A Complete Guide On Making Your Own Succulent Terrarium

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums

What describes you well about succulent terrariums? Are you an unapologetically busy person? Do you tend to be forgetful, occasionally getting disoriented? Or, perhaps, like many, are you the typical black thumb, the man or woman that never seems to succeed in all their gardening endeavours, regardless of efforts, from sunrise to sunset?

This can be frustrating, disconcerting, and exceedingly annoying! Especially if you love plants. Yes, almost every unwilling member of the unflattering Black Thumbs Club wants to get the answer to this puzzling question: What is the trick for people to enjoy plants without killing them?

Whatever the case, there is a reason to rejoice. All is not lost. Your salvation may come in the most unexpected form; Succulent terrariums! These are awesome. Not only do succulents last longer than cut flowers, but they are also especially welcome during winter.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
A reason to Be Happy @ mike.portes

Grand Comeback

As you know, at such times, virtually everything outside the house is usually dead, dormant, or hopelessly deluged with snow. As such, creating a terrarium around these gives you a chance to build a beautiful little world in your home. Would you believe it? Those nostalgic, cute, miniature gardens that were once wildly popular in the distant past, and later populated every home a few decades ago, have made a grand comeback! They are here with us!

Happily, it is relatively easy to make succulent terrariums. And the items required are simple. You can use such things as succulent cuttings, glass terrarium, cactus compost, and a few other tools. People who have done this affirm that, with the right materials, anyone can create terrariums. Once ready, they are incredibly easy to care for and will grow for years without a replant.

What is more, you can make terrariums in all sorts of vessels imaginable, even on glass cylinders and typewriters! As noted, succulents are especially ideal for busy people, those residing in small, confined spaces, or forgetful people and will not remember to water plants.

What are Terrariums?

A terrarium is simply an enclosed environment designed for plants. It is, for all practical purposes, a miniature greenhouse. Terrariums are mostly made of glass or similar transparent material. They are usually either sealed completely or left with some small opening.

Terrariums are desert plants. They usually have lovely, thick, cellulose leaves that help them hold water. Indeed, this is what enables terrariums to survive for long without water. Incredibly, with the right strategy, you can create your terrariums in just an hour! Get a simple, step-by-step guide to make your succulent terrariums at home, quickly and without a hassle.

Succulents are today proving to be one of those interior design trends that have a remarkable staying power. If, like many others, you are genuinely fascinated with these pint-sized plants, why not consider showcasing them in a stylish terrarium? Indeed, these tiny tabletop gardens are not just easy to make and maintain; they are also a fantastic way to introduce an added sense of fashion into your home and the greater outdoors.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Design of Environment @ suculentemici

Take Action!

It would be best if you tried making terrariums for yourself. The reason is that ready-made terrariums, like those found online, can be very expensive. Indeed, once you learn how to do it, you can easily make them in the dozens, whether for yourself or others. Take action now!

What Materials do You Need?

You will need certain materials and tools to make a succulent terrarium. Here are a few:

Project Materials:

  • Glass terrarium. You can also use a glass container with openings.
  • Sand: This can be building sand, beach sand, Blue sand, Pink sand, or any sand works that are not toxic.
  • Cactus potting mix.
  • Assorted Succulents: These include Jade plant, Alpines, or Hen & Chicks.
  • Activated carbon or charcoal.
Floro Glass Terrariums with Hanging Loop, Spherical Air Plant Orb...
Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound
Horticultural Charcoal, 100% All Natural Hardwood Charcoal,...
Floro Glass Terrariums with Hanging Loop, Spherical Air Plant Orb...
Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound
Horticultural Charcoal, 100% All Natural Hardwood Charcoal,...

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Amazon

The Tools

  • Paintbrush: This is used to brush the succulents gently and rid them of any excess dirt.
  • Long tweezers: These will help you put the succulents in place.
  • A water-filled spray bottle.
  • A Spoon: It will be used to pat the potting mix and scooping sand and charcoal.
Mkono 2 Pack Watering Can, 250ML and 500ML Succulent Watering...
Adi's Art Pro Paint Brushes Set for Acrylic Oil Watercolor,...
Stainless Steel Tweezers, with Curved Serrated Tip Multipurpose...
Mkono 2 Pack Watering Can, 250ML and 500ML Succulent Watering...
Adi's Art Pro Paint Brushes Set for Acrylic Oil Watercolor,...
Stainless Steel Tweezers, with Curved Serrated Tip Multipurpose...

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Amazon

Collecting Materials

Most items needed for this project can be found easily in homes and gardens. Instead of a purposely designed glass terrarium, you can use an empty food jar or a mason jar. Just make sure it is clean and equipped with an opening for ventilation.

You can get the sand from the local beach. Similarly, you can get the spoon and tweezers from the bathroom or kitchen. The paintbrush can come from your art supplies. The succulents may be obtained from planters outside. In case you own an aquarium, you should even get the activated charcoal since this is usually used in the water filtration system. Sounds easy.

Yet, what are succulents? Succulents are tough plants that don’t require much soil, nutrients, or water during winter. While strolling in the park, you may spot some growing. Just get a little cheeky and nip off a few pieces to carry home. Happily, succulents root quickly, and the small amounts you take cannot damage the parent plant.

So, what else do you need for this exciting little project to take off?

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Potting Tools @ iamgoingplaces

What Else is Required?

To make a functional terrarium, you generally need the following items:

A Good Container:

You can use anything suitable, including a recycled coffee jar, a vase, or a goldfish bowl. It is wise to select a container whose opening is wide enough to fit your hand’s width. This will allow you to place and move materials quickly. You may use glass or plastic. However, try to avoid anything coloured; this can hinder the growth of plants. Some people prefer the highly popular geometric style terrariums that seem to be the rave of the moment.

Small stones or gravel:

Use these to serve as a drainage system. They are perfect for preventing excess water from saturating the soil, causing the plants to rot.

Activated charcoal:

You will get these in many garden centres. For sure, this ingredient is essential, particularly in closed terrariums, since it hampers bacterial growth, combating potentially unpleasant smells.

Potting soil:

You may use any potting soil. If, however, you are using some specialist plants like cacti or carnivorous plants, it might be necessary to go for a unique mix.

A selection of plants:

Remember that, without a little greenery, there is no terrarium! You can use selected plants that are suitable for a terrarium to cover the topsoil. These include decorative gravel, Moss, and a few others. You are free to choose whichever is preferable from the list below:

Which Plants Are Best for a Terrarium?

Be aware that not all houseplants will work for a successful terrarium. What is certain is that varieties of low-growing plants that thrive in high humidity are among the best. Consider the types listed below for your planned terrarium:

  • Carnivorous plants like Pitcher plants, Venus flytraps, and Sundew plants will make an exciting addition.
  • Succulents including cactiThese are ideal because they do well in high light and low moisture environments.
  • Ferns like the variegated spider plant will enjoy a moist potting mix and high humidity found inside a terrarium.
  • Airplants like Tillandsia will thrive well in an open terrarium with a constant supply of air.
  • Grasses like Minimus Aureus are perfect for terrariums because they don’t need much maintenance.
  • Starfish plants: These grow to a maximum of 6 inches, making them great for small terrariums.

Note: When choosing plants for your planned terrarium, make sure to keep succulents and cacti together, fern, and tropical plants together. This is essential because these unique clusters require different amounts of soil and water.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Best Succulents @ kellyjos200plants

4. Simple Steps to Make a Succulent Terrarium

1: Gather the Assorted Succulents

Take ten to twelve small cuttings of your succulents. You may find that you want a few of these to trail over the edge of your container, some for the more massive focal points and others for colour and texture. At the outset, you might imagine that many succulents will outgrow your terrarium. However, you will discover that, due to the limited soil, they won’t become that large. This is especially so if you trim the succulents regularly as they grow.

Once the cuttings are ready, please place them in a cool place for a few days, away from the direct sunlight. Doing this allows the broken ends to callus over. This is a vital step if you expect the succulent to form roots. After this brief period, you should proceed to the next stage; step two.

 2: Layer the Sand & Charcoal

You should now layer half an inch of sand in the bottom of the glass container. This pushes it up in the back, forming a hill. Next, sprinkle a fine layer of charcoal over the sand. This added measure creates drainage for excess water. The charcoal also prevents the mould, Moss, and other pestilent micro-organisms from growing and taking over the planter. It is time for step 3.

 3: Layer the Cactus Potting Mix

This step is deliberately listed separately, just in case you would like to make your mix. The required combination of the cactus potting can either be purchased online or from a garden centre. It is also possible to create it at home if you have the necessary materials at hand. This is a mix of 10% Horticultural Grit, 20% Perlite, 20% 5 mm Coco Husk Chips, and 50% washed cocopeat.

As advised, layer a half-inch of this potting mix above the sand and charcoal. Make sure you mound it up at the back, in the same way, you did with the sand. Next, spray the potting mix a few times using the spray bottle filled with ordinary tap water. You are now ready for step four.

Step 4: Plant the Succulent Cuttings

We have now entered the creative stage. Put your cuttings into the potting mix. Arrange them in a manner that the composition suits you. Some experts recommend placing the taller pieces into the back before pushing them right in, with the end of a paintbrush or spoon. In this way, the end carrying the callus is well covered. After this, make sure you push any large pieces inside. This will help you put in the trailing pieces before dealing with any of the foreground succulents. Unless you do this, it might be challenging to get them in later.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Maintain Them @ kellyjos200plants


Once you make sure all the succulents are in, you are done! Your cuttings may take a few weeks to develop roots. For this reason, try to keep the terrarium in a bright area. In this way, they can form without disturbance.
For purposes of aftercare, the succulents will only need to be sprayed with water once a week. Every time you water them, make sure the potting mix is damp, without soaking. Allow it to dry completely before watering again.
You will find that after some time, the succulents become somewhat leggy. This is mainly because they are trying to find greater space to grow. Cut these leggy pieces off and re-pot them, either outside or in new terrariums.

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use?

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use

If you’ve been taking care of succulents for a while, you’ve probably heard that fertilizer nutrients can burn your succulents. Sounds pretty scary, right? Nobody wants to burn their beloved succulent collection, so using a fertilizer can seem a little intimidating!

But don’t worry! Fertilizer is completely safe to use on your succulents as long as you apply it properly. Today, we’re going to teach you the right way to apply fertilizer to your succulents so that you don’t damage them. We’ll even give you a few natural alternatives to chemical fertilizer just in case you don’t feel comfortable using chemicals on your plant babies. 

Let’s jump right into the post and get your succulents growing with fertilizer! 


Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Use it Correctly @queenplantarina

Chemical Fertilizer 

If you’ve heard that fertilizers can burn and damage succulents, we’re sad to report that the rumors are true. Chemical fertilizers can damage your succulents if you use the wrong kind or apply them the wrong way. If you follow our tips, though, you won’t have to worry about damaging your succulents! 

The best kind of chemical fertilizer to use on your succulents is a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer like this one. Stay away from fertilizers that have high amounts of nitrogen or release slowly—they’re bad for your succulents and can damage them! 

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To prepare your fertilizer, get out a big watering can and fill it with a gallon of water. Then add your plant food. Don’t follow the instructions on the back of the package—if you put in that much plant food, your fertilizer will be too strong and burn your succulents, which is definitely not what you want! Dilute the fertilizer to half strength instead by adding half the amount the box instructs you to. So if your box of plant food says to mix a whole tablespoon into a gallon of water, you should only use a half tablespoon.

Then take your diluted fertilizer and water your succulents plants as normal. Try to avoid splashing fertilizer on the leaves, though, as they’re the most easily burned part of your succulents. 

Since succulents plants don’t need much fertilizer, you only need to fertilize your plants a few times during their active season to grow, which is usually in the summer. Even fertilizing your plants just once or twice a year will give them the nutrients they need to keep sprouting nice and grow healthy!

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Fertilizer for Your Succulents @queenplantarina

Manure or Compost Tea 

Compost and manure teas are more natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers. They won’t burn your succulents, and in our experience, they do a pretty good job of providing them with nutrients! They’re a great way to fertilize your plants if you like to use natural, organic products rather than chemical ones. 

You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get your hands on compost or manure when you live in the city. Well, that part is surprisingly easy! Manure and compost tea bags are readily available for purchase on Amazon. That site really does have everything, doesn’t it?

Hoffman 20505 Dehydrated Super Manure 4-2-3, 5 Pounds
Sustane Compost Tea Bags
Hoffman 20505 Dehydrated Super Manure 4-2-3, 5 Pounds
Sustane Compost Tea Bags

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Amazon

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To brew your manure or compost tea, grab one of your tea bags and put it in the bottom of a big, five-gallon bucket. Fill up the bucket with anywhere from one to five gallons of water depending on how strong or weak you want your fertilizer to be. We like to make ours on the weaker side because succulents don’t need super strong fertilizers. 

After you’ve filled it up with water, put the lid back on the bucket and leave it outside for two or three days to steep. Once the tea is done steeping, take the teabag out and use the tea to water your succulents just like you normally would. You can water your succulents with this fertilizer as often as once a month during their active season to grow.

There you have it! That’s how you use compost and manure tea. 

If you can’t get over the ick factor of watering your succulents with manure, don’t worry! There are other natural fertilizer options for you, like brewed coffee.

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Natural Pesticide @drsherikeffer

Brewed Coffee 

If you’re a little grossed out by manure tea or worried that it will stink up your house, then try out brewed coffee instead! Coffee grounds have lots of essential nutrients that your succulents need, like nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium. By brewing them, you’ll make the nutrients in the coffee grounds easier for your plants to soak up and utilize!

So to make this type of fertilizer, brew a cup of coffee and dilute it with water. You should use equal amounts of coffee and water for the best results. Once you’ve diluted your coffee, use it to water your succulents just like you usually would. You can brew up this fertilizer and use it on your succulents a few times during their active season for growth. Be sure to also check out “Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?” for more info on using ground coffee.


Worm Castings 

Worm castings are another natural fertilizer option, but like manure tea, they’re a little gross! Worm castings are essentially worm droppings. You can mix them in with the soil and they’ll provide a host of beneficial micronutrients to your plants, including potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. They can even help repel pests like aphids and mealybugs that might want to feed on your outdoor succulents

Worm castings are best for outdoor succulents. If you use them on plants that live indoors, they break down too slowly and act as a slow-release fertilizer, which isn’t good for your plant. Plus, using worm castings indoors can get a little messy! 

But luckily, there is a worm castings product that you can use on indoor succulents. It’s called vermicompost tea. It’s essentially the worm castings version of manure tea. It comes in a handy spray bottle, so it doesn’t leave a mess! 

Vermicompost tea is easy to apply to your indoor or outdoor succulents during their active season for growth—just spray it right onto the soil and they’ll soak it right up! You can even spray it directly on their leaves because it’s all-natural, or use it as a treatment for mealybugs. 

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Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Worm Casting @queenplantarina

Phew, that’s a lot of different fertilizer options! They’re all great, so if you need help narrowing things down and picking just one, leave us a comment down below or head over to the Succulent City Plant Lounge to get some advice. It’s a great community of succulent lovers who are always willing to answer questions and swap gardening tips! 

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth tips on “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents” or even “The Best Soil Recommendations for Your Succulent”  today! 

Happy Planting! ?



What to Do When You Underwater Succulents?

What to Do When You Underwater Succulents

Succulents don’t need a lot of water to survive, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need any! If you’ve been going weeks and weeks without watering your succulents, they’re probably looking brown, dry, and wrinkled—far from their usual healthy, plump appearance.

If you want to save your succulents, you’re going to have to change the way you water them right away. So keep reading to learn the right way to water your succulents. And what to do to revive them when you’ve been underwatering them for a while! 

What to Do When You Underwater Succulents
Watering Your Succulents @jobesorganics

Water Your Succulents Immediately

As soon as you notice symptoms of underwatering in your succulents, like brown, shriveled up leaves, you should give your plants a deep soak. Grab a watering can and fill it up to the top. Then water your plants until you see water coming out of the drainage holes of the pots.

If you’ve been habitually underwatering your succulents, that probably sounds like a lot of water! But succulents actually prefer to be watered this way. Succulents like to get a large amount of water about once every one or two weeks. Soak it all up, and then sit in dry soil for a while. The other houseplants you own would probably wilt and die on that kind of watering schedule. But it works for succulents and cacti! For a more detailed look at watering your succulent, check out “When You Should Water Your Succulents” for more.

After one or two of these deep soaks, your succulents should be looking healthy and plump again. If you keep your succulents on a consistent watering schedule from now on, they’ll prosper and thrive! 

But what should you do if your succulents are so severely underwatered that they still look dry and wrinkled after a few goods soak? The answer is water therapy.

What to Do When You Underwater Succulents
Water Therapy for Your Succulents @liketrylove

Water Therapy for Severely Underwatered Succulents 

If your succulents are severely underwatered and on the brink of death, they probably won’t respond to traditional watering methods. That’s when you know it’s time to try water therapy. 

Water therapy replenishes the water supply of underwatered succulents better than watering because it involves soaking your succulent roots in water. This isn’t something you should try as a first intervention, though. It’s definitely a last resort because it’s a little risky. Your plant’s roots might get damaged or start to rot, especially if you don’t get all the soil out of them. So don’t try this if you’re an inexperienced gardener or if your plant is just starting to show signs of underwatering. 

To perform water therapy on your severely shriveled succulent, fill up a container with water. Shake all of the soil out of your succulent roots, then lower them into the water. Make sure that you position your plant carefully! Only the roots should be submerged, not the leaves or any other part of your plant. Be sure to also check out “5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents” for more tips to caring for your succulent.

A Good Care

After your succulent is all situated in the water, you should leave it to soak for 24 to 72 hours. When it’s time to remove your plant from the water, make sure you handle it with extra care. Your succulent roots will be especially sensitive to damage and bruising after getting out of the water bath, so be really gentle with them! 

We like to set our succulents out to dry for a few days to lower the chances that their sensitive roots will get damaged during the replanting process. Then we plant them in a succulent soil and go back to a regular, routine watering schedule. Find out the best possible soil to plant your succulents in, check out “Best Soil for Succulents” for more.

Unfortunately, water therapy doesn’t always work. Sometimes succulents are too far gone to be saved, or the plant’s roots get damaged during the water therapy process. That’s why it’s important to prevent underwatering in the first place so you don’t lose any of your beloved succulents!


What to Do When You Underwater Succulents
Save Your Succulents @theplantstudent

Prevent Underwatering in the Future

The best way to save an underwatered succulent is to prevent it from becoming underwatered in the first place! 

We know that it can be hard to remember to water your plants. You have a busy life with so much going on, so sometimes your plants and their needs slip under the radar. This is especially true if you own lots of houseplants that require special care or different watering schedules from each other. But it’s super important to water your succulents consistently so they don’t shrivel up and die again! 

Personally, we use apps like Waterbug and Planty to remind us to water our plants. They give us a notification on our phone whenever it’s time for us to water one of our plants. These apps allow us to set different watering schedules for each one of our houseplants, so we don’t have to keep all those watering requirements straight in our heads.

We’ve found apps to be a big help, but if you’re not technologically savvy, you could write down a watering schedule for your plants on a Post It and put it in a place where you’ll see it every day. That way you’re less likely to forget to give your plants a drink! 

Another thing you can do to keep your succulents healthy between waterings is to increase the humidity around them. Believe it or not, the air in your home is actually too dry for your succulents and cacti! Most homes have a humidity level of 30 percent or lower, and the ideal humidity level for succulents is 40 percent or higher. So your succulents are losing moisture pretty quickly just by sitting in your living room! 

Be sure to also read “Dangers of an Underwatered Succulent” for info on what could happen if you don’t keep up with your succulents.

What to Do When You Underwater Succulents
The Ideal Level of Humidity @thisismamabritt

If you have some succulents in your collection that are looking dry and shriveled, we hope this article helps you nurse them back to health! If you have any more questions about underwatered succulents, leave them in the comments section below or head to the Succulent City Plant Lounge to get some advice from other succulent gardeners. 

Enjoyed learning about “What to Do When You Underwater Succulents?”? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “The Correct Way to Water Succulents“. With this ebook you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy planting! ?