Plant-o'-lantern: Pumpkins as succulent planters

Sure, you could carve up a jack-o’-lantern, but what did that innocent pumpkin ever do to you?

The craft project of the moment is a kinder, gentler take on Halloween pumpkins that turns the gourds into succulent planters. The concept is credited to San Diego garden designer Laura Eubanks, who said she came up with the idea three years ago after buying a warty pumpkin at Trader Joe’s and deciding to dress it up. Since then, the idea has taken off.

“I have a workshop in my garage now, two helpers and enough business to keep me rockin’ until Christmas,” Eubanks said by email.

To prolong the life of the pumpkin, Eubanks doesn’t cut it open. Instead she glues sphagnum moss on top, then glues succulents into the moss. The succulents don’t mind the glue, she said, and will live for months with some misting of tap water and a bit of morning sun.


Her process has been emulated by others, and you’ll find succulent pumpkins for sale in a growing number of gift shops. We bought a petite version -- a softball-size gourd planted with teacup succulents -- for $28 at Hearts of Jade, a garden gift shop in Moorpark that will be holding Saturday workshops on making succulent pumpkins for the next few weeks. The class costs $45 and includes all materials. Call (805) 402-0506 for reservations.

Rolling Greens in Culver City will be holding a similar class 2 p.m. Saturday. The fee is $65 and includes materials. Call (310) 559-8656.

Eubanks, whose company is Serenity Gardens, has three upcoming DIY workshops, two of which still have space available. The first is 11:15 a.m. Saturday at Waterwise Botanicals in Escondido. The second is 10 a.m. Nov. 2 at Barrels and Branches in Encinitas. Each session is $75. Register online.

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