Scary Monsters

Succulent cuttings

When I was told we were having a pumpkin carving contest at work, I knew I had to make a succulent pumpkin…..

Venus Flytrap

…but with a twist.  I ran across this this Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) at the store and knew it would be the perfect ghoulish addition with my succs.  Their leaves are like little scary monsters  (check out the end of this post for info on these carnivorous eaters).

White Pumpkin

I decided to use a white pumpkin, so the green plants would contrast against it.

Succulent Pumpkin

I started by carving a hole in the top so my Venus Flytrap pot could sit in it.  Although the succulent pumpkins you see at the nursery aren’t carved so they last longer.  Why did we carve a hole in ours? Well once I started my project, my husband decided to put in his two cents, and suggested adding dry ice inside of it. Perfect!  A flesh eating smoking succulent pumpkin.  

White Pumpkin

So he brought out the power drill and drilled some holes around the top.  Then he cleaned out all the guts.  As he did this, I roamed around the garden gathering succulent cuttings.

Succulent Pumpkin

Succulent Pumpkins

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I used a hot glue gun to add moss around the top (you can also use a spray adhesive for this).  Then I glued the succulents around the top leaving the holes open so the dry ice could seep through it.   I placed a dab of hot glue on the short stem of the succulent, then held it in place until it was dry.  I left a little bit of stem on the cuttings so I could replant them.

Succulent Pumpkin

Succulent Pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

Voila…Top view, side view….

Stay tuned to see the finished smoking pumpkin and if I won the contest…..

DIY Flesh Eating Succulent Pumpkin Items Needed:

  • Scissors (for succulent cuttings)
  • Knife (to cut hole in the top)
  • Gloves (to handle dry ice, it can burn your skin)
  • Glue gun with glue sticks
  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Power Drill
  • Pumpkin
  • Succulents
  • Moss
  • Venus Flytrap
  • Dry Ice

A few notes:

  • If you want to keep your succulent pumpkin longer, don’t carve it.  The pumpkin will last about a month (I might do another white one for my Thanksgiving table centerpiece). 
  • Dry ice can burn your skin, make sure to use gloves when handling it
  • Keep your Venus Flytrap moist (spray with water, don’t soak it).  The succulents are fine with no water.
  • When you’re done, make sure to replant your cuttings!

About Venus Flytraps:

Venus Flytraps are amazing little plants, or should I say creatures.  After all, they love to eat crawling insects, such as worms, spiders and ants (insects high in nitrogen).   Their leaves sweet smell attracts these creatures.  Once bugs walk into their mouth trap, the leaf closes and digests it. It sucks out the soft inside of the insect, but not the exoskeleton.  It takes 5-12 days for them to digest an insect then reopens and the exoskeleton blows away or falls out.  

You can hand feed them with tweezers or a toothpick. You can buy blood worms for them, or catch your own creepy crawlers around the house to let them munch on.  They do get nutrients from the air and soil, but are best nourished by eating bugs.  

They like a humid climate (80% humidity), air flow and indirect light.  Water them twice a week lightly, don’t soak.  

‘Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared’ – Scary Monsters, David Bowie

Sources:

Flytrapcare.com

botany.org

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