DIY Succulent Terrarium - How to Build Your Own

DIY Succulent Terrarium - How to Build Your Own

4 minute read

A Succulent terrarium is a beautiful way to create living piece of art to display. It is an easy project that you can do in your own home and is fun for the entire family! Below we will guide you through the 6 easy steps of building your very own succulent terrarium as well as provide care tips on how to maintain it.

a succulent being held

Step 1: Choose the succulents

Depending on the size of your terrarium, you will want to make sure that the species of plant you choose will have enough space to live. For example, a small decorative table-top terrarium may be able to house 1-3 small succulents, whereas an aquarium style container will be able to house several larger growing species of succulents. For smaller terrariums, we recommend compact rosettes or low-growing shrubby succulents; such as small echeverias, small haworthias, small cacti, and compact crassulas.

a photo of a person adding porous rocks to the bottom of a succulent terrarium container

Step 2: Prepare the terrarium

It is not necessary, but some people like to line the base of their terrarium containers with rocks, gravel, lava rock, or clay balls as additional drainage. This also helps to create an attractive layered look when the succulent terrarium is complete.

a person adding soil into a succulent terrarium

Step 3: Add the soil

Add in a nice layer of soil, at least 1-2 inches thick for smaller terrariums. We highly recommend using a Succulent Soil mix, which is specifically created to help provide optimal drainage for moisture-sensitive succulents.

a person removing soil from a succulents roots

Step 4: Prepare the succulents

Get your succulents ready for their new homes by removing them from their containers and getting rid of as much old soil as you can. Do this by gently massaging the roots until most of the soil has fallen off. Trim or prune back any old or dried leaves that you find. Set your ready-to-plant succulents aside.

a photo of a person placing a succulent into a terrarium

Step 5: Add the succulents

Using a small trowel, a spoon, or just your own hands, gently plant your succulents into the soil. Add more soil as needed. Pro tip: Play around with the succulent arrangement before you commit to planting them!


a person adding white gravel to a succulent terrarium

Step 6: Finishing touches

In this last step, decorate the build by adding a layer of sand or rocks. You can add whatever items you like to include to decorate the terrarium such as decorative moss, stones, or figurines.


a person brushing dirt off a succulent with a brush

Pro tip: If you get soil on your succulents in the planting process, gently dust the soil off with a soft paint or makeup brush.


That’s it! Your succulent terrarium is ready now for display. Now for some care tips to help you maintain your living work of art:

-      Place the succulent terrarium in a space with lots of bright to direct sunlight. Succulents require a lot of bright light to survive but also, direct sunlight helps to keep them growing compact which is ideal for a small, enclosed container.

-  Water only when the soil is completely dry. The nice thing about terrariums is that they are transparent on all sides. You will be able to see that the soil is completely dried out just by looking at it. Dark coloured soil will suggest the soil is still damp or wet whereas a light brown colour suggests the soil is dry.

-      Use a small watering can or a large spoon to water your plant. Avoid getting any water on the plant itself as this may cause the plant to rot.

-      Succulents are drought tolerant, so it is always safer to under water than over water. When succulents are very thirsty, you will be able to tell by their wrinkly dehydrated foliage.

-      We recommend re-doing your terrarium every other year, or whenever the succulents have outgrown the container.


a photo of the finished succulent terrarium


There are so many options and fun ideas out there for terrarium builds. A quick search on google, Pinterest, or on our website should help inspire and get your creative juices flowing. We hope you have a ton of fun creating your very own succulent terrarium! 🌵

 a photo of a succulent terrarium with cacti in it

a close-up photo of a succulent terrarium

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