How to Create Terrariums and Succulent Gardens?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to create terrariums and succulent gardens. If you’re looking to infuse a dash of greenery into your living space, terrariums and succulent gardens are a fantastic choice. These mini-ecosystems are not only visually appealing but also low-maintenance, making them ideal for both seasoned gardeners and beginners alike. In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating your own terrariums and succulent gardens. Let’s dive in and bring a touch of nature indoors!

Create Terrariums and Succulent Gardens: A Green Oasis at Home

Terrariums and succulent gardens are a beautiful way to enhance your living space with a touch of nature. These miniature landscapes bring a sense of tranquility and natural beauty right into your home. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting your gardening journey, creating your own terrariums and succulent gardens can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Getting Started: The Essentials

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of creating your terrariums and succulent gardens, let’s gather the essential tools and materials you’ll need. Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

Materials and Tools:

  • Glass containers or terrariums: Choose clear glass containers to showcase the beauty of your mini garden.
  • Succulents and plants: Select a variety of succulents and plants that complement each other in size and growth habits.
  • Potting mix: Opt for a well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents.
  • Pebbles or gravel: These are used for drainage at the bottom of your container.
  • Activated charcoal: Helps to keep the terrarium fresh by absorbing excess moisture and odors.
  • Decorative elements: Get creative with miniature figurines, colored sand, or decorative stones to personalize your terrarium.
  • Moss: Use moss to cover the soil and give your terrarium a natural, finished look.
  • Spray bottle: For gentle watering without disturbing the plants.

With these supplies in hand, let’s move on to creating your very own green haven.

Choosing the Right Container: Where Beauty Meets Functionality

Selecting the perfect container is the first step in creating an eye-catching terrarium or succulent garden. The container not only showcases your green masterpiece but also affects the overall aesthetic and growth of your plants.

Size and Shape:

Choose a container that suits the available space and the number of plants you want to include. Taller containers work well for plants that grow vertically, while wider ones allow for a variety of plant sizes and shapes.


Opt for clear glass or plastic containers to showcase the layers of your mini ecosystem. Transparency adds to the visual appeal, giving a peek into the intricate details of your garden.


Consider a container with a wide enough opening for ease of planting, watering, and arranging the plants and decorative elements.

Lid or Open Top:

Decide if you want a closed or open terrarium. Closed terrariums create a humid environment, suitable for moisture-loving plants, while open terrariums are great for succulents that prefer drier conditions.

Selecting the Right Plants: The Heart of Your Garden

The selection of plants is crucial when aiming to create terrariums and succulent gardens that thrive. Succulents and other small plants with similar care needs are ideal for these mini ecosystems.


Succulents like echeverias, haworthias, and sedums are excellent choices due to their unique shapes and water retention properties.

Air Plants:

Tillandsias, or air plants, are low-maintenance and can be tucked into various nooks and crannies within your terrarium.


Different types of moss add a lush, green carpet effect to your garden and retain moisture.


Miniature ferns can add a delicate and feathery touch to your terrarium.

The Art of Arranging: Designing Your Mini Landscape

Arranging your plants and decorative elements is where your creativity truly shines. Here are some tips to help you design a captivating mini landscape:

Thriller, Filler, Spiller:

Follow the thriller-filler-spiller technique for a well-balanced arrangement. Thrillers are tall or eye-catching plants, fillers add volume, and spillers cascade over the edges of the container.

Plant Placement:

Consider the growth habits and lighting needs of your plants when arranging them. Place taller plants towards the back and shorter ones towards the front.

Decorative Accents:

Incorporate decorative elements like small figurines, colorful stones, or seashells to add personality and charm to your terrarium.

Building Layers: The Recipe for a Healthy Ecosystem

Layering is key to creating a thriving and visually appealing terrarium or succulent garden. Each layer serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall health of your mini ecosystem.

Gravel or Pebbles (1-2 inches):

Start with a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom for drainage. This prevents waterlogging, a common issue for terrariums.

Activated Charcoal (1/2 inch):

Next, add a thin layer of activated charcoal to keep the terrarium fresh by absorbing excess moisture and odors.

Moss (optional):

Place a thin layer of moss over the charcoal to prevent the soil from seeping into the drainage layers.

Potting Mix (2-3 inches):

Add a layer of well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents, filling about two-thirds of the container.

Planting and Arrangement:

Carefully plant your chosen succulents, air plants, moss, or ferns, following the design you’ve envisioned.

Decorative Toppings:

Finish off with decorative elements like colored sand, miniature figurines, or additional moss for a polished look.

Caring for Your Green Oasis: Tips and Tricks

To maintain the beauty of your terrariums and succulent gardens, follow these simple care tips:


Place your terrarium in indirect sunlight, as succulents and other plants often prefer bright, indirect light.


Be cautious with watering, as terrariums and succulents require less water. Use a spray bottle to mist the plants occasionally, and ensure excess water can drain.

Pruning and Maintenance:

Regularly trim and remove any dead or overgrown foliage to keep your mini garden looking fresh and neat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common queries about creating terrariums and succulent gardens:

1. Can I use any container for creating a terrarium?

Yes, you can use various containers like glass jars, vases, fish tanks, or even old light bulbs for a unique touch. Just ensure they’re transparent and have an opening for arranging your plants.

2. Do succulents require special care in a terrarium?

Succulents need a well-draining soil mix and shouldn’t be overwatered. Choose an open terrarium to ensure they get enough air circulation and light.

3. Can I use regular garden soil for my terrarium?

It’s best to use a well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents and cacti to ensure the health and growth of your plants.

4. How often should I water my terrarium?

The frequency of watering depends on the type of plants and your local climate. Typically, mist the terrarium once every 1-2 weeks or when the soil feels dry.

5. Can I create a themed terrarium?

Absolutely! Get creative and design a themed terrarium with specific plants and decorations to suit your style and preferences.

6. Are there any plants to avoid in a terrarium?

Avoid using plants that have vastly different care requirements or that may outgrow the container too quickly, disrupting the ecosystem.

In Conclusion: Create Your Green Escape

Now that you have the knowledge and tips on how to create terrariums and succulent gardens, go ahead and craft your own lush mini oasis. Experiment with different plants, containers, and decorative elements to design a charming green escape right in your home. Enjoy the serenity and beauty that these miniature landscapes bring, and happy gardening!

Remember, with a little creativity and care, you can turn your living space into a delightful haven of greenery through your very own terrariums and succulent gardens. Happy gardening!

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Cat Hocking

I find crafting a relaxing passtime and I love to try new crafts. I have an impressive collection of fabrics, just because they are beautiful, and way too many craft supplies... more than I will ever use in my lifetime! In Crafting Pulse I share information and resources on crafts and feature some amazing makers.

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