Growing Succulents in Terrariums: Tips and Tricks


What are terrariums?

Terrariums are miniature ecosystems enclosed in glass containers, designed to create a controlled environment for plants to thrive. They are like small, self-sustaining gardens that can be easily maintained indoors. The glass walls of a terrarium create a greenhouse effect, trapping moisture and heat, which helps to create a humid and warm environment suitable for succulents. Terrariums are a great way to showcase the beauty of succulents while providing them with the ideal conditions for growth. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, terrariums offer a unique and aesthetically pleasing way to grow and display succulents.

Why grow succulents in terrariums?

There are several reasons why growing succulents in terrariums is a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. Firstly, terrariums provide a controlled environment that mimics the natural habitat of succulents, allowing them to thrive. The enclosed glass container creates a greenhouse effect, trapping heat and moisture, which is essential for succulents that require dry conditions. Additionally, terrariums offer a visually appealing way to display succulents, as the glass walls create a unique and captivating showcase for their vibrant colors and intricate shapes. Furthermore, terrariums require minimal maintenance, making them ideal for busy individuals or those with limited gardening experience. With proper care and attention, succulents in terrariums can live and grow for many years, bringing beauty and tranquility to any space.

Benefits of growing succulents in terrariums

There are numerous benefits to growing succulents in terrariums. Firstly, terrariums provide a controlled environment for succulents, allowing them to thrive in conditions that mimic their natural habitat. The enclosed space of a terrarium also helps to create a microclimate, which can help retain moisture and increase humidity levels, both of which are essential for the health and growth of succulents. Additionally, terrariums act as a protective barrier, shielding succulents from harsh weather conditions and pests. This makes them ideal for growing succulents indoors, especially in regions with extreme climates. Lastly, terrariums are aesthetically pleasing and can serve as beautiful decorative pieces in any space, adding a touch of greenery and tranquility to the surroundings. Overall, growing succulents in terrariums offers a range of benefits, making it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts.

Choosing the Right Terrarium

Size and shape

When it comes to choosing the size and shape of your terrarium for growing succulents, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, the size of your terrarium will depend on the number of succulents you want to plant and the space you have available. If you have limited space, a smaller terrarium would be more suitable, while a larger terrarium can accommodate more plants and allow for more creativity in arranging them. Additionally, the shape of your terrarium can also impact the overall aesthetic and functionality. For instance, a tall, narrow terrarium can create a visually striking display, while a wide, shallow terrarium provides more surface area for planting. Ultimately, the size and shape of your terrarium should be chosen based on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your succulents.


When it comes to choosing the right materials for your succulent terrarium, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to select a container that provides adequate drainage. Succulents are prone to root rot if they sit in water for too long, so a container with drainage holes or a layer of gravel at the bottom is essential. Additionally, you’ll want to choose a soil mix that is well-draining and specifically formulated for succulents. This type of soil will allow excess water to flow through easily, preventing waterlogged roots. Finally, consider adding decorative elements such as rocks, pebbles, or moss to enhance the visual appeal of your terrarium. These materials can add texture and depth to your arrangement, creating a stunning display. By carefully selecting the right materials for your succulent terrarium, you’ll create an environment that promotes healthy growth and longevity for your plants.


When it comes to growing succulents in terrariums, proper drainage is essential. Succulents are desert plants that require well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Without adequate drainage, excess water can accumulate in the terrarium, leading to the death of the succulents. To ensure proper drainage, it is recommended to use a layer of gravel or small rocks at the bottom of the terrarium before adding the soil. This layer allows excess water to flow out of the terrarium, keeping the soil moisture levels in check. Additionally, using a well-draining succulent soil mix can also help promote proper drainage. By paying attention to the drainage needs of succulents, you can create a healthy and thriving terrarium for these beautiful plants.

Selecting the Perfect Succulents

Low-maintenance varieties

Low-maintenance varieties of succulents are perfect for terrariums. These types of succulents require minimal care and attention, making them ideal for busy individuals or those who are new to gardening. Some popular low-maintenance varieties include Echeveria, Haworthia, and Sedum. These succulents have the ability to store water in their leaves, allowing them to survive in dry conditions. They also have a slow growth rate, reducing the need for frequent pruning or repotting. With their unique shapes and vibrant colors, low-maintenance succulents can add a touch of beauty and tranquility to any terrarium. Whether you have a small glass container or a large enclosed garden, these varieties will thrive and bring life to your indoor space.

Size and growth habit

When it comes to growing succulents in terrariums, understanding the size and growth habit of the plants is crucial. Succulents come in a variety of sizes, from small rosettes to tall, branching stems. It is important to choose succulents that will fit well within the confines of the terrarium and not outgrow their space. Additionally, being aware of the growth habit of the succulents is essential for creating a visually appealing arrangement. Some succulents have a compact, clumping habit, while others have a trailing or cascading growth pattern. By selecting succulents with complementary growth habits, you can create a terrarium that is both aesthetically pleasing and sustainable for the plants.

Color and texture

When it comes to growing succulents in terrariums, color and texture play a crucial role in creating an eye-catching display. Succulents come in a wide range of colors, from vibrant greens to deep purples and even shades of red and orange. By carefully selecting succulents with different colors, you can create a visually appealing arrangement that adds a pop of color to any space. Additionally, succulents also have unique textures, with some having smooth leaves while others have spiky or fuzzy textures. Combining succulents with different textures adds depth and interest to your terrarium, making it a focal point in your home or office. Whether you choose to create a monochromatic display or mix and match different colors and textures, experimenting with color and texture is sure to enhance the beauty of your succulent terrarium.

Preparing the Terrarium

Cleaning the terrarium

Cleaning the terrarium is an essential task to ensure the health and longevity of your succulents. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the glass walls and in the soil, hindering proper air circulation and potentially causing fungal or bacterial growth. To clean your terrarium, start by removing any dead leaves or plants. Then, gently wipe the glass walls with a soft cloth or sponge and mild soapy water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the glass. After cleaning the walls, carefully scoop out the top layer of soil and replace it with fresh, well-draining soil. This will help prevent any potential pests or diseases from spreading. Regularly cleaning your terrarium will not only keep it looking beautiful, but also create a healthy environment for your succulents to thrive.

Adding drainage materials

When it comes to growing succulents in terrariums, one important step is adding drainage materials. Succulents are desert plants that thrive in well-draining soil, so it’s crucial to create a suitable environment for them. By adding drainage materials like gravel, pebbles, or activated charcoal at the bottom of the terrarium, excess water can easily escape, preventing the succulents from sitting in water and potentially rotting their roots. These materials help to create a healthy balance of moisture in the terrarium, allowing the succulents to thrive and grow successfully. Remember, proper drainage is key to keeping your succulents happy and healthy in a terrarium.

Choosing the right soil

When it comes to choosing the right soil for growing succulents in terrariums, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, it is important to use a well-draining soil mix that allows excess water to flow out easily. Succulents are prone to root rot if they sit in waterlogged soil for too long. Additionally, the soil should be gritty and porous, allowing for proper aeration of the roots. This helps prevent the soil from becoming compacted and allows the roots to breathe. Lastly, incorporating organic matter such as compost or peat moss can provide some nutrients to the plants. However, it is important not to overdo it, as succulents prefer lean soil with minimal organic content. By choosing the right soil for your succulent terrarium, you can ensure that your plants thrive and grow healthy.

Planting the Succulents

Arranging the plants

Arranging the plants in a terrarium is an important step in creating a visually appealing and balanced display. When arranging succulents in a terrarium, it is best to consider their growth habits, colors, and textures. Start by placing taller succulents in the back of the terrarium to create depth and height. Then, add medium-sized succulents in the middle, and finally, place smaller succulents in the front. This layering technique will give the terrarium a sense of depth and make it more visually interesting. Additionally, consider mixing different succulent varieties to create a diverse and dynamic arrangement. By carefully arranging the plants, you can create a stunning terrarium that will be a beautiful addition to any space.

Planting techniques

When it comes to planting succulents in terrariums, there are a few key techniques to keep in mind. First, it is important to choose the right type of succulent for your terrarium. Opt for varieties that are known for their compact size and slow growth, as these will be better suited for the limited space inside the terrarium. Additionally, make sure to use well-draining soil specifically formulated for succulents, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. When planting, be gentle with the roots and avoid overcrowding the plants, as this can hinder their growth. Finally, place the terrarium in a location with bright, indirect sunlight to ensure the succulents receive enough light without being exposed to harsh rays. By following these planting techniques, you can create a thriving succulent terrarium that will bring beauty and greenery to any space.

Caring for the roots

Caring for the roots of succulents is essential for their overall health and growth. When growing succulents in terrariums, it is important to provide the right conditions for the roots to thrive. One key aspect of root care is ensuring proper drainage. Succulents are susceptible to root rot if their roots sit in water for too long. To prevent this, it is recommended to use a well-draining soil mix and to water the plants sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Additionally, providing adequate airflow and ventilation in the terrarium can help prevent moisture buildup and promote healthy root development. Regularly inspecting the roots for any signs of damage or disease is also crucial. If any roots appear mushy or discolored, it is important to remove them promptly to prevent further damage to the plant. By paying attention to the roots and providing the necessary care, you can ensure that your succulents thrive in their terrarium environment.

Maintaining the Terrarium


When it comes to watering succulents in terrariums, it’s important to strike the right balance. Succulents are known for their ability to store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, allowing them to survive in arid conditions. However, in a closed terrarium environment, excess moisture can easily build up and lead to root rot. To prevent this, it’s crucial to water succulents sparingly and only when the soil is completely dry. Additionally, it’s recommended to use a spray bottle or a watering can with a narrow spout to avoid overwatering and ensure that water reaches the base of the plants without wetting the leaves excessively. By following these watering tips, you can maintain healthy and thriving succulents in your terrarium.


When it comes to lighting for succulents in terrariums, it is important to strike the right balance. Succulents require bright, indirect light to thrive, but direct sunlight can be too harsh for them. Placing the terrarium near a window that receives filtered sunlight or using artificial grow lights can provide the ideal lighting conditions. It is also important to rotate the terrarium every few weeks to ensure all sides of the succulents receive equal light exposure. By providing the right amount and quality of light, you can ensure that your succulents in terrariums grow healthy and vibrant.

Pruning and grooming

Pruning and grooming are essential tasks when it comes to growing succulents in terrariums. Regular pruning helps to maintain the size and shape of the succulent plants, preventing them from becoming too overgrown and crowded within the limited space of the terrarium. It also promotes healthy growth and encourages the development of new shoots and branches. Grooming involves removing any dead or yellowing leaves, as well as trimming off any damaged or diseased parts of the plants. This not only improves the overall appearance of the terrarium but also helps to prevent the spread of diseases or pests. By regularly pruning and grooming your succulents, you can ensure that they continue to thrive and remain beautiful additions to your terrarium.

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