A Recipe For Success: Create An Elegant Succulent Pumpkin Planter

With Thanksgiving behind us, you might be wondering what to do with all of your lovely pumpkins and gourds that you used for decorations. Last year Candace and I showed you how to create a fun and cheerful Jack-O-Lantern planter filled with grasses and succulents.

This year I wanted to show you guys how to create an easy and chic pumpkin planter using specialty pumpkins 'Speckled Hound' and 'Rouge Vif d’Etampes' and a variety of succulents (both hardy and non-hardy).

What are specialty pumpkins? Well, the best explanation can actually be found in our previous blog post by Mike Lascelle 'All Things Pumpkin'. But for simplicity, I just refer to all pumpkins which are not your typical Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin variety 'Howden' as specialty pumpkins. If you are interested in seeing the huge variety of pumpkins and gourds available, I highly recommend that you read Mike's post.

Succulents make for a great plant for pumpkins because they can tolerate drought conditions. This important when planting into a decomposable vessel like a pumpkin. Typically, once you water your plants in a pumpkin, it will begin rotting within a few days. So succulents are perfect because they won't need to be watered frequently or at all depending on how long you keep your planter.

For the tutorial today we are focusing on planting the 'Rouge Vif d’Etampes' variety which has brilliant red skin and a flat sort of shape. We will be planting it up with only 3 plants Hens & Chicks 'Henrys Black', Sedum pachyphyllum 'Salsa', and our homegrown Sedum 'Fine Gold'. We have an amazing selection of succulents and cactus in store, so if you would like to go for a different colour scheme or look, feel free to change up the ingredients and flex your creative muscles!


  • 1 4" pot Sedum 'Fine Gold' (indoor plant)

  • 1 4" pot Hens & Chicks 'Henrys Black' (hardy outdoor plant)

  • 1 2" pot Sedum pachyphyllum 'Salsa' (indoor plant)

  • ProMix Cactus Soil

  • 1 'Rouge Vif d’Etampes' or specialty pumpkin of your choice.

  • Gloves

  • Pumpkin carving tools

Specialty Pumpkins 'Speckled Hound' (front) and 'Rouge Vif d’Etampes (back), Sedum pachyphyllum 'Salsa', Sedum 'Fine Gold', 'Hens & Chicks 'Henrys Black'

Step 1:

The first step is to carve and empty your pumpkin. The skins of the 'Rouge Vif d’Etampes' and other specialty varieties are very thick and therefore you will need a sturdy knife and I recommend you wear gloves to have a good grip on your gourd.

Remove the top of your pumpkin and scoop out the innards of your pumpkin and discard it. The inside of your pumpkin does not need to be a work of art, just be sure to get the stringy and goopy stuff out.