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How to Make a Succulent Terrarium: 5 Easy Steps

Making Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Terrariums, these enchanting miniature ecosystems enclosed within glass containers, offer you a delightful way to cultivate your self-sustaining world of lush greenery. Among the many types of terrariums, succulent terrariums stand out as a popular choice due to their striking appearance and minimal maintenance requirements.

Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or a complete novice in the realm of gardening, succulent terrariums provide a unique opportunity to harness nature’s beauty and tranquillity within the confines of your home or workspace.


Steps in Making a Succulent Terrarium

Steps in Making a Succulent Terrarium

1. Materials Needed

To embark on your succulent terrarium journey, you’ll need a few essential materials. Here’s a comprehensive list to get you started:

  1. Glass Container: Select a clear glass container with an opening large enough to work in and allow sunlight to penetrate.
  2. Succulents: Choose a variety of succulent plants that complement each other in terms of colour, size, and growth habits.
  3. Cactus or Succulent Soil Mix: Use a well-draining soil mix specifically designed for succulents and cacti.
  4. Gravel or Pebbles: These are essential for providing proper drainage at the bottom of your container.
  5. Activated Charcoal: Helps prevent mould and odours in the closed environment of your terrarium.
  6. Decorative Sand or Stones: Optional but can add visual appeal to your terrarium.
  7. Long Tweezers or Chopsticks: Useful for planting and arranging items in the container.
  8. Spray Bottle: For misting and maintaining humidity levels.
  9. Small Decorative Items: Miniature figurines, seashells, or stones to enhance the aesthetic.
  10. Gloves: Optional but recommended to protect your hands while handling soil and plants.


2. Choosing the Right Container

Choosing the Right Container in Making a Succulent Terrarium

Selecting the right container is crucial for the success of your succulent terrarium. The container not only serves as the visual backdrop but also affects the environment inside. Here’s what you should consider:

  1. Size: The size of your container will determine the number and size of succulents you can plant. Make sure it has enough room for growth.
  2. Shape: Choose a container that complements your interior décor. Popular options include glass jars, fishbowls, and geometric terrariums.
  3. Material: Glass containers are the most common choice, as they provide a clear view of the terrarium’s contents. However, you can get creative with other materials like wood or metal.
  4. Lid: Some containers come with lids, which create a closed environment suitable for moisture-loving succulents. Others are open, ideal for drought-tolerant varieties.
  5. Accessibility: Consider how easy it is to access the interior for planting and maintenance.
  6. Drainage: Ensure there’s a way for excess water to escape, especially if your container lacks a lid.


3. Selecting the Perfect Succulents

Selecting the Perfect Succulents

Choosing the right succulents is a crucial step in creating a successful terrarium. Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Size: Opt for succulents that will fit comfortably within your chosen container. Miniature and small varieties are often the best choice.
  2. Colour: Succulents come in a wide range of colours, from vibrant greens to deep purples and reds. Consider your desired colour palette.
  3. Growth Habit: Ensure that the succulents you choose have similar growth habits to maintain a visually appealing terrarium.
  4. Care Requirements: Select succulents that have similar care requirements, especially when it comes to sunlight and water.
  5. Variety: A mix of different succulent species adds visual interest to your terrarium. Combine rosette-shaped succulents with trailing ones for an eye-catching effect.


4. Preparing the Soil and Drainage

Preparing the Soil and Drainage for Succulent Terrarium

Creating the right soil mix and ensuring proper drainage are essential for your succulent terrarium’s health. Follow these steps:

  1. Soil Mix: Use a well-draining cactus or succulent soil mix, readily available at garden centres. You can also create your mix by combining regular potting soil with perlite or sand in a 1:1 ratio.
  2. Layer of Gravel: Place a layer of small gravel or pebbles at the bottom of your container. This layer will help prevent water from accumulating around the roots.
  3. Activated Charcoal: Add a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the gravel. Charcoal helps in keeping the terrarium fresh by absorbing odours and preventing mould growth.
  4. Soil Layer: Add a layer of succulent soil mix on top of the charcoal, leaving enough space for your succulents.


5. Assembling Your Terrarium

Assembling Your Terrarium

Creating a visually pleasing arrangement within your terrarium is an exciting part of the process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Plan Your Layout: Before planting, arrange your succulents and decorative elements on top of the soil to determine the best placement.
  2. Planting: Use your tweezers or chopsticks to dig small holes in the soil for each succulent. Gently remove them from their pots, shake off excess soil, and place them in the prepared holes. Press the soil around the base of each plant to secure it.
  3. Decorative Elements: Add decorative sand, stones, or any miniature items you’d like to include. These can be placed strategically to enhance the terrarium’s overall aesthetic.
  4. Misting: Lightly mist the soil and plants with water to settle them in and provide initial moisture.
  5. Final Touches: Adjust the arrangement as needed until you achieve a balanced and visually appealing look.


Caring for Your Succulent Terrarium

Succulent terrariums are relatively low-maintenance, but they still require proper care to thrive. Here are the key aspects of caring for your terrarium:

Caring for Your Succulent Terrarium

  1. Watering: Succulents prefer to dry out between waterings. Check the soil’s moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch deep. Water sparingly when the soil is dry. Use a spray bottle to avoid overwatering and distribute water evenly.
  2. Sunlight: Succulents need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. Place your terrarium near a window with filtered sunlight or use a sheer curtain to diffuse direct sunlight. Rotate the terrarium occasionally to ensure even light exposure.
  3. Temperature: Succulents thrive in temperatures between 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). Avoid extreme heat or cold drafts.
  4. Pruning: Trim and remove any dead or overgrown leaves or stems to maintain the terrarium’s aesthetic and health.
  5. Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for signs of pests or diseases, such as mealybugs or mold. Address these issues promptly to prevent them from spreading.
  6. Maintenance: Every few months, check the terrarium for overcrowding or overgrowth. If necessary, consider repotting or removing some succulents to maintain a balanced and healthy environment.


Maintenance and Repotting

Succulent terrariums can thrive for an extended period with proper maintenance. Here’s what you need to know:

Maintenance and Repotting

  1. Regular Pruning: Continue to trim and prune your succulents as they grow to maintain the terrarium’s aesthetics and prevent overcrowding.
  2. Fertilisation: Succulents typically do not require frequent fertilisation. You can use a diluted, balanced succulent fertiliser every few months during the growing season (spring and summer).
  3. Repotting: Over time, your succulents may outgrow their terrarium. If you notice overcrowding or reduced growth, it’s time to consider repotting. Carefully remove the succulents, trim their roots if necessary, and transfer them to a larger container with fresh succulent soil mix
  4. Soil Refresh: Periodically, replace the top layer of soil with fresh succulent soil mix to maintain optimal soil conditions.
  5. Cleaning: Wipe down the interior of the glass container occasionally to remove dust or water spots that may obscure the view of your terrarium.



Choose Bourkes Florist for Your Floral Needs

To make your terrarium journey even more special, why not consider adding a touch of floral elegance? Bourkes Florist offers a splendid selection of exquisite flowers that can complement your succulent terrarium or stand as a beautiful floral arrangement on their own. Order now and let us deliver delightful native flowers to your doorstep, adding an extra layer of natural beauty to your space. Shop now.




Q: Can I Use Any Container for My Succulent Terrarium?

The container you choose for your succulent terrarium is essential. It should have proper drainage and be appropriately sized for your succulents. Clear glass containers are popular for their aesthetics and allow you to enjoy the view. Containers with lids create a closed environment suitable for moisture-loving succulents, while open containers suit drought-tolerant varieties.

Q: How Often Should I Water My Succulent Terrarium?

Succulents prefer to dry out between waterings. Check the soil’s moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch deep. Water sparingly when the soil is dry, typically every 2-4 weeks. Use a spray bottle to avoid overwatering and distribute water evenly.

Q: What Should I Do if My Succulents Start to Look Unhealthy?

If your succulents appear unhealthy, check for signs of overwatering, inadequate sunlight, or pests. Adjust the watering frequency, provide more indirect sunlight, and address any pest issues promptly.

Q: Can I Use Artificial Succulents in My Terrarium?

While artificial succulents are an option, real succulents are preferred for their natural beauty and ability to thrive in a terrarium environment. Real succulents also contribute to the mini-ecosystem and offer a more authentic experience.

Q: Is It Okay to Place My Terrarium in Direct Sunlight?

Succulent terrariums need bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch the plants and overheat the enclosed environment. Place your terrarium near a window with filtered sunlight or use a sheer curtain to diffuse direct sunlight.

Q: How Long Can Succulents Typically Live In a Terrarium?

With proper care and maintenance, succulents can live in a terrarium for several years. As they grow, you may need to repot them into larger containers to ensure their continued health and longevity.

Q: What Are Some Creative Ideas for Decorating My Succulent Terrarium?

Get creative with your succulent terrarium by adding miniature figurines, seashells, coloured sand, or decorative stones. Experiment with different arrangements and themes to personalize your terrarium and make it a unique reflection of your style and interests.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium: 5 Easy Steps

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