succulent terrarium care

4 Easy Tips on Succulent Terrarium Care

Succulent terrariums are a wonderful addition to any home. They are like a miniature world, inside a glass container. Beautiful to look at and easy to take care of! Although you can place many different types of plants in a terrarium, succulents are one of the most popular due to their low maintenance. In this article, I will talk you through all the very best tips for succulent terrarium care. 

Not all succulent species are ideal for terrariums. Read my blog on the best succulents for terrariums or download this handy infographic!

succulent terrarium care

Succulent Terrarium Care – How to Care for a Succulent Terrarium

Chances are, if you have landed on this page then it is because you already have either purchased or DIY’d your terrarium and are now looking for succulent terrarium care tips?

So, how do you take care of a succulent terrarium? There are 4 main tips that I will be discussing and these should help keep your miniature jungle thriving. The succulent terrarium care tips you need to know are container type, watering schedule, soil used, and lighting. If you follow these instructions then you should have a happy, healthy succulent terrarium! 

Best terrarium container for succulents

As we know, a terrarium container is made of glass, but there are many different varieties you can get. For example, you can get open or closed containers and each is suited for different purposes. 

Are succulents good for closed terrariums? For succulent terrarium care, you want to make sure you purchase an open glass container. Succulents and cacti will not thrive in a closed terrarium because the environment becomes way too humid! You can purchase wonderful open terrarium containers that look fantastic as a hanging decoration in your home.

You will also need to ensure that your glass container has drainage holes in the bottom. Succulents and cactus hate to be sat in soggy soil and can cause a number of common succulent problems such as overwatering, root rot and pests! 

If you have already purchased your succulent terrarium container and notice that it doesn’t have drainage holes, then there is a solution! Simply add a thick layer of beautiful hydro stones at the bottom of the container as this will allow the water to drain away from the plants. Not only are hydro stones aesthetically pleasing, but they are also highly functional!  

How to water succulents in a terrarium

The next tip on succulent terrarium care, and also a very common question I get asked is how to water succulents in a terrarium? As we all know, succulents can go long periods of time without any water as their leaves and stems store water for long periods of time – it is why they thrive so well in hot desert climates. 

The general rule of thumb when watering succulents is to give them a thorough soaking and then wait until the soil is completely dry before you rewater. Essentially, more water, less often. 

As I will mention in a minute, succulents enjoy well-draining soil. The most common mistake made in succulent terrarium care is overwatering. If you overwater your mini jungle, you will notice the succulent leaves start to die or rot. Overwatering will also attract pests such as mealybugs, spider mites and fungus gnats

It is good to remember that succulents can survive a long time without water so it is better to underwater your terrarium than overwater. Let it sit in a bright spot until the soil is completely dry. You can get a toothpick and stick it into the soil to test the moisture level and to see if the soil is dry right the way through. 

How to water a succulent terrarium? There are a few different methods for watering your terrarium but the best method is to use a small watering can so that you can aim the water directly into the soil and it avoids getting watermarks all over your glass container! 

For larger succulent terrariums, you can use a spray bottle to give a little extra moisture but simply spraying your terrarium will not promote healthy root growth. I’d always advise using a small watering can as your main watering method. 

how to take care of a succulent terrarium

Best soil for a succulent terrarium

Succulents enjoy a fast-draining, airy soil and this applies to succulent terrariums too. Regular potting soil is a no go due to its density. Succulents hate to be sat in soggy, wet soil so a well-draining soil is necessary. 

The best soil for a succulent terrarium should be a blend of organic matter, such as peat moss, and inorganic matter, such as granite or clay. You can DIY your own blend or go to your local garden center that will sell potting soil for succulents and cactus. 

You can read more on general succulent care tips here.

What lighting is best for succulent terrarium care?

One of the main things in regards to succulent terrarium care if of course, lighting. Succulents and cacti for the most part enjoy a brightly lit, sunny spot in a south-facing window. If your succulents get too little light, then you will notice that they start to bend, stretch and look leggy. This is called succulent etiolation and is common for succulents and cactus that are kept in a dark room. The reason that they bend and stretch tall is that they are looking for sunlight and will grow up towards the nearest bit of sun!

Unfortunately, the effects of an etiolated succulent can’t be undone so it is important that you keep your terrarium in a bright and sunny room! An etiolated succulent will however only affect your plant aesthetically and another sign that your terrarium needs to be moved to a brighter spot is if the succulents become pale and discolored. 

We all know that succulents like direct sunlight, however, it is possible for your beautiful plants to get a sunburn if they are not rotated. Your glass container can also refract sunlight, magnifying it into a hot beam so if you do place your succulents into a terrarium, avoid direct, hot sunlight. 

There are some succulent types that will still thrive in low light. These will be the best succulents for offices.

DIY Succulent terrarium 

You can buy ready-made succulent terrariums from many places such as garden centers and online stores that sell succulent terrarium kits with everything you need, but a lot of people want to have a go at DIY succulent terrarium. 

The below video from Garden Answer is a fantastic tutorial for beginners and will make creating your very own DIY succulent terrarium a breeze! 

Succulent terrarium care concluded

I hope you have enjoyed this article on succulent terrarium care. Terrariums are a wonderful decor addition to your home and can brighten up any room in your house. The magical miniature jungle is like a world of its own. 

I have given you all my very best tips on how to care for a succulent terrarium and I hope you feel confident in now knowing how to best look after your wonderful plant jungle. 

To quickly recap, my very best tips for succulent terrarium care are: 

  • Best terrarium container for succulents
  • How to water succulents in a terrarium
  • Best soil for a succulent terrarium
  • What lighting is best for a terrarium 

These 4 topics of discussion should equip you well enough to ensure you have a healthy, happy succulent terrarium for a very long time! 

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