How To Terrarium Succulent

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

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.

What does a terrarium of succulents require?

In general, high light and low moisture settings are ideal for succulent growth. Succulents cannot flourish in a closed terrarium because the environment is too damp. Succulents can be created and placed in an unfenced, open-dish garden to address this problem. A huge jar will be overly humid, so keep that in mind. Air must be allowed to move about succulents since airflow is crucial.

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.

Need charcoal for terrariums with succulents?

A terrarium can and will run successfully without a coating of charcoal. The important query is whether a covering of charcoal has a long-term beneficial impact on terrarium health.

Sadly, there isn’t any hard research demonstrating how well charcoal filters out harmful contaminants from a terrarium.

It makes sense in theory, and there is anecdotal evidence from seasoned terrarium builders that suggests it’s a useful addition, but like many terrarium-building decisions, it comes down to personal preference and trial and error.

Personally, I find that I utilize it less and less. I opted not to use charcoal in the project for my Essential Guide to Tropical Terrariums and instead used springtails to keep my terrarium clean. It’s still my healthiest, to be honest.

However, if you do decide to utilize it, adding a charcoal layer to your terrarium is a simple modification that I’ve found to have no significant drawbacks.

Charcoal can still be used as a drainage component when creating terrariums with a false bottom. So it won’t be much of a hindrance to your plants if it’s placed between your drainage rocks and your substrate.

Try adding extra terrarium moss instead of charcoal if you’re not keen on that. In any case, moss naturally filters water and is capable of removing contaminants like arsenic.

Can succulents be grown in just rocks?

It should be obvious that succulents will thrive when planted in rocks given these circumstances. They drain very well and do not retain water, which eliminates the possibility of root rot. This does not include another component of soil, though, since all plants need nutrients.

Although succulents are not particularly hungry plants, they do need certain nutrients to grow. Other micronutrients like zinc or iron are needed in smaller levels, whereas macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential. The plant won’t grow at all or last very long without these nutrients.

By their very nature, rocks don’t release nutrients quickly enough to keep the plants alive. They are composed of minerals, but since they decompose so slowly over time, they are not appropriate for growing on their own. Additionally, they often don’t retain enough moisture, allowing the roots to quickly dry out after draining practically instantly.

Sadly, this means that succulents cannot thrive permanently without soil in rocks. If not given regular care, they may survive for several weeks or even months on the nutrients found in the stems and leaves.

How should an open terrarium be watered for succulent plants?

Succulent, cactus, or tropical plant terrariums are like miniature universes. A self-contained plant environment inside of a glass container has a certain allure and beauty, and when set up and taken care of properly, these tiny ecosystems will flourish for years. Taking care of a terrarium may seem difficult, but with a few simple actions, you can make your terrarium happy.

How to maintain a terrarium is shown here. Succulents, cactus, and tropical plants are the three main plant types found in terrariums.

But first, it’s crucial to determine what kind of terrarium you have before we get into terrarium care.

The first kind of terrariums are “open” terrariums, which are the most popular and simple to maintain and the kind we sell in our brick-and-mortar and online stores. You will take care of your plants in these glass containers, which have an entrance for airflow. We will go into care details for open terrariums in this article.

A “closed” terrarium, the second kind of terrarium, is a little trickier to maintain and less typical. This is due to the glass’s lack of a sufficient hole through which to administer routine treatment. These confined terrariums behave more like self-contained universes and are a little more complicated to construct. There are a ton of excellent resources online that explain how to take care of a closed terrarium.

How to Care For a Terrarium with Succulents

The majority of plants found in terrariums are succulents, which have stems that hold water and thick, meaty leaves. This makes a lot of sense because succulents are ideal for small enclosures because they normally don’t mind getting too little water and don’t require a lot of root space to grow. Plus, many species stay small and compact, allowing them to live for years in a terrarium without transplanting.

  • Light: Most succulents demand strong, if not direct, light, with the exception of a few species that can tolerate lower light levels, such Haworthia and Gasteria. Place your succulent terrarium in a bright area, but be careful because glass tends to magnify direct sunlight, which could cause your plants to burn.
  • Water: Although drought-tolerant, succulents are quite prone to root rot. You should only water your succulent terrarium sparingly until the soil has nearly entirely dried out, taking into account the lack of drainage holes in terrariums. Using a watering can or a spray bottle, water each plant’s base carefully. The majority of succulents will pucker their leaves slightly to let you know when it’s time to water them. This is an excellent sign that your terrarium needs watering.
  • How to fix shriveled leaves? I should water. black, brown, or mushy leaves? You water the lawn excessively. Replace these plants with ones that are similar, but don’t require as much water, and remove the old ones. Winter irrigation should be minimized.

How to Care For a Terrarium with Cacti

All succulents are succulents, but not all cacti are succulents. The majority of people are familiar with desert-dwelling cacti. With a few modifications, you can use the same directions for your succulent terrarium as for a terrarium with cacti:

  • Even more so than succulents, cacti frequently decay. Pay close attention to avoid overwatering.
  • Cacti require intense light to survive. They should be fine to receive direct light.
  • There are always exceptions to the aforementioned laws. Rhipsalis, Hatiora, and Epiphyllum are examples of “jungle cactus,” which dislike bright light and require more water than typical cacti. Plant jungle cactus in their own enclosure or among other succulents that can tolerate less light for the greatest results.

How to Care For a Terrarium with Tropicals

A completely different game is played in tropical terrariums. We advise selecting species that are tolerant of wetness, such as philodendron, fittonia, and ferns. Remember that tropical plants will ultimately outgrow their terrarium confinement and require transplantation.

How to take care of a tropical terrarium is as follows:

  • The majority of tropical plants like medium-bright indirect light. If they are exposed to too much direct sunlight, especially when it is magnified by a glass vessel, they will burn.
  • Water: Although succulents and cacti are more drought-tolerant, care must still be taken not to overwater your tropical terrarium. Water each plant’s base with your watering can or spray bottle between waterings, letting the top inch or two of the soil dry in between. To encourage a humid climate, feel free to mist your terrarium in between waterings. Allowing the leaves to gently wilt in between waterings will help you determine when it’s time to water.
  • How to troubleshoot crispy brown or wilted leaves? I should water. Are the stems yellow or mushy? You water the lawn excessively. Replace harmed or overgrown plants with equivalent specimens. Winter irrigation should be minimized.

Any inquiries about terrarium maintenance? Share your questions and stories with us in the comments. As soon as we can, we’ll address your questions! Gardening in terrariums is fun!