How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Succulent terrariums are miniature ecosystems that not only add a touch of natural beauty to your home but are also easy to create and maintain. These charming glass-enclosed gardens are perfect for those who may not have a green thumb or a lot of outdoor gardening space. 

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a complete beginner, creating a succulent terrarium can be a fun and rewarding project. In this comprehensive guide, How to Make a Succulent Terrarium we’ll walk you through the steps to make your own succulent terrarium, from selecting the right container to caring for your tiny garden.

Creating a succulent terrarium is a delightful gardening project that involves placing a variety of small succulent plants in a glass container or vase, often layered with sand, soil, and decorative pebbles. This DIY endeavor is popular for its low maintenance and visually appealing aesthetic, making it a charming addition to any indoor space.

Materials and Tools

Before you dive into creating your succulent terrarium, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here’s what you’ll need.

Materials and ToolsDescription
Glass container or terrariumContainer for housing the succulents
Succulent plantsSelection of small, slow-growing succulent plants
Cactus or succulent potting mixSoil mix specifically designed for succulents
Activated charcoalA layer for filtering impurities and odors
Decorative pebbles or rocksA layer for drainage and aesthetics
Sphagnum mossBarrier layer between soil and rocks/charcoal
Small gardening toolsSpoon or tweezers for planting and maintenance
Spray bottleFor watering and maintaining the terrarium
Decorative elements (optional)Stones, figurines, or other decorative items
Gloves (optional)For handling soil and plants (protective measure)


Choose a clear glass or plastic container with an opening wide enough for your hand to fit through. You can opt for traditional terrariums, glass jars, fish tanks, or any transparent vessel that suits your style.


When selecting a variety of succulent plants that thrive in similar conditions, it’s essential to consider their growth potential. You can purchase them from a local nursery, garden center, or online. Popular choices include Echeveria, Sedum, Crassula, and Haworthia. Now, you might be wondering, Do Succulents Get. This question is crucial for planning and ensuring that the succulents you choose will fit perfectly in your chosen space.

Succulent Potting Mix

Succulent Potting Mix

Use a well-draining potting mix designed specifically for succulents and cacti. Avoid regular potting soil, as it retains too much moisture.

Activated Charcoal

A layer of activated charcoal helps keep the terrarium’s environment fresh by absorbing odors and excess moisture.

Gravel or Pebbles

Place a layer of gravel or small pebbles at the bottom of your container to improve drainage and prevent root rot.

Decorative Elements

Get creative with small stones, decorative sand, moss, or miniature figurines to add a personal touch to your terrarium.

Long-Handled Tweezers or Chopsticks

These tools will make it easier to plant and arrange your succulents in the confined space of the container.

Gardening Gloves

Protect your hands from prickly succulent spines and soil.

Small Funnel

A funnel can help you add soil and other materials without making a mess.

 You’ll use this to mist the terrarium occasionally to create a humid environment.

Spray Bottle

Now that you’ve assembled your materials and tools, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start building your succulent terrarium.

Step-by-Step Guide

Prepare the Container

Before you begin, make sure your container is clean and dry. You can use a glass cleaner or a vinegar-water solution to remove any smudges or residue from the glass. Once it’s sparkling clean, you’re ready to start building your succulent terrarium.

Add a Drainage Layer

To prevent water from pooling at the bottom and potentially drowning your succulents, add a layer of gravel or small pebbles. This layer should be about one to two inches deep, depending on the size of your container.

Apply Activated Charcoal

Sprinkle a thin layer of activated charcoal over the gravel. The charcoal helps filter the air within the terrarium and absorb any odors. It’s especially important if your container has a sealed lid.

Layer of Succulent Potting Mix

Now, it’s time to add the succulent potting mix. Fill your container about one-third to one-half full with the potting mix. Use your funnel to make the task less messy and ensure an even layer.

Arrange Your Succulents

Before you start planting, consider the layout and placement of your succulents. Arrange them in your container first to get a sense of how you want them to look. Place taller succulents towards the back and smaller ones in the front for a balanced and aesthetically pleasing design.

Using your long-handled tweezers or chopsticks, dig a small hole in the soil for each succulent and gently insert the roots. Be sure not to pack the soil too tightly around the plants, as succulents prefer loose, well-draining soil.

Add Decorative Elements

This is where you can let your creativity shine. Arrange decorative elements such as small stones, colorful sand, or tiny figurines around your succulents. These additions not only enhance the terrarium’s visual appeal but also create a unique and personalized touch.

Water Sparingly

Once your succulent terrarium is assembled, give it a light misting with a spray bottle to settle the soil and hydrate the plants. Be cautious not to overwater; succulents are very susceptible to root rot. The terrarium should be watered sparingly, and only when the soil is completely dry. Depending on the size of your container and environmental conditions, this could be every 2-4 weeks.

Care and Maintenance

Maintaining your succulent terrarium is relatively straightforward. Here are some care tips to ensure your mini garden thrives:


Succulents require bright, indirect light to grow and maintain their vibrant colors. Place your terrarium near a window with filtered sunlight, but avoid direct exposure to intense, hot sun, which can scorch the plants.


Succulents prefer room temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C to 27°C). Avoid exposing them to extreme cold or heat.


As mentioned earlier, water sparingly. The key is to let the soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering is a common mistake and can lead to root rot.


Trim any dead or decaying leaves or stems as they appear. This keeps your terrarium looking tidy and prevents potential issues.


Succulents don’t require frequent fertilization. You can use a diluted succulent-specific fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) every 4-6 weeks.

Container Maintenance

Clean the glass or plastic container as needed to keep it looking clear and free from dust or condensation.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While succulent terrariums are relatively low-maintenance, they can face a few common problems. Here are some issues you might encounter and how to address them.

Yellowing or Leggy Succulents

This is often a sign of insufficient light. Move your terrarium to a brighter location, but avoid direct sun, as it can scorch the plants.


If you notice rotting or wilting, you may be overwatering. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again. Ensure that your container has proper drainage.

Mold or Fungus

This can occur in sealed terrariums with excessive moisture. Open the container to allow it to dry out, and remove any affected plant material.

Crowded Growth

Succulents can outgrow their space. You may need to trim or remove some plants to maintain the arrangement’s aesthetics and prevent overcrowding.


How do you make a succulent terrarium at home?

To make a succulent terrarium at home, choose a glass container, layer it with rocks and activated charcoal, add succulent-friendly soil, plant your succulents, and decorate with pebbles or sand.

What supplies do I need for a succulent terrarium?

You’ll need succulent plants, a glass container, well-draining soil, small stones or pebbles, activated charcoal, and decorative elements (optional) for a succulent terrarium.

Do succulents do well in a terrarium?

Succulents can thrive in a terrarium with proper care, as long as the container has good drainage and the succulents receive adequate light.


Creating a succulent terrarium is a delightful and creative project that adds a touch of nature to your indoor spaces. With the right materials, a little bit of care, and attention to your succulent.

Creating a succulent terrarium is a delightful and rewarding venture for plant enthusiasts of all levels. Terrariums offer a captivating way to showcase the beauty and resilience of succulents in a compact and self-contained environment.

By following the step-by-step guide provided, you can craft your own miniature desert landscape or lush succulent garden. Remember to carefully select the right container, choose suitable succulent species, and maintain proper care, including proper watering and light exposure, to ensure the long-term success and vibrancy of your terrarium.

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