Succulent Terrarium :: DIY

Succulents have been popping up everywhere this summer. Every time I go to the farmers market, or even the grocery store I see succulents in sweet mini garden setups. If you’ve been to a West Elm recently, you may have seen amazingly styled, large scale succulent terrariums for sale. After seeing this, I HAD to create our own. Surprisingly, James was equally on board with creating a succulent terrarium, so we made it a weekend project.

diy succulent terrarium


Glass container (we found ours at Marshalls, similar, similar, similar, similar, similar)
River Rocks (for drainage)
Cactus Soil
Variety of Succulents (there are tons at Home Depot and Lowes)

Create Base Layer For Succulents

Add the river rocks to the bottom of your glass container. This optimizes drainage of water and keeps the roots from rotting.

succulent terrarium

Add a shallow layer of cactus soil on top of the rocks. Succulents typically have short roots so excessive soil is unnecessary.succulent terrarium

Organize and Plant the Succulents

I found it easier to layer the succulents based on height. Since our container was a globe shape, we placed the taller plants towards the back and the shorter ones towards the front.

succulent terrarium

Play around with the placement to see what you like best! I do wish I searched for some different colored plants to break up all of the green. (*noted for next time)

DIY succulent terrarium

Gently remove the plants from their plastic containers and softly shake off the excess dirt. Slightly separate and loosen the roots as you shake off the extra soil.

succulent terrarium

Create a small hole where you would like to place the plant and lightly drop the plant in. Add additional cactus soil on top of the roots and pat it down.

succulent terrarium

As you can see, we shifted outdoors to avoid making a huge mess inside. The dirt started to get everywhere so we figured this was more practical.

DIY succulent terrarium

Feel free to add decorative pieces after planting all of the succulents. We just placed a few leftover river rocks on top of the barren areas to add more visual interest to the final piece.


Ta DA! Thank you James for being a wonderful hand model (Hawaiian shirt and all)


Some Tips on How to Care for Your Succulents

I’m far from an expert on this topic, but these tips have worked for me over the past few months!

Place in bright sunlight, but not in direct sun. Too much sun exposure can cause harm to the plant, even though they are cacti.

Keep the soil damp but not too wet. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot and under watering will keep the plants from thriving. I have been misting the soil whenever it looks slightly dry and this has been working well for me.

Keep them on a seasonal timeline. If it’s warmer outside, water more frequently and keep in the sun for longer. In the winter months, the plants will inevitably get less sun, but also slightly adjust the water quantities to match.

I haven’t had any issues with bugs, but I’ve read that soil with good drainage helps avoid bugs.

succulent terrarium

We were SO pleased with the final product, it has found it’s home on our coffee table. I cannot wait to create another succulent terrarium in the near future!

If you would like to purchase an already made terrarium, these are my favorites!

Feel free to email me with any specific questions you may have!

Thanks for stopping by!


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