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How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Learn how to make a succulent terrarium using just a few supplies! For more of my DIY planters to help you decorate with plants, check out this post!

Learn how to make a cute little succulent terrarium!

Let’s talk about succulents–the cure to both my black thumb and my @sshole baby cat Henry. They’re the cure to my black thumb because they are super easy to care for and super hard to kill (although I’ve done it once), and they’re the cure to Henry’s nosy mischief sessions because they aren’t leafy and he doesn’t want to eat them.

Win and win! I have succulents all over the house, including in my DIY hanging garden!   See how to pot succulents in pots without drainage holes because the don’t like a lot of water.

I also love succulents because they’re pretty affordable and they can last for years. My dad has a cactus that he has had for decades! And they’re just so cool looking.

hanging plant pot holder
cactus in a planter

I’ve been seeing lots of succulent terrarium kits over the past few months and have been wanting to make one of my own for a while. So this past weekend I decided to shop hop a few stores (dictated by my current coupon list and remaining Christmas gift cards) and nab the supplies I needed to make my own.

Here’s what I came home with:

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  • Assortment of succulents—I got mine at Lowe’s
  • 10″ Glass Bubble Bowl from Michael’s (also browse various sizes and prices on Amazon here)
  • Small rocks (see mini river rocks here)
  • Regular cactus soil, or a small bag of organic cactus soil if you prefer
  • Activated charcoal (carbon)—I bought these pills and cut them open because it was cheaper than the other options I considered
  • Rags, small shovel or spoon, scissors

And here’s how I made my little terrarium!

Step 1: I put about 1.5” of rocks in the bottom of the glass bowl. The rocks serve two purposes: First, they are a reservoir for water. You don’t want water sitting in the bottom of your soil, rotting your roots. Second, they look pretty cool in the glass container.

setting up a succulent terrarium
setting up a succulent terrarium

Step 2: Next I put a thin layer of activated charcoal (carbon) over the rocks, which will help to control moisture. This stuff is very messy, so make sure you have cleaning supplies handy. I used activated charcoal pills from my local grocery store.

bottle of activated charcoal
activated charcoal tablet

A word of caution if you are also going to take the capsule-cutting route…they kind of explode a little when you cut them open, so I put them down into the glass bowl and THEN cut them open. That kept the mess mostly contained to the bowl! I also moved this project outside for the charcoal step!

setting up a succulent terrarium
setting up a succulent terrarium

Step 3: I poured in a few inches of soil (the amount depends on the size of the bowl) and planted the succulents. Succulents are pretty top heavy, so packing the soil down in a bit will help keep them stable. Then I added the rest of my little rocks for decorative purposes.

succulent terrarium
succulent terrarium
succulent terrarium

Let your newly planted succulents and soil remain dry for a few days, and then care for these just as you would any other succulents—water regularly and give plenty of light. Read more about succulent care here from Lowe’s!

succulent terrarium on white shelves
succulent terrarium on white shelves

Oh, and I might have been wrong about these being completely Henry proof. He may not be ripping the plants apart, but he is still interested and paws at the soil. I found a little trail yesterday after work, and then my husband sent me these the next day. CAUGHT!!!

cat getting into a terrarium

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collage that says DIY succulent terrarium with images of the project
Brittany Goldwyn
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