Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

  Succulents are all the rage right now, and I am just as caught up as anyone else.  The colors, the unique blooms, and the lovely combinations of different plants make for a fun and beautiful way to add a little green to your decor.  Not to mention, succulents are extremely low maintenance, and only need to be watered every 2 weeks, which is perfect for me since there are days I forget to eat lunch, much less feed and water my plants!
I did a lot of research on how to make a succulent terrarium, and pieced together a step by step guide to making your own.  The best part, you can use pretty much anything as a container for your own little garden!  I made two (for now!), one out of a reclaimed wooden box in the shape of a cross that I got for my birthday (Thanks Mom!), and the other in an etched glass serving bowl that I have just never really used for entertaining.  There are some beautiful glass terrariums that you can buy for tabletop or hanging gardens (and many are very affordable), you can use apothecary jars or cloches, or, like me, you can just use containers from around the house!  I would love to make a small one in a mason jar (how cute would that be on a mantel?!), and I plan on making a few in tea cups for Brantley and Grayson's upcoming Fairy Garden Tea Party birthday in a few weeks.  
So follow my guide to make your own!  They are really fun, inexpensive, low maintenance, and beautiful.  You don't have to have a green thumb, and it's a great activity to do with your kids.  Brantley and Grayson loved helping me!  
So here's what you'll need (I bought everything in the nursery/garden section at Home Depot except my containers):
A variety of small succulent plants 
A Container, Terrarium, Bowl, Box, Bucket, or some sort of vessel 
Pea Gravel
Activated Charcoal (You'll need to use this to prevent mold growth if your container has a lid or is closed.  Both my containers are open, so I didn't use it)
Potting Soil or Cactus Soil
Sheet Moss (optional)
Decorative Pebbles (optional)
And this is what you do:
Layer about 2" of gravel in the bottom of your container.
If you're using the activated charcoal, go ahead and add it on top of the pea gravel.
Add a layer of your soil, and place the plants in the soil by digging just a bit, placing the plants in, and then adding more soil to cover the roots of your succulents.  
Add a thin layer of sand, then small pieces of sheet moss and decorative pebbles and rocks to fill in empty spaces.
And seriously, that's it!  Make sure the plants get 5-6 hours of sunlight a day, and water them every two weeks with a spray bottle.  Easy enough, right?
Grayson was a great help by adding the potting soil in the containers, and Brantley's job was adding the pebbles at the end.  They loved getting a little dirty and helping out.
Brantley adding pebbles after the plants were placed and covered with soil.  We made the terrariums in the garage so we
 could just sweep the mess right up and out of the garage!
 With the wooden box, I cut up a Ziploc bag and laid it on the bottom of the box to protect the wood, since it wasn't treated.  Then started all the layering.
Gracie adding the additional soil in after the plants were in place.

I used 10 succulents for the cross box, and LOVE how it turned out.  I probably could've put more in, but once Brantley filled in the empty spaces with pebbles, it was perfect and no more plants were needed.

And for the bowl, I used 4 succulents.  Once they were planted, there was much more open space.  I used sheet moss to cover the soil, and filled in with just a few rocks that we had left, and I loved it! 

I can't wait to find a home for these in my house, and then make a ton more!
And I am no expert in making these, I just did a lot of googling and reading through other tutorials.  So if you have tips or other ideas, feel free to leave a comment!
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  1. You say you're no expert, but those look pretty perfect. I love unique succulent designs like these.

    1. Oh, thank you so much! And believe it or not, they are all still alive! :)

  2. A good way to spend a nice spring Sunday here in Melbourne, Aus. Some good tips here, thanks. Used an old glass fishbowl and a great big jar that I found buried in the garden this morning!


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