How To Make A Succulent Aquarium

We are all aware that growing flowers and plants outdoors in the winter is next to impossible. Using low-maintenance plants in a glass or plastic container, terrariums are a fantastic way to create your own miniature garden indoors! Since succulents are a kind of plants that store water in their leaves, it has been discovered that they thrive in terrariums. Their modest size is ideal for compact spaces and makes it simple to set up a desert environment in your home. Here are some instructions for creating your own succulent terrarium.

Article Snapshot:

  • Select a terrarium with an open top and succulents with comparable growth rates and water and light requirements.
  • Put the terrarium in a bright area, ideally beside a window.
  • Include growing medium, charcoal, and rocks in the terrarium container.
  • Succulents can be artistically planted, but make careful to smooth out the growing medium surrounding them to prevent easy uprooting.
  • Every 4-6 weeks, water your plants by misting the growing medium and the foliage of your succulents.
  • Trim plant tips if they begin to touch the glass, and make sure to get rid of any dead foliage.

Helpful Hints:

  • Brown Leaves are frequently a sign of dryness or too much sun.
  • Dropping or Yellowing Leaves
  • Too much water is entering the terrarium.
  • Extreme Plant Reaching
  • More illumination is required for the terrarium.

First, pick a container. Terrariums come in closed and open varieties. Due to the settings being comparable to the humid and protected habitat of the tropics, tropical plant species, such as mosses, orchids, ferns, and air plants, are typically housed within closed terrariums. Succulents and other dry plants are better suited to open terrariums. Open, unsealed terrariums are used to keep the air in the terrarium free of excess moisture for plants accustomed to dry areas. In contrast to closed terrariums, which can trap too much heat and potentially kill any plants inside, open terrariums are ideal for plants that need more direct sunshine. An open container is necessary because this guide is for making a succulent terrarium. To encourage airflow, look for a clear glass or plastic container with a large hole. The finest options are a tiny fish tank, fish bowl, vase, apothecary jar, or even a 2-liter container. If you want to be more inventive, you could even use a piece of driftwood!

Choose your succulents in Step 2.

First, make sure that all of the plants can survive in the same habitat. The mature size of each species and cultivar you put in your terrarium should be taken into account. Succulents grow slowly and often have thick, meaty leaves, though certain genera and species have thicker leaves than others. They prefer low humidity and do well in arid environments, which makes them ideal for use in terrariums. To make an eye-catching arrangement, try to vary the shape and texture of the plants you select. To give the plants room to expand, make sure not to overfill the terrarium. Your plants shouldn’t outgrow their container, of course. Select succulents with similar growth rates and water and light requirements. Try growing plants like Echeveria, Hawthornia, Crassula, Sempervivum, Jade Plant, and Blue Star Sapphire.

Step 3: Determine where to put the terrarium.

Your terrarium should be placed in a pleasant, sunny area, either on a table by a window or on a window sill. When a window is open, it is ideal to let fresh air into the terrarium, but you must watch that the outside temperature does not go below that of the terrarium. Additionally, watch that the sun doesn’t bounce off the glass of the container because that could burn your plants.

Plant your succulents in step five.

Carefully separate the roots of the plants as you take them out of their tiny pots and scoop out some of the old soil so they will fit snugly inside the terrarium. You can arrange them however you choose, but remember to give them room to expand and breathe. To prevent easy uprooting, flatten the growing medium surrounding the plants. Additionally, you can include ornaments like tiny gnomes, various rocks, pebbles, or pine cones.

How can I make a succulent out of my fish tank?

Creating a Terrarium from an Aquarium in 9 Simple Steps

  • Choose an aquarium in Step 1.
  • Create a layer of gravel at the bottom in step two.
  • Add activated charcoal in step four.
  • Add any decorative items in Step 6.
  • Install your light in Step 7.

Succulents can they grow in aquariums?

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The concept of putting succulents in a fish tank with fish seems fantastic if you are a future Takashi Amano.

In any case, this broad group of bizarrely shaped, fleshy-leaved plants with vibrant colors could be an eye-catching addition to an extraterrestrial aquatic exhibit.

Unfortunately, even under ideal circumstances, your typical houseplant succulents won’t thrive submerged in a fish tank because they are terrestrial plants.

However, we have some fantastic suggestions for tank projects and semi-aquatic succulent plants that might be ideal for the succulent look underwater if you’re seeking to get creative with these distinctive plants.

How are succulent Terraniums created?

Because of their modest size, lovely variations, and very simple maintenance, succulents are excellent terrarium plants. This article will teach you how to construct a succulent terrarium and will provide you with a step-by-step list of the materials you’ll need.

Generally speaking, the processes required to create a succulent terrarium are as follows:

  • Select a terrarium vessel.
  • sanitize the container
  • Select and apply the bottom drainage layer.
  • Add a filter to help with separation
  • Apply a coat of charcoal
  • Succulent soil mixture should be added before plants.
  • Decorations

Are succulents capable of submersion?

Succulents can be grown in water, but there are benefits and drawbacks. Before determining whether or not to give it a try, you must be informed of them.

They Grow Faster

Succulents have a rapid rate of growth. While a new plant can be developed in water within days, it can take weeks or months for soil-grown plants to begin developing roots.

Growing succulents in water is the best option if you’re impatient and want a healthy plant right away.

They Can’t Dry Out

If a succulent plant in soil doesn’t get enough water when it needs it, it could perish. In response, a succulent cultivated in water will modify its growth patterns.

There Is No Risk of Overwatering

Succulent plants require only infrequent irrigation and love dry conditions, making them a low-maintenance option (which helps prevent rot).

However, another advantage of growing them in water is that it eliminates the possibility of overwatering, which is a common error made while caring for these plants by inexperienced gardeners.

Water Propagation Is Faster

Before you can harvest or prune a succulent grown in dirt without risking destroying the plant’s roots, it may take two to three years.

They Will Need Less Care and Attention

Succulents will require less care and attention if you grow them in water as opposed to soil, which is one of the main benefits.

This can be a wonderful option if you don’t have a green thumb if you want plants but don’t want to put in a lot of work.

They Don’t Last Long in Water

The lifespan of succulent plants is decreased when they are buried underwater. It’s advisable to only immerse them for around six months before reassessing.

They Are Prone to Root Rot

They are vulnerable to root rot because their soil lacks helpful microorganisms that can convert nutrients into forms that plants can use.

This indicates that if your succulents are growing in water, they may require periodic repotting as well as fertilizer additions over the course of their lifespan.

Not Recommended for Outdoors

You can employ these methods if your objective is to cultivate succulents indoors solely for decorative purposes (and not outside).

But it would be preferable to employ more conventional techniques if your goal was to grow succulents outside. It is best to put them in drainage-friendly containers with cactus-potting mix.

Can Lead To Stunted Growth

These varieties of succulents may suffer more than those cultivated immersed or rooted in soil because growing them in water does not supply enough oxygen.

They Don’t Have Enough Nutrients

Because they lack soil to assist them collect nutrients, succulents that grow in water do not absorb as many of those nutrients.

Adding fertilizer before planting and then every few weeks after that, depending on how quickly your plant grows, is the best approach to ensure enough nutrients are there.

Your plant may need some time to adapt as well. Regularly check for signs of stress, such as drooping leaves or wilting stems, and adjust as necessary.

Succulents are allowed to grow in fish bowls.

clear container with a large aperture (This is available from a variety of places, including craft or gardening shops, as well as home retailers like West Elm and Terrain. (You may even use a fish bowl from the pet store.) coarse gravel. Succulent and cactus soil mix.

Can succulents be grown on fish tank rocks?

These are some very fundamental DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to caring for succulents to ensure their happiness.

Get a copy of The Succulent Manual right away if you’re seeking for a well-organized, educational, and engaging reference that will address most of your queries about succulents. It has more than 40,000 words and more than 120 useful illustrations, and it’s available online and as an eBook.

You can read the first chapter for free before signing up or downloading the complete book.

Top Dressings

In your succulent pots, AVOID using moss. Although it is attractive, it retains moisture and fosters fungi and germs. Additionally, stay away from non-porous rocks like glass marbles, pea gravel, river rocks, fish rocks, sand, etc. As long as the soil has enough air to breathe, you can put a few rocks here and there as ornamentation.

USE TOP DRESSINGS THAT ALSO SERVE AS DRAINS. Shale, Turface, and pumice are my top choices. The Supplies page is a list of my shopping sources.

DO NOT utilize containers without drainage holes unless you only intend to use them for a short period of time. This applies to terrariums, jars, bowls, and mugs. And no, you cannot use them if you first fill them with soil and then place pebbles on the bottom. This fosters the growth of the bacteria that causes rot.

If there isn’t a hole in the bottom, drill it. If the container is non-porous or glazed, you should make enough holes with a ceramic or glass bit to allow the soil to dry out fast. Use a piece of screen, burlap, garlic net, or anything else that will keep the dirt in yet enable it to completely drain for larger holes.


If your succulents aren’t used to full sun, DON’T expose them to it. Most people prefer part-sun over bright indirect sun. A succulent can be burned and killed when moved from partial to full sun.

Give your succulents as much light as they can handle, but do it gradually. Put your plant in a spot that receives a little more sun than it usually does, then move it over the course of a week or more to a brighter spot. Shelves, gardens, and windows facing north will all receive less light than those facing west. South receives a wonderful combination of east and west sun, while east-facing receives morning sun.

DON’T base the frequency of your irrigation on a schedule, but rather on how dry the soil surrounding the roots is. You could wish to repot in a different container with better draining soil if the soil doesn’t dry out within a week.

DON’T rule out using a smaller, more quickly drying pot. The best clay is unglazed and has drainage holes. Improve your soil by adding more drainage components than organic ones.

DO NOT use pre-bagged potting soil with additional fertilizer as it frequently lacks the proper nutritional balance for succulents and contains an excessive amount of organic material that causes the soil to dry out too rapidly.

DON’T use anything but ordinary topsoil and a ton of drainage materials. Brown organic dirt should be present in the same quantity or less than the other ingredients. On the Care Guide page is my formula for soil.

DON’T assume the soil your plant was grown in is the best soil for that kind of succulent. Before bringing any plants home, make sure to check them for fungus and pests. Avoid purchasing plants that were housed with ill or infected plants, as well as those that have been treated with neonicotinoids or other insecticides that are harmful to the environment.

DO check the plants you’ve picked and the surrounding plants for insects and fungus before taking them inside. If necessary, and especially if the soil was moist when you acquired it, repot your succulents in good soil. Take care not to expose them to more sun than they are used to. Start with some light exposure and progressively increase it over the course of a week or longer.

Additionally, Mountain Crest Gardens offers stunning, healthy succulents that may be delivered right to your door swiftly.

Succulents can they grow in gravel?

Unfortunately, gravel cannot support succulent growth because it lacks the necessary water and nutrients.

However, drainage issues that might cause yellowing or death in succulents can be resolved with the use of pebbles and gravel. Potting pebbles are the name for these rocks. By placing them in the bottom of the pot, you can stop water from standing in the soil and rotting the roots.

Now, if you’ve ever seen a succulent arrangement that appears to be growing solely in rocks or gravel, the gardener really put some soil to that area first. It won’t likely be as much soil as the succulent requires, but it will be enough to keep the roots covered and supply it with a sufficient amount of nutrients.

Can succulents be grown on aquarium rock?

“Water must be applied and penetrate the soil within fifteen seconds. If it doesn’t, the dirt is too heavy. I was given this advise many years ago by a traditional nurseryman who specialized in cactus and succulents. When I first heard about the “fifteen second law” regarding fast-draining soil for succulents, I thought it was absurd. I became familiar with native cactus ground after relocating to the desert. Instantaneously poured water disappears into the earth. The nursery worker was correct.

Approximately half of my collection of succulent plants are now planted in tiny pots and kept inside a south-facing, unheated greenhouse during the winter. The Black Gold Cactus Mix, which drains within the allotted fifteen seconds, is where they are planted.

Soil is Everything

Many novice succulent gardeners are unaware of the fact that soil is crucial because cactus root in various ways. After the soil on the surface dries out, typical plants descend to the ground to capture moisture. Cacti in the desert respond to brief rainstorms by dispersing their weak roots over a wide area. These roots can quickly absorb water before it drains through the porous earth. A succulent’s unique tissues quickly store this water so that it will be available between widely spaced rain occurrences. Most cactus thrive in low, wide pots, pans, and bowls with big, open drain holes because they have shallow roots.

The perlite in cactus potting soil resembles little white popcorn kernels. Although it is great for the root zone, when I water, it floats to the top. This and tiny fragments of biological material become caught in the spines or land in the crevices of skin with a smooth surface. This not only looks bad, but it also directly contacts soil-borne bacteria with the plant’s skin, which might start the rotting process.

Succulent enthusiasts cover the potting soil with a coating of fine gravel to prevent these floaters by keeping everything in place when water is poured. Popular for modern containers with a more graphic appearance is white rock. I like using washed gravel as an accent stone since it looks more natural and blends in with the rocks I discover when out walking. Aquarium gravel can also be used to create compositions of succulent, pot, and surface material that are more distinctive or vividly colored.

Transplant Gently

A plant’s skin can sustain even the slightest damage, allowing bacteria to penetrate and start the process of interior cell destruction that results in softening rot. I touch each cactus delicately before transferring it to prevent even the tiniest harm. I let the plant lie bare root in the fresh air for a few days after removing it from the original pot rather than planting it right away. Before repotting in new soil, this allows any damaged roots or skin to heal over or calluses. Failure to do so results in soil pathogens coming into contact with a wound, which invariably causes interior tissues to get infected.

It becomes really impossible to overwater cactus and lovely succulents when your soil is suitably well drained for them. They grow quickly during the hotter summer months. Water frequently, feed sparingly, and above all, use Black Gold Cactus Mix to ensure that it drains in around fifteen seconds during this growing season.

About Maureen Gilmer

The most frequently recognized expert in California horticulture and photojournalism, Maureen Gilmer, is currently marking her 40th year in the field. She is a well-known photographer with numerous publications and is syndicated through Tribune Content Agency. She is the author of 21 books on gardening, design, and the environment. She specializes in arid zone plants and techniques for a changing climate in her weekly horticulture column for the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs and her writing for Desert Magazine. She works and resides in a distant high desert region where she may observe local creatures up close. The Colorful Dry Garden, her most recent book, is available from Sasquatch Books. She spends her free time riding her Arabian horse through the desert instead of writing or taking pictures. Along with her husband Jim and two rescue pit bulls, she resides in Morongo Valley. She typically rides her quarter horse outside when she isn’t writing or taking pictures.