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Learn how to create succulent terrariums! This DIY Succulent Terrarium Ideas Infographic gives a quick overview of the materials needed for this terrarium how-to. Once you see the basics and learn about good terrarium plants, you're ready to follow the step-by-step instructions. Making terrariums really is as easy as gathering your supplies and layering them properly. You'll learn why certain supplies are necessary (who would have thought to add charcoal?) and you'll have fun arranging the plants as you wish. For a quick snapshot of succulent terrarium components, download this free infographic.
Click Here to Download the Free Printable PDF.
How to Create Succulent Terrariums
1. Select a Container
Choose between an open and closed container. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option! No matter which option you go with, make sure you have this key element: a drainage hole. A drainage hole makes watering succulents so much easier.
Open Container: these are your typical planters, and can include planters made from terra cotta, glass, wood, metal, plastic, and more. An open container is ideal so your succulents get air flow and water can evaporate.
Closed Container: A closed container should include a removeable lid for airflow and water evaporation. You can leave the lid on, but keep an eye on the jar: if water begins dripping down from the top, the water needs to evaporate. Open the lid for a day or two to let the water evaporate out.
Gather Base Materials
Soil: Depending on your plants, ordinary potting soil should work for most of them! If you focus on succulents, cactus soil is a good option.
Pebbles: You'll place a layer of rocks at the bottom of your terrarium to collect water so it can drain from the soil.
Activated Charcoal: This is an important ingredient for your terrarium! Activated charcoal keeps your terrarium healthy by preventing mold and bacteria from growing. It also will reduce odors.
Choose Your Plants
Popular plants used in terrariums include the panda plant, aloe vera, echeveria, black mondo grass, nerve plant, and aquamarine.
Panda Plant: This is a type of succulent that is fairly easy to maintain. It has soft, velvety leaves that look like cat ears. Like most succulents, this plant stores water and rarely needs watering, making it an excellent fit for terrariums.
Aloe Vera: Like succulents, aloe vera does well in dry conditions. This is a taller and spikier plant than the panda plant, and its healing properties are an added perk! Use the juice from aloe vera leaves to relieve pain from scrapes and burns.
Echeveria: This is a gorgeous succulent that looks like your traditional succulent. It comes in a variety of hues, so you can really make your terrarium vivid when you include these plants!
Black Mondo Grass: Adding grasses to your terrarium will give your little ecosystem visual appeal. This grass makes a fantastic contrast to the succulents and cacti.
Nerve Plant: This is a fantastic addition to terrariums because of its uniquely vivid leaves. The green leaves have veins in contrasting colors like pink, red, or white.
Aquamarine: this plant has silvery-blue little leaves that contrast nicely with the larger nerve plant leaves. It's easy to incorporate these plants into closed terrariums particularly because they love low light and high humidity.
Put Your Materials Together
Step 1: Select a container of your choice, either open or closed. If you go with a traditional glass container, keep it out of direct sunlight. If it's a closed container, you don't want to get the greenhouse effect and heat up your plants too much!
Step 2: Place your pebbles at the bottom. You'll want a nice layer of 1-2" so your water can drain.
Step 3: Add a thin layer of activated charcoal. This will prevent bacteria and mold from growing.
Step 4: Add soil and create holes to place your plants.
Step 5: Add your plants and arrange as you wish, finishing off by adding a bit more soil and other decorations too if you'd like!
DIY Terrarium Ideas
Now that you know the basics of making your own terrarium, check out some of our favorite ideas below!
Threw away that broken coffee maker but kept the pot? You can turn it into the most darling little terrarium! This is a fan-favorite project and the results are so lovely.
This terrarium is hip for that Star Wars fan in your life. Make him or her a little Star Wars terrarium to display at home or at the office. It will brighten up the space during the work day!
Got jars? Make Terrariums! These fantastic little terrariums are so darling. Add little figurines inside for a customizeable project.
This terrarium necklace blows my mind. It's such a cute project and you can take it with you wherever you go!
Flip your mason jar or glass dome upside down to make a cloche for your terrarium. Seeing the terrarium on a wood slice adds a rustic flair.
A terrarium in a mason jar is literally the best gift idea. It even comes with a lid! Arrange the plants in a way that reminds you of your loved one, and give them a sweet gift they can display anywhere.
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