A DIY succulent terrarium is a popular way to enjoy these trendy little plants! I have a slight obsession with succulents…they are so fun to collect and grow. They are the cutest and best little plants, ever!
Succulents require minimal care and can survive living indoors as long as they get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and the right amount of water. There is tons of succulent care information available online for free. I recommend reading up on how to take care of succulents so you’ll be able to keep your plants alive and healthy.
My 12-year-old niece saw a photo of a succulents terrarium and wanted to make one for her room. She especially liked how the clear glass bubble bowl shows off the layers of soil and gravel. It does look pretty cool!
DIY Succulent Terrarium
Next, we went to a big box hardware store to buy terrarium plants (a variety of succulents), pea gravel and a bag of potting mix at a big box hardware store. Important Tip: Be sure that the potting mix you use is specifically made for cactus type plants like succulents. (We used a Cactus, Palm and Citrus Potting Mix.)
If you are planting succulents in a glass terrarium like a fish bowl, drainage can become an issue because succulents do not like wet roots. To help solve this problem, create drainage in your glass terrarium with a base layer of pea gravel. The neat thing about using a clear glass terrarium is that you can actually see what’s going on in the soil and rocks. This can help you know when (and when not) to water the succulents.
My niece used a large 12-inch bubble bowl for her plant terrarium. She was able to fit a variety of types and sizes of succulents inside her terrarium. I used a much smaller 4-inch bubble bowl, which meant I needed only a few small succulents to fill my bowl.
No matter what size container you use, I recommend getting a variety of tall and short succulents, including one main succulent to use as a focal point when planting.
Tip: If possible, take your terrarium container with you when you go to buy plants. It will help you get an idea of how many plants you need and what sizes you want to fill your terrarium.
How to Plant a Succulent Terrarium (in a Clear Glass Bowl)
- Clear glass bubble bowl
- Pea Gravel *you can also use aquarium rocks
- Potting Mix *soil made for succulents
1. Fill the bottom 2-3 inches of your fish bowl with a layer of pea gravel for drainage.
2. Add a layer of potting mix to completely cover the gravel, it needs to be at least 1-2 inches deep.
*Note: You can use more or less gravel and potting mix as desired. There’s really not a right or wrong amount – experiment with how you want your terrarium to look from the outside. If your terrarium is deep enough, you could do several alternating thin layers of gravel and soil. The layers look really good from the outside.
3. Remove your succulent plants from their pot and position them where you want them in the top soil layer. Once you are happy with where they are planted, spread a thin layer of pea gravel on top.
4. Water. Use a watering can with a narrow spout so you can water directly on the gravel/soil rather than on the plants’ foliage. Be careful not to over-water.
I hope you have as much fun planning and planting a succulent terrarium as we did. Remember to read up on the basics for how to care for succulents. With proper care, you will be able to enjoy these amazing little plants for a very long time.
Got any succulents care tips to share? Did you plant a terrarium? I hope you’ll share your thoughts with us in the comments below.