Introduction: Succulents in Tree Fungi
A composition of a succulent planted in a tree fungus can bring a touch of wilderness to any outdoor setting. Perfect for a wooden fence or an old stump somewhere on your property.Keep in mind that the fungus will eventually need replacement if it is not treated once carved; I anticipate to get three years out of this one. Research the fungi in your area prior to bringing them home, never pry them off trees as they are a living part of the forest ecosystem, and make sure there are no insects or small animals nesting in them once you pick them up off the ground.
Step 1: Prep Work: Find & Prep
Ever hiked in the Pacific Northwest? Every now and then one comes across huge tree fungi (couldn't identify this one, but if you can, please let me know so I can clarify it on here, with the source cited) at or above eye level. Some are bigger than an adult human's head. If you look under bigger trees after a winter storm, there might be some lying around on the ground. Bring one or two home. Let it sit outside for three weeks, rain or shine. Waiting it out will help you see whether the fungi started rotting from the inside since they have fallen off trees.
Take a gardening tool (I used a gardening knife with a spit in the front edge of the blade for easier carving. Dig in and keep digging.
Step 2: Carve Until It's Solid.
The darker spot you see on the far side of the cavern I dug out is the side where the fungus was attached to the tree. It is bark-like and very dense. That is the side through which we will attach it to the fence using screws.
The carved-out fungus still needs to be solid and sturdy.
Step 3: Pick Your Plants
I decided to use succulent sprigs because the fungus is waterproof and does not drain (I did not make any drainage openings because that's where it would start to rot first - with the moisture at the edges of the opening. I believe the sprig in the photo is an offshoot from a "Hen and chicks" plant I bought about four years ago.
Step 4: Put It Up!
We used a drill and two screws, making sure that there was horizontal bearing bar on the other side of the fence so the screws wouldn't stick out on the neighbor's side and for better hold.
Step 5: Transplant!
Add some potting soil to the container. I added a couple of clumps of moss on the surface once the two succulents were planted for better moisture retention.
Hint: hold the plant above the container with the root system touching the bottom and spreading out evenly. Add soil around that root system so the roots are organically spread out to begin with.