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Pump-cculent Invasion

The design staff at The Growing Place gets compliments each year on their pump-succulents. Here’s our recipe for your own DIY success. Making pump-cculents is a creative activity to do with friends and family. All ages can hunt for natural accents outdoors, pick out pumpkins together, and glue accents onto the pumpkin.



  • Several pumpkins and/or gourds of varying sizes, colors, and shapes

  • Moss

  • Various perennial or annual succulents and sedums

  • Dried leaves, grass stalks, acorns, pinecones, Peony pods, Baptisia pods, Milkweed pods, dried Hydrangea or other dried flowers

  • Hot glue gun and sticks

  • Clear coating (optional) and paintbrush (or sponge brush)



Clean the pumpkins off and shorten or remove the stems without cutting into the pumpkin. Make sure your pumpkin or gourd is clean, dry, and room temperature before clear coating or attaching accents. Though optional, applying a clear coating will protect the pumpkins, give them a shiny exterior, and help keep them beautiful through Thanksgiving.



Use a hot glue gun to adhere a wad of moss into the indent of the pumpkin top where the stem was removed. On top of the moss is where you attach all of the succulent plants and dried goods.

Cut off succulent parts to adhere to the pumpkin or gourd. Remove any soil and apply glue to the roots or cut ends. Center the larger piece before adding more natural accents around the focal point. No worries if you do not have a set image in your head of what the arrangement will look like. Keep adding plants and dried goods until you like how it looks.



Lightly mist the plants at the most, once a week. Keep out of direct sunlight for the pumpkin to last. Gourds do tend to last longer than pumpkins as their exterior shell is usually tougher. With no puncture wounds in your pumpkin or gourd, and succulents requiring very little water, your living fall decoration can last all season. We recommend setting the pumpkin on a plate instead of directly on a porous surface.

If you’d like additional assistance, join us this weekend at our Make & Take Pump-cculent events at 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm, Saturday, October 2 at our Naperville location, and Sunday, October 3 on Montgomery Rd. in Aurora.

Watch Joannie, one of our Perennial gurus, demonstrating how to make Pump-cculents.