How To Set Up Succulent Terrarium

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.
  • Clean 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

How well do succulents fare in terrariums?

For succulents, the planting media is essential. Succulents are ideal for terrariums because of their sluggish growth, but if the proper medium isn’t used, the condensation that could form could harm the tiny plants. Fill the container’s bottom with small rocks or gravel. An inch or so of charcoal is placed on top of this layer. This removes any pollutants and odors that may be present in the water. Sphagnum moss should next be added, followed by lightly wet cactus soil.

In the cactus mix, put the little plants, and then compact the dirt around them. To dig the holes and fill them in around the plants, a dowel or stick is useful. Plants should be placed at least an inch (2.5 cm) apart to allow for proper airflow. For the first several weeks, plants may require a Popsicle stick or small stake to hold them erect.

The really enjoyable part now is designing the terrarium. Add some seashells if you want a beach theme, or place some pebbles to go with the succulents if you want a desert theme. There are countless products that can be used to improve the terrarium’s natural appearance. Some growers even include porcelain figurines to heighten the whimsical atmosphere. Just make sure everything you put in the terrarium has been well cleaned to prevent introducing disease.

How are succulent terrariums layered?

Make sure your chosen container is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to start. Fill the bottom of the container with two inches of gravel or sand. In order to prevent water from becoming stagnant and accumulating around the roots of your plants, this creates moisture drainage. Add one inch of cactus soil on top of this layer.

Place each tiny succulent in the ground. A pair of chopsticks is an excellent tool for placing your plants firmly if you have tiny ones. Once you’ve positioned them where you desire, you may add a few decorative elements to cover any empty spaces.

Should I put succulents in an open terrarium or a closed one?

It’s wonderful to make terrariums, but your first thought presumably is, “Which plants should I chose for my terrarium?” The best plants for both open and closed terrariums will be discussed in this essay. Around 60 of the best plants for open and closed terrariums, including those that thrive in cramped conditions and can withstand high humidity and temperature swings, will be included on this list.

Air plants, or Tillandsia

Since they are epiphytes, air plants may survive without soil. For survival, these plants glue themselves to a host. Through their leaves, they take up water. For a number of reasons, air plants work best in open terrariums. One of them is that your air plant needs to be watered pretty frequently—about twice a week (apart from misting).

It is better to submerge air plants in water to water them, but this will be difficult in a confined terrarium. A few times a week removal of the plant will destroy the pattern. Because air plants don’t enjoy humidity or being wet, they are better suited for open terrariums. You must dry the plant after submerging it in water before putting it back in a terrarium.

You can utilize a variety of air plant species. The lengthy leaves that emerge from the core of air plants give them an incredibly gorgeous appearance. Top Tillandsia for terrariums include:

  • Xerographic Tillandsia
  • ionantha T.
  • Houston
  • Guatemala
  • Tectorum
  • Scaposa
  • Aeranthos
  • Stricta
  • Peach, or capitata
  • Caput-medusae
  • Streptophylla
  • Hondurensis

For your open terrariums, you can get a single air plant or a small collection similar to this. Here is a detailed guide to taking care of tillandsias.

Succulents

The best plants for open terrariums are succulents. To prevent overwatering succulents, be cautious when watering them. Succulents prefer drying out in between waterings and bright, indirect light. Ensure that the terrarium containing the succulents has an opening that is at least modest to medium in size. The following succulents make excellent terrarium plants:

  • Jade tree (Crassula ovata). Deserts are where jade plants, which have heavy leaves, are found in nature. These plants require low humidity and strong light. Jade plants come in a variety of varieties; avoid picking any that can grow to be more than 4 feet tall! Select smaller varieties like “Mini Jade” or “Hobbit.” Jade plants require direct sunlight, good airflow, and rarely watering.
  • Tiger Jaws, also known as Faucaria Tigrina, is a stunning plant with spiky leaves and star-shaped rosettes.
  • Chickens and hens (Sempervivum). Chicks surround the main hen plant in these attractive succulent plants called “hens and chicks.” Hens and chicks can be used jointly or individually. They should only be planted in an open terrarium because higher humidity containers will cause them to decay.
  • Aloe Vera, also known as the “medicine plant,” is a widely common plant with sharp leaves.
  • the Chocolate Soldier, or Kalanchoe tomentosa
  • Kalanchoe luciae, or the flapjack plant
  • Ghost Plant, or Graptopetalum
  • Alpine Aloe
  • Haworthia, or the Zebra plant, has stunning leaves with striped surfaces.
  • Sedum morganianum, often known as burro’s tail, has leaves that resemble beads.
  • Gasteria
  • Beautiful little round plants called lithops have a stone-like appearance. Read more here about Lithops care.

Cacti, or cactuses

Cacti need to be dry in order to look their best in terrariums. In closed terrariums with high humidity and poor airflow, these plants won’t survive. Make sure the container has a medium to large opening when making cactus terrariums. Because many cacti grow very enormous when they are fully mature, only choose little ones.

Baby tears, or Soleirolia soleirolii

a really lovely plant with leaves that have spots of various colors. These plants thrive in humid settings and adore dampness.

The adorable strawberry begonias are the ideal flowers for open terrariums. Be cautious because they require open terrariums with dry foliage. If not, the plant will begin to wilt.

Using croton plants, you may make incredible terrarium designs. You will need to prune these plants because they grow pretty tall. Make sure to grow them in terrariums with open doors. This plant will do well in Wardian case terrariums.

Best plants for closed terrariums (or better those with small openings):

It is always a good idea to have at least a little gap in the container, even though you can make a terrarium that is completely closed. Fully closed terrariums can fog up, make it difficult to care for plants, and yet result in rotting roots. Small, spherical glass spheres like this are the most common containers that produce lovely patterns.

There are many different types of bromeliad plants, and some of them enjoy warmth and humidity. The following are some of the top bromeliads for terrariums:

  • Earth Star, or Cryptanthus It is the perfect plant for a sealed terrarium. They enjoy moisture, and

warmth. You can grow numerous varieties of Cryptanthus in a terrarium. Choose plants that don’t expand rapidly or get very large.

  • Another lovely plant for a closed terrarium is neoregelia. Its lovely pink/violet blossom is of exceptional beauty.
  • The magnificent Silver Vase plant, also known as Aechmea fasciata, has lovely flowers. This plant should be placed in a terrarium with a small to medium opening.

Long stems from this plant terminate in tiny, spherical, creamy-white blooms. They fit tall terrariums like Wardian enclosures and are ideal for humid conditions.

Popular and attractive plants like orchids work well in Wardian instances. Sphagnum moss must be present surrounding the roots of the plant.

The majority of carnivorous plants thrive in moist, nutrient-poor environments. For this reason, insect-eating plants capture them and consume them to obtain nutrition. These fascinating plants thrive in humid environments and intense direct sunlight.

Both open and closed terrariums are capable of supporting carnivorous plant growth. The only issue you might run into with carnivorous plants in tight terrariums is feeding them—they can have trouble collecting insects. You can either choose a terrarium with a tiny entrance or give your carnivorous plants their food by hand. Following are some of the top carnivorous plants for terrariums:

  • Venus flytrap is a potential choice, but it will need to hibernate over the winter.
  • The Tropical Pitcher Plants, often known as Nepenthes. Given that they grow very large, they might not be the greatest for small terrariums. Large terrariums can be used for planting plants, but the proper temperatures must be maintained. Nepenthes come in two varieties: Highlanders and Lowlanders. You may need to heat the terrarium during the day and chill it at night, depending on the type.
  • Sarracenia, or American Pitcher Plants Since the majority of them grow huge and require winter dormancy, they are not the greatest plants for terrariums. However, you can choose Sarracenia for a terrarium, such as S. rubra or S. purpurea (purple pitcher plant). Select young plants, and make sure to give them a winter dormant period.
  • Drosera, or sundews. For the winter dormancy, you must remove them, although they require bright light.
  • Heliamphora, or Sun Pitchers. They enjoy high humidity, but they also require colder temperatures, as the nighttime temperature drops.
  • Follicular Cephalotus Note that during the winter they require chilly temperatures.
  • Pinguicula or butterworts
  • Utricularia, or bladderworts
  • Drosophyllum lusitanicum, also known as Dewy Pine, but only in an open terrarium. They require excellent ventilation and bright lighting.

The majority of ferns are quite hardy and can withstand high humidity. Ferns give any terrarium depth. The following ferns make excellent terrarium plants:

  • Bird’s nest fern (Aspleniumnidus)
  • Little Holly Fern
  • Hemionitis arifolia, sometimes known as heart fern

Nerve plants prefer high humidity, therefore they will do best in a closed container or, preferable, one with a tiny aperture. You must routinely monitor the soil’s moisture because they dislike soggy dirt.

Mosses are a wonderful addition to terrariums that are closed. You can utilize a wide range of mosses, such as moss balls or Golden Club moss plants.

Pilea microphylla, often known as artillery ferns, are stunning plants that are simple to grow and maintain in terrariums. They enjoy moist environments and direct, bright light. Additionally, the seeds shoot out with a popping sound!

High humidity and indirect light are favorable to creeping fig. It is a fairly resilient plant, but because it grows so quickly, you will need to clip it frequently.

High relative humidity and direct light are favorable to pothos plants. Additionally, they enjoy warm temperatures of about 70 degrees, so in the winter, be sure to keep them away from windowsills that are too cold. However, you will also need to constantly clip its leaves, so think about getting a terrarium with a little hole.

How frequently should I water my terrarium of succulents?

Understanding how to water succulents is only the first step in caring for them. Here are our 4 best suggestions for developing the ideal succulent watering routine, plus a bonus:

1. Succulent planter containers

Although they thrive in terrariums with drainage holes, succulents can also be kept in non-drainage-holed pots. To allow the water to flow away from your plant in a terrarium without drainage holes, place a substantial layer of stones at the bottom of the container. Beautiful hydrostones are available that enhance your terrarium’s appearance while yet being very practical. It’s crucial to avoid letting water collect at the base of your plant, as this will damage the roots.

2. Ideal Succulent Soil

Your plants’ life depends on you picking the correct soil for them. Succulents require soil that drains properly. Because of its density, regular potting soil is NOT the best option for your succulents. To allow extra water to drain away from your plant, you must cover your stones with a soil that is grittier than usual. If you’re unsure of which soil to purchase for your succulents, we offer the ideal terrarium soil for you.

3. The area

You might need to water your succulents more frequently or less frequently depending on where you live. As a general guideline, you should water your plants every three to four days if they are in the proper mixture of grit and sunlight. You may need to modify how frequently you water your plants if you reside in a very dry or possibly a really humid region. The quantity of sunshine your plants receive and whether they are indoor or outdoor plants both influence how often you should water them. You must test several strategies to see what works best for you and your plants. What works for one person might not work for another. It is more likely for succulents to perish from overwatering than from underwatering, so be sure to experiment first with less water.

4. Succulent Watering Techniques

Many people make the incorrect suggestion that you should water their succulents using a spray bottle. Your plants will take moisture from the air if you live in a humid area, therefore you must moisten the soil to provide water for the roots as well. Spray bottles can be helpful for providing extra moisture in particularly large terrariums and arid areas, but a little mist does not encourage good root growth. The easiest way to water your succulents is using a little watering can because it directs the water where you want it to go and won’t leave water stains all over your transparent terrarium. Bao Vo provides some amazing suggestions for you if you’re looking for some watering can substitutes. These are great methods for watering more difficult-to-reach hanging terrariums and smaller terrariums.

TOP TIP FOR WATERING YOUR SUCCULENTS:

Here is a simple tip if you’re still unclear about how to water succulents. The best way to water succulents is to thoroughly moisten the soil, then let the plants absorb all the moisture they require, letting any extra water drain away from the roots. Before rewatering, let the soil entirely dry up; this may take a while depending on your region and container, as noted above. Try watering a little bit each day if your terrarium contains stones instead of drainage holes to prevent overwatering. Keep in mind that succulents require less water than other plants.