Orchid & Succulent Planter - Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.Succulents, often called “fat plants” derive their name from the Latin, Sucus meaning juice. The broad definition for succulent is: A plant with thick, fleshy leaves and/or stems that are able to retain water. This water retention trait enables the plant to prosper in dry climates and in poor soil conditions or with no soil at all. A sub-category of the succulent is the epiphyte, also known as an air plant. This variety actually derives all of its nutrients directly from the air and does not have any soil-based root system. You may be familiar with the most common plant classified as a succulent, the cactus. Of course, there is a crowd that claims the cactus is a stand-alone genus. Enough already! Now you know more than you ever cared to about the succulent genera. Time to move on to the fun stuff!

From an artistic viewpoint, succulents are perfect “flowers.” Fabulous, dramatic, exquisite, odd and unique are all words used to describe this long lasting botanical. Florists love it for its diversity both in looks and use. It can be cut from the stem, wired into a design, placed into water, laid upon a table, glued to a branch or utilized as a full plant, roots and all. Flower lovers choose the succulent because it is cool, hot, trendy and fun! There are not many flowers that work so well in so many ways and that are loved by everyone.

One fabulous succulent creates a dramatic accent for this planter. The phaelenopsis orchid pops with color towering above the epiphyte and a bit of kiwi vine. This trendy planter will last for weeks. Perfect as an antidote to the busy life, this soothing basket calms the soul. Best of all, it takes little care and attention. These plants will thrive on neglect…even better for the busy lives we lead.
Succulent Floral Design  - Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.
Succulent stage center once again! This time, cut from the roots and tucked into the floral design at the bottom and onto the kiwi vine. Talk about versatility! Two anthurium, two rose blossoms, two stems of kangaroo paw, two fronds of foxtail fern, two strands of lily grass and two perfect succulents. Are you catching the theme here?  Everything is better with two! What a great way to say “I love you” to that special someone.

Succulent Boutonniere  - Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.All that “two-some” romance could lead to something really big, like a wedding! Yes, succulents are wonderful in a bridal bouquet or as a simply elegant boutonniere.

This succulent is enhanced with just a bit of fresh Spanish moss, another succulent commonly found in the southern United States. Ask your florist for their ideas on using succulents in wedding designs.Succulent Dish Garden - Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.

A bowl of succulents is sure to put a smile on your face. Vivid chartreuse green pairs with a pop of bright yellow craspedia. The nest of fat plant foliage carefully cradles a few cut cymbidium orchids and carnations. Again, long lasting and fabulous.



Just think, all the creative fun starts with a little “fat plant.” Stop by your florist, look at the selection and choose your favorite. From there, they’ll help you add a touch of creativity, your favorite blooms and create a one-of-a-kind succulent masterpiece just for you.