Crocheters, get ready to add some fun plant-inspired patterns to your projects! Emma Varnam’s newest crochet pattern book, “Pretty Crochet Succulents and Cacti Patterns,” includes 25 fantastic designs you can make with your favorite yarns. For a closer look at all the patterns, check out my book review, complete with a bonus free crochet succulent pattern so you can try before you buy!
I received a copy of this book to review from GMC Books. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. If you purchase this book after you click on one of my affiliate links in the post, I will receive a small commission for referring you, at no additional cost to you.
These pretty succulents and cacti are so resilient they don’t even need water!
Crochet Succulents includes 25-different crochet cacti and succulent plant patterns. Most of these projects are made with DK Weight Yarn  and a 3.5 mm (E) crochet hook.
This pretty paperback book includes 144-pages, front and back flaps (so you can easily save your place), beautiful color photographs and clear written instructions.
There is a wide variety of colorful succulent plant options for you to choose from in this collection. Each pattern includes an ‘actual size’ image of the finished crocheted succulent.
I love that the Contents section on pages 6-7 gives you the page numbers for the patterns, photos of each project, the common plant names and the scientific names (genus and species) of the plants.
After the Contents section and a Gallery of the succulents and crochet cacti projects you can make, the book jumps straight into the written patterns. I think it is important to note that there is a Getting Started section available to help you navigate the patterns, crochet terms used and techniques.
I recommend, before you choose your pattern, you flip to page 119.
The Getting Started section begins on page 119. This section includes important tips and additional supplies you may want to pick up for your projects.
Along with your yarn, crochet hook, polyester filling and tapestry needle, you may need some of the following supplies (this is dependent upon the pattern you choose to crochet): cocktail sticks, floristry wire, floral foam and plant pots.
Crochet Succulents and Cacti Patterns
- Baseball Plant | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 2.75 inches diameter
- Saguaro | Fingering Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 4 inches tall X 2.5 inches wide
- Mexican Giant Cardon | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 3 inches tall X 2 inches diameter
- Moulded Wax Agave | Fingering Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 2.75 inches diameter
- San Pedro | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 4 inches tall X 2.75 inches wide
- Jade Necklace | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size of longest spiral: 6.5 inches long
- Red Frills | Fingering Weight Yarn  | 3 mm hook, | Finished size: 3.25 inches diameter
- Golden Barrel | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 3 inches diameter
- Notocactus | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 3.5 inches diameter
- Little Mouse | Lace Weight Yarn  | 3 mm hook, | Finished size: small: 0.75 inch diameter; large: 1.75 inch diameter
- Romeo Wax Agave | Fingering Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 4.5 inches diameter
- Aloe Vera | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: each leaf: 4.5 inches tall
- Bunny Ears Cactus | Fingering Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 4 inches tall X 2 inches wide
- Golden Torch | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 2.75 inches tall
- Peruvian Apple | Aran Weight Yarn  | 4 mm (G) hook, | Finished size: 4 inches tall X 3.5 inches wide
- Cardon Grande | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 3.25 inches tall X 2.5 inches wide
- Bishop’s Cap | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 3.25 inches diameter
- Ball Cactus | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 3.5 inches diameter
- Mexican Snowball | Light Fingering Weight Yarn  | 2.75 mm hook, | Finished size: 4 inches diameter
- String of Pearls | Aran Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: longest strand 8 inches long
- Blue Waves | Fingering Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 2.75 inches diameter
- Pig’s Ear | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: largest 3.25 inches tall X 2.5 inches wide
- Old Lady Cactus | DK Weight Yarn  | 4 mm (G) hook, | Finished size: 3.5 inches diameter
- Devil’s Tongue | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: 4 inches diameter
- Holiday Cactus | DK Weight Yarn  | 3.5 mm (E) hook, | Finished size: longest 10 inches long
The Abbreviations are found on page 121 and the Crochet Techniques are on pages 122-132.
All of the projects use simple crochet stitches and the instructions are written in UK crochet terms. Helpful Notes are included separately, surrounded by a circular border. You will also find special Tips throughout the book; these are located inside square shaped boxes.
In the supplies section of each pattern it suggests a plant pot size for your finished project. You may want to make your crocheted succulent before you buy the suggested pot. That way if your succulent ends up a bit bigger (or smaller) due to yarn substitutions, or tension (*this is gauge in US terms*) you can simply select a different pot size.
If you are used to following US crochet patterns, don’t let the fact that these are written in UK terms hold you back! You can find the US equivalent terms on page 123 and since each stitch is explained in the techniques section, with helpful diagrams, it is easy to double check how a stitch is being made.
- holding your hook and yarn
- making a slip knot
- slip stitch
- chain stitch
- double crochet (dc) *this is a single crochet (sc) in US terms*
- half treble (htr) *this is a half double crochet (hdc) in US terms*
- treble (tr) *this is a double crochet (dc) in US terms*
- double treble (dtr) *this is a triple or treble (tr) in US terms*
- working in rows, rounds and spirals
- magic ring
- increasing (inc) *working 2 stitches in a stitch*
- decreasing (dc2tog) *this is a sc2tog in US terms*
- popcorn (pop) *this is a “pc” in US terms; made with 4 dc*
- bobble *this is a “bo” in US terms; simply put hdc4tog in one stitch*
- through the back loop (tbl) *this is back loop only (blo) in US terms*
The next section of the book includes finishing techniques for completing your crocheted succuelents. This section, like the Crochet Techniques section includes step-by-step written instructions with helpful diagrams.
- whip stitch
- slip-stitch seam
- double crochet seams *this is a single crochet seam in US terms*
- weaving in ends
- sewing on beads
- making a pompom with a fork (this is super cool!)
Displaying Your Succulents is the next section in the book. Along with suggestions for how you can pot your finished plants in store-bought containers, patterns have been included to make crocheted soil for pots of different diameters. Patterns are also provided for 3 different styles of crocheted pots; a plain pot, a striped pot and a funky pot.
Emma also has a crochet tutorial available on YouTube that shows you how to make a basic crochet succulent plant (free pattern):
I love the variety of succulent and crochet cacti plants Emma has included in her book Crocheted Succulents. I also love that she has included crocheted soil and pot options, although I personally love the look of the crocheted plants in the clay pots.
What do you think? Would you crochet a pot, or plant your crochet cacti in a clay pot?
BONUS Free Crochet Succulent Pattern
Moulded Wax Agave
Native to Mexico, this small succulent, which can grow to about 8in (20cm) in diameter, is relatively easy to cultivate even in Europe. It is recognizable for its attractive rosette-type structure, which, with a little sewing together, is easy to reproduce in crocheted form.
The succulent is approximately 2¾in (7cm) in diameter.
You will need
- Scheepjes Catona, 100% cotton (137yd/125m per 50g ball):
- 1 ball in 512 Lime
- 3.5mm (UK9:USE/4) crochet hook
- Tapestry needle
- Floristry wire
- Floral foam to fit pot
- Small alpine grit
- Plant pot approximately 3½in (9cm) in diameter
- Tension is not essential for this project.
A clever way to start an amigurumi shape is use a ‘magic ring’. This is a neat way of starting a circular piece of crochet while avoiding the unsightly hole that can be left in the centre when you join a ring the normal way. Magic rings are nearly always made with double crochet stitches, as this creates a tight, dense crochet fabric.
- Start by making a basic slip knot. Pull up the loop and slip this loop onto your crochet hook.
- Before you tighten the ring, wrap the yarn over the hook (outside the circle) and pull through to make the first chain.
- Insert the hook into the ring, wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the ring so there are two loops on the hook.
- Wrap the yarn over the hook again (outside the circle) and pull through
- You have made your first double crochet stitch (US single crochet stitch).
- Continue to work like this for as many double crochet stitches (US single crochet stitches) as are stated in the pattern instructions.
- Pull the yarn tail to tighten the ring and then continue working in the round
Working in spirals
The majority of the patterns in this book are worked in spiral rounds, beginning with a magic ring. They are worked using the ‘amigurumi’ crochet technique, which involves crocheting in a continuous spiral with no slip-stitch joins or turning chains. In this way, you can create one seamless cylindrical shape.
In order to know where each row starts, it is advisable to place a marker at the beginning of each row.
The succulent leaves are worked in spirals using the standard amigurumi technique (see page 126). Place a marker at the beginning of each round so you know where you are in the pattern. You then sew the leaves together to create the whole plant.
Using 3.5mm (UK9:USE/4) hook, make a magic ring (see page 127).
Round 1: 1 ch, 6 dc into the centre of the ring.
Round 2: (2 dc, dc2inc) twice (8 sts).
Round 3: (3 dc, dc2inc) twice (10 sts).
Rounds 4–9: Work 6 rounds straight.
Round 10: (3 dc, dc2tog) twice (8 sts).
Round 11: (2 dc, dc2tog) twice (6 sts).
Fasten off. Leave a yarn tail.
Using 3.5mm hook (UK9:USE/4), make a magic ring.
Round 1: 1 ch, 4 dc into the centre of the ring.
Round 2: (1 dc, dc2inc) twice (6 sts).
Round 3: (2 dc, dc2inc) twice (8 sts).
Rounds 4–7: Work 4 rounds straight.
Round 8: (2 dc, dc2tog) twice (6 sts).
Fasten off. Leave a yarn tail.
Using 3.5mm (UK9:USE/4) hook, make a magic ring.
Round 1: 1 ch, 6 dc into the centre of the ring, join with a sl st.
Round 2: (Ch 2, sl st in next st), *sl st into next st, 2 ch, sl st in next st; rep from * (3 loops).
Round 3: *Sl st in ch sp, (2 ch, 3 tr, 2 ch, 1 sl st) in ch sp; rep from * twice (3 petals).
Fasten off. Leave a yarn tail.
Fold each leaf in half and press it flat with your hand. Arrange five large leaves to form a flat star, then, using the tail of yarn, sew the end rows together. Repeat with the other five large leaves so you have two flat stars of five leaves each. Sew one star of leaves on top of the other, making sure the leaves are staggered. Then space the three small leaves equally to form a trefoil, sew these together and then sew them on top of your large leaves. Finally, sew the small centre leaves right in the middle.
Take some floristry wire, fold it in half and thread it through the centre underside of the succulent. Cut some floral foam to fit the pot. Insert the floristry wire into the foam to secure the plant in the pot. Add some small alpine grit to cover the foam.
You can get your own copy of the book Crocheted Succulents, on Amazon:
I would like to thank GMC Books for the review copy of the book and pattern excerpt from Crocheted Succulents.
Read my other Book Reviews here.
*Prices subject to change*
#crochet #amigurumi #crochetsucculent #crochetplant #gmcbooks @GMCbooks @gmcpublications #patternexcerpt #mouldedwaxagave
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