started to shrivel? Also – once they start looking shriveled is there any way to bring them back? Help!

  17. Susan says:

    THANKS YOU! love, a resident of Atlanta

  18. Succulents are very popular here in Austin, TX. It is ridiculously hot and these seem to be one of few plant groups that can survive. Additionally succulents lend themselves to the whole vibe of Austin. There is a nursery here that does AMAZING work. Have a look for a little inspiration. http://www.bigredsun.com

  19. I’m from Vancouver {& while we’re rarely short of water & not usually too worried about the heat!!} we have a really cool outfit that uses succulents a lot in their installations: http://www.kermodi.com/interior_pg1.html. Check them out!

  20. Patricia says:

    in succulent #3 photo, there are wonder metal? curved pieces. They look like something from a fiddle leaf fern. Do you know what they are?

  21. April says:

    Those are so pretty, but I laughed at the idea that I might get to choose between opening the windows or using the A/C in the summertime. It was over 90F every day of June here in Georgia … people who don’t have A/C sometimes literally die. Enjoy your balmy days, Northern neighbors!

  22. Sarah Jo says:

    In this blog have so beautiful garden and flower images. Flowers are the most beautiful things god ever made in the world. Gardening is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing activities around. Siting a garden bed, so relaxation for any one…..

  23. amy merrick says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Those are fiddleheads, fun to use in arrangements but they break easily so handle with care!

  24. Eva says:

    Succulents are my favourite plants. I just don’t like how ‘well’ (=tall and flappy) they grow inside the house, outside they look more pretty: fuller and flatter.

  25. evaone says:

    I love plants so much and succulents are one of my favorite because of the simplicity but an eye catcher . i really enjoy looking those pictures. it really amazes me.

  26. I love succulents plants!!*


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