How to Make Terrarium Succulents? A Quick Step to Make

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Have you ever thought about growing a succulent terrarium? You will love our article today if you want an ideal indoor plant arrangement project. We want to share how you can make budget-friendly succulent terrariums for your home.

Even if you think you have a black and not a green thumb, you will be surprised how low maintenance these plants are. For starters, the plants are small when you make a succulent terrarium.

Furthermore, you can find succulent plants in different and beautiful varieties. So, are you ready to start with your DIY terrarium? Well, let’s get started then.

Steps on How To Make a Succulent Terrarium:

terrarium succulent preparation

Okay, when you want to make a succulent terrarium, it does not need to be expensive. The important thing is to get a clear glass container with an opening wide enough to work with. You need not go out and buy a particular terrarium container. You can use what you have available in the home.

Step One: Choose Your Succulent Terrariums Glass Container

Most succulents, including cacti, come from warm parts of the world. Hence, they need the correct air circulation with low humidity. For this reason, it helps to choose a glass container to make your terrarium.

Depending on how many plants you want to use, you can choose a small enclosed container with an opening as well. The fantastic thing is these DIY projects make for great gifts. So, you can select the following:

  • A large cup or a stemless wine glass

  • Aquarium jar

  • Soup bowl to footed glass bowels like a fruit bowl

  • Glass orbs or geometrically shaped containers

  • A Wardian case that has an opening window

  • Compote/desert/ trifle bowl

You can choose many more options when you think out of the box. The important thing is the container needs to provide enough air circulation.

Step Two: Clean The Container

Great, now that you have your container and still think you have a black thumb, think again. Why, as these succulent plants you will place in the container will prove you wrong. The next and most important step is washing the container with soap and hot water.

When you do this, it helps remove any bacteria and chemical residues or dirt inside. The soap and water will help prevent mold from rotting plants. Another critical step is to dry it well before you start assembling the terrarium.

Step Three: Adding Your Drainage Layer

potting mix for good drainage

A succulent terrarium needs a drainage layer at the bottom which is very important. The layer catches the excess water, so it acts like a filler. Having it helps if you do overwater the plant roots.

Furthermore, it adds structure to the terrarium, and you have different options to choose from. Yet it all depends on the overall design, but you can use:

  • Bark chips to give your succulent terrarium a forest yet woody theme.

  • Sand is also great for providing a different color as you can use decorative sand like a blue one.

  • Rocks, pebbles, and gravel are other options, and you can use river rocks, speckled dotted rocks, decorative ones in various colors, or lava rocks.

The critical thing to remember is when you decide to use stones; it helps to wash them well to remove any chemical residue and leave them to dry well.

Step Four: Adding a Filter

adding filter

Next, a separation is needed as you need filtration between the drainage layer and the charcoal you need to add in the fifth step. Again, the filter will help prevent the content mixing from ruining the design.

Hence, it keeps your design together and prevents potting soil from seeping through to the bottom. Choosing a filter must be thin, allowing water to pass through like a coffee filter, gauze, cheesecloth, etc.

We do not recommend using plastic as your divider, only a thin filter on top of the drainage layer.

Step Five: Place Your Charcoal


Next, you need to add some activated charcoal to act as a purifier, and it also helps prevent the growth of fungus, leading to rot. Furthermore, it keeps the plants inside healthy and removes terrible smells keeping your terrarium fresh. The best is to add a thin layer and only cover the surface. A great option is a horticultural one.

Step Six: Adding Cactus Soil

terrarium succulent

We recommend adding cactus soil if you use cacti in your succulent terrarium. But you can also use the succulent potting mix as it is the best choice for many succulents growing in such an environment. It needs to be fast-draining soil with proper aeration and good light.

Do this before you add your plants and choose healthy plants. Also, remove dead leaves and shake off the old potting soil from the plant’s roots before placing it in the terrarium. You can use a spray bottle to provide moisture to the soil and the plant rootball.

The important thing is to choose a succulent that is smaller and slow-growing. Some great options are your aeonium, zebra, jade plant, dwarf aloe, panda, Mammillaria cacti, and more. You can prune taller plants a bit; the same goes for the roots if they are too long.

Now, place your plants in the potting mix adding soil as you go along, covering the roots but not too much. The main thing is the rootball needs to be completely covered.

Step Seven: Add Some Decorations

decorated terrarium succulent

Now that your plants are all settled in the terrarium. You can add some gravel or rocks with decorations on top of the soil. Some great decorative pieces are fake plants to figurines. Alternatively, you can add preserved reindeer moss in a specific color or other small objects.

Watering Your Succulents

As succulents store water in leaf cells, they do not need a lot of water, but they can vary from season to season. A great tip with succulents is that the leaves have a full juicy look when appropriately watered. The opposite happens with underwatering as the foliage is dry.

The best is to water the plants once a week during the summer and every two weeks in winter. You can start with deep watering and leave them to dry completely. You can heavily water with a 1/4 cup or mist for small to medium containers.

As with water, it helps to place your succulent terrarium in a sunny location but not in direct sunlight as it will burn your plants.

Final Thoughts

After placing your succulent terrarium in a bright spot, do not water your plants for a couple of weeks. The reason is you have sprayed the rootball and soil. Then allow for proper ventilation but preferably not in a place with drafts.

Then care for your succulents. As you will see, you will soon start with other DIY projects regarding terrariums. As you can see, it is super easy, and we hope the above tips help you to get started.

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