Garden Photo of the Day

Succulent-Topped Pumpkins

Creating beautiful fall decorations

Friend of the GPOD Cherry Ong is sharing a cool decorating project for the fall season.

I’ve been making succulent-topped pumpkins for several years now after reading about it for the first time in Debra Lee Baldwin’s book and watching Laura Eubanks (the creator) on YouTube. I also enjoy and refer repeatedly to the Fine Gardening article written by Katherine Tracey of Avant Gardens. (I’m a huge fan of her work.)

Repurposed pumpkin succulent Tender succulents are repurposed as succulent-topped pumpkin gifts for family and friends.

white pumpkin basesLast year, I made mostly white pumpkins, but this year the choices of heirloom and hybrid pumpkins were fantastic, so I went with as many different types (and sizes) of pumpkins as I could.

mottle skin pumpkinThe notable varieties this year included this pumpkin with unusual mottle skin, called ‘One Too Many’.

soft green pumpkinThis soft green pumpkin is ‘Musquee de Provence’. It will turn orange once fully ripe.

Turk's Turban’ squashA ‘Turk’s Turban’ squash has a distinctive shape that allows succulents to be planted on it without cutting it open.

‘Grizzly Bear’ on the left and ‘Fijji Squash’ is on the right‘Grizzly Bear’ is on the left and ‘Fiji Squash’ is on the right, each crowned with succulents.

acorn squashI adore the very dark green pumpkins and acorn squash this year. They look almost black to me, so they were the first ones made for the season.

clamshell succulent pieceI had to think about how to display the acorn piece. I tried to insert a piece of found driftwood under it, but in the end I used a clamshell.

gourdGiving succulent pumpkins as gifts creates some challenges in transporting. To move them safely, trace and cut out the bottom shape of your pumpkin over a corrugated cardboard box. Seat your pumpkin about 1/3 in so it doesn’t pop out or roll. For miniature pumpkins, you can use the cardboard drink trays offered by your favorite fast food restaurant or coffee shop.

pumpkin succulent centerpiecesWhatever you decide to make will be fun and beautiful and will bring joy to its recipient! Early Happy Thanksgiving to my American gardening friends!

View Comments


  1. garden1953 11/11/2021

    Wow. Did you grow all of these pumpkins in your garden?
    All very beautiful.

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      I wish. I have a tiny garden that is packed with perennials all year and annuals during the summer. Thank you.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/11/2021

    Unique and so very pretty.

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      Thank you and wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 11/11/2021

    pretty, thanks for sharing

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      Thank you. Have fun making one!

  4. katherine_8 11/11/2021

    What do you do with all the succulents once the pumpkins deteriorate? I would hope they are homed elsewhere, maybe in your garden or home. They're all truly lovely and artistic; I just hate seeing plants discarded so I wondered :)

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      I usually keep one pumpkin to myself, the rest are Thanksgiving gifts/centerpieces for family and friends. They usually plant them out when the pumpkin deteriorates or when they eat the pumpkin. I plant my semps back outside once the pumpkin is spent. Not all the tender succulents do well as toppers for pumpkins - each year I discover which ones work and don't - for example, sedum burrito doesn't work well - so next year I won't be planting or using them for this purpose. I hope you get to try creating some for yourself and for giving - a true reward of gardening. Thank you.

      1. katherine_8 11/11/2021

        Thanks for the nice reply and information. Have a lovely evening, PerenniallyCrazy/Cherry :)

  5. sheila_schultz 11/11/2021

    Wow, Cherry, you found a treasure trove of beauties this year! I love all of the knotty and gnarly pumpkins, they are so incredibly touchable! This is such a perfect use of all of the succ's you can't overwinter outside or in. Your friends and co-workers are very lucky to receive one of your works of art!

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      Thank you Sheila. They're still quite fun to make and give. Makes me happy to see the smiles on the recipients' faces. I'm curious what you do with plants you can't overwinter outside or inside?

  6. User avater
    simplesue 11/11/2021

    Like artistic sculptures made with succulents- very creative!

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      I hope you can try making some for yourself and for giving. They're quite fun and satisfying to create. Thank you for your kind words.

  7. btucker9675 11/11/2021

    Gorgeous ideas... thanks for sharing these!

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      Thank you. Happy Holidays!

  8. user-7007672 11/11/2021

    Cherry, these are so fun to make. Thank you for the suggestions.

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/11/2021

      Thank you.

  9. marthaclark 11/12/2021

    Really creative Succulent in Pumpkin! And such a nice quality photos! Never tried before grow big Succulent always such a small one, need to try for my garden for sure. I saw websites where people also trying to create handmade garden with different Succulents, its great, cuz they dont need careful to mucn.

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