DIY Living Wreath How-To (Easy)

As the winter drags on here lately, I have been craving plant therapy. I’ve been thinking about making a DIY living wreath, and when I found a wreath form made of sphagnum moss I decided to finally try it.

The wreath comes already filled with the sphagnum moss on a wire wreath form and a hanger attached for hanging which makes this super simple.

Supplies needed for DIY living wreath

dry sphagnum moss wreath form

Prepare the wreath form: Soak Moss

The wreath form arrives dry and can be stored that way until you’re ready to add your plants. Because it’s the middle of winter here, it took me some time to find a garden center with small plants that weren’t expensive.

First, you’ll need to soak the wreath form in water. Mine fit perfectly into this shallow bucket I had. You could soak it in your sink, but some of the moss will flake off so using a bucket makes for easier cleanup.


I kept the entire wreath submerged for about 10 minutes. That was enough time for the moss to fully absorb water throughout. After removing it from the water, I placed the wreath on a round, plastic plant tray.

If your wreath is dripping from too much water, you can simply squeeze out some of the excess water.

I happened to find the plant tray at the garden center and was glad I picked it up. This will come in handy for watering the wreath until I can hang it outside.

If you don’t have a plastic tray be sure to place it on a waterproof work surface.

What Plants To Use For DIY Living Wreath

The type of live plants you use for your living wreath is really up to you. Take into consideration your climate as well as where you’ll eventually hang your wreath. Also, consider the amount of sun it will receive when hung.

Just be sure to start with small plants. You’ll need them to have a small root ball to fit into your wreath form.

Using succulents is an obvious choice. They’re small, low maintenance, and easy to work with. However, I felt that succulents were too obvious of a choice, and wanted to do something different.

I love ferns and when I went to the garden center I struck gold! They had lots of small ferns in different varieties to choose from. It was exactly what I was hoping to find. (Find a similar variety here).


When the weather warms up, I plan to hang my DIY living wreath on my porch. I already know ferns do very well on my shady porch, making these the perfect pick for my wreath.

Assembling your living wreath with plants

The sphagnum wreath form comes with a wire wreath frame inside. It’s also wrapped with a clear wire that looks like fishing line to help hold it all together.

I used the back end of a spoon to form a little opening in my moss. Once it was wide enough, I used my fingers to make the opening big enough to fit the bottom of my fern inside.

how to loosen sphagnum moss for plants

You can pull small pieces of the moss out to make a little room, but mostly I pressed the moss to the side. You want to base of the plant to fit snugly in there.

how to make a living wreath the easy way

Remove all excess potting soil from the root ball of the plants before placing them in the opening. Then pack it down firmly but gently.

Once it was in, I covered up the brown soil with some of the little moss pieces I had pulled out.

Here’s how it looked after I had my first fern planted.

wreath made from living ferns

Continue that process around the wreath form until you have it filled in with plants.


I used five 3.5″ plants on my 9″ wreath form. If you use smaller plants, such as succulents, you’ll need more. If you use a larger wreath form you’ll also need more. Or you can use larger plants.


Securing The Wreath

The wreath form also comes with metal floral pins you can add to better secure the plants in place. However, if you fit your plants in there snugly you likely won’t need to use them.

If you don’t have pins and feel you need to secure it better, you could use florist wire.

You could also use live sheet moss or preserved moss to fill in between the plants if desired. I did consider making this wreath using live sheet moss, like I used on my DIY topiaries but ultimately decided I liked the ferns better for this.

Honestly, I’m kind of obsessed with it. I love the mixed variety of the ferns.


The types of ferns I used for my DIY living wreath are:

  • Button Fern
  • Lemon Button Fern
  • Fluffy Ruffles Fern
  • Fritz Luthi (Maidenhair)

If you wanted something with flowers and more color, small African Violets would be another idea for a living wreath. Those come in a variety of colors.

I also noticed Primrose plants at the garden center, which are similar to African Violets, those would work for added color as well.

One other idea I had was fresh herbs. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Caring For Your Wreath

Before hanging your wreath up, it’s a good idea to let it sit on a flat surface for a few weeks to let the root system take hold.

The back of the wreath frame also has tiny metal legs to help keep it slightly lifted which allows air through while it’s sitting flat.

I’m keeping it next to my kitchen sink out of direct sunlight for now. You could also use it for a table centerpiece until it’s ready to hang.

caring for a DIY living wreath

Keep it watered and give it the amount of sunlight that your plants require. Ferns like humidity and low light so I will keep mine watered and give it a weekly misting until this is ready to be hung outside on my porch.

The total cost to make this was under $40. I spent $20 on the five fern plants, $2 for the plastic tray, and $17 for the wreath form. This isn’t too bad considering I’ve always wanted to buy this moss wreath which costs $100. Now I have my own version for much less!


If you need a little plant therapy, making your own wreath is an easy project and a good way to get it! This would be a beautiful idea for a front door wreath as well.

When I hang this up outside, I’ll come back and update this post with photos of how that looks. Stay tuned!


  1. This is so cool. I remember making two of these about 30 years for myself and my aunt. Of course there was no ready made spaghum wreath form so it was a big pain! When I soak the form I’m going to add liquid fertilizer like I do when replanting orchids. Although short lived I think this would be very sweet filled with Johnny Jump Ups. Thanks for inspiring me to make another one.

  2. Leslie Zagrobelny says:

    Love this idea.

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