Are Terrariums Good for Succulents?
Everything You Will Need to Know!

Have you been wondering if growing succulents in terrariums is a good idea? Read ahead to find out if they will help your succulents flourish!

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Jimena Bolívar

April 13, 2021


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What are Terrariums?

Succulents are a delight to raise. Since they usually need a bit of light and little water, they’re easy to grow. However, even raising succulents requires proper care and attention from you. This is where terrariums can help. But are they worth it?

Terrariums are glass containers that can provide easy growth for succulents and other plants. Control of moisture, humidity and cleaning is key for the plants to grow well in these glass containers.

What Type of Terrarium is Good for Succulents?

Terrariums are glass containers made for different plants. But not all terrariums can suit your succulents. You can either choose open terrariums or closed terrariums. For succulents, open terrariums are your best bet.

Here is how both of the terrariums are different!

  Open Terrariums Closed Terrariums
Air Circulation No problem for air to go through. You need to open it for around 15 minutes, at least once a month.
Sunlight Sunlight can reach the plant directly. Sunlight reaches the plant through the glass.
Types of Plants Good for plants that need a lot of air and a dry environment. Good for plants that need less air and more moisture.
Watering Require a lot of watering since there is no condensation. They also don’t have a lid to cover them. Plants in closed terrariums don’t need a lot of water because of a condensed atmosphere.
Layering of Soil Open terrariums need pebbles along with soil, charcoal and rocks. Closed terrariums don’t need pebbles.

Now you know more about the various types of terrariums.

PRO-TIP

Plants that grow fast will need more maintenance in terrariums.

How Do You Manage Terrariums?

Although terrariums are small, they need maintenance. Managing both open and closed terrariums can be a bit different. Open terrariums need less upkeep as compared to closed terrariums.

1. Tips for Maintaining Open Terrariums

An open terrarium with succulents and soil layers

  • They are open to pests. You will have to treat every insect attack differently!
  • Some plants can grow out of open terrariums. This can require frequent trimming.
  • You should water only a few times in a couple of weeks.

If you don’t have an open terrarium at your place, I think I know where you might want to get one. Check out this link which I recommend!

WGV Hanging Terrarium Globe, Width 8

This is a wonderful terrarium that I wholeheartedly recommend

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WARNING!

If you don't remove dying succulents and dead leaves, they can infect other plants in the terrarium!

Tips for Maintaining Closed Terrariums

A closed terrarium with a tiny plant

  • Closed terrariums can have more moss. It may look great, but it can also harm your plants.
  • Keep closed terrariums away from a lot of heat pressure.
  • Do not overwater closed terrariums because it will cause too much humidity.

PRO-TIP

Remember to often check in on the humidity of a closed terrarium.

What Type of Plants Can You Have in Terrariums?

Since terrariums are small glass containers, you need plants that are tiny too.

Plants for Open Terrariums

Plants that need dryness are the best choice for open terrariums. So they can make a great home for your succulents!

Depending on where you place your open terrarium, you can have two types of succulents.

  • Succulents that need sunshine directly

Plants such as aloe vera, sedum, and echeveria (purple cactus) need great exposure to sunshine to survive. Please place them in an open terrarium at the windowsill, and you’ll be good to go!

  • Succulents that don’t need sunshine directly

Cactii and other plants that have darker colours can be kept in shady places.

Have a look at some popular succulent plants.

8 most popular succulents that will lift your mood!

Succulents are the proven mood-boosters. But have you ever got confused in picking one for your room? If you did, it's time to pick one that suits you the best.

Plants for Closed Terrariums

The type of plants that grow well in closed terrariums is those that like shade.

  • Ferns
  • Pyrrosia
  • Delia
  • Asplenium
  • Neoregelia
  • Cryptanthus

You should avoid keeping succulents in closed terrariums. Too much humidity will hinder the growth of succulents.

PRO-TIP

Open terrariums are more suitable for succulents due to greater airflow.

How Do You Layer Your Terrarium Soil?

To layer the soil of your terrarium, you would need soil, moss, gravel, and charcoal. Since you get to see the layers, the chances of mistakes are very low!

Let’s have a look at all the layers from top to bottom.

A closed terrarium with soil layers

1. Top Layer

You can use reindeer moss as a decorative layer on the top.

2. Second Layer

The soil you choose will depend upon your succulent. Read up more about the soil you need on ’ How to select soil for your cactus’.

3. Third Layer

You can use clumpy or carpeting mosses for this layer. Doing so will add flair to your terrarium.

4. Fourth Layer

You can have rocks in this layer. River rocks known called pea gravels are usually the best choice.

5. Fifth (Base) Layer

The most important layer of them all! It will help if you use activated charcoal as your base. After all, it will keep the odour away and also let the water drain properly!

How Do You Take Care of Succulents in Terrariums?

Good watering, soil, and light can keep your succulents healthy and growing well in terrariums. You will need to set a timeline for proper care!

  • Watering Too much water can cause your succulent to die. To manage this, you can either go for terrariums with drainage holes. Or keep your watering minimum after every couple of weeks.

  • Soil The soil needs to be spread over stones and needs to be gritty too. Regular soil won’t help with drainage, and sooner or later, your succulent will rot!

  • Light Your succulents will need some direct sunshine for a few hours. You can place them at the windowsill.

Tools that Can Help You Maintain Your Terrarium Succulents

Here are a few tools that can help you maintain both open and closed terrariums!

Scissors

You will need to trim your succulents when they come out of the terrarium opening! So get a reliable pair of scissors.

Amazon Garden Collection Floral Scissors

These tiny scissors can come handy in trimming your overgrown plant!

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A Cleaning Brush

You can use a cleaning brush for dusting off the glass of the terrarium before wiping.

Casabella Set of 3 Soft-Tip Brushes

These brushes are soft and delicate. You can clean every nook and cranny of your terrarium with these.

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A Spoon for Scooping or Digging

A spooncan help you remove moss from the soil.

Norpro 5 Mini Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons

These 5 mini measuring spoons are perfect for terrariums. You can even use them to drop pebbles.

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Tweezers

A pair of tweezers will help you pick and plant your succulent in a terrarium. This tool will especially be needed if the opening is too narrow for you to put your hand inside.

SE 4-piece Hobby Tweezers Set

This set of different tweezers is the most flexible you can get. Use them for different moves. Planting, picking and more!

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A Small Funnel

A small funnel can help you place tiny stones in your terrarium. Again, if your hand doesn’t go through, you will need this!

Pack of 30 small plastic funnels

Get many funnels in a low price. You can place miniature items with these.

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A Spray Bottle

Plants in terrariums need water that is well spread. Using a spray bottle will help you keep the balance!

Soft Style Fine Spray Bottle

This spray bottle is perfect to spray small amounts of water on your succulent.

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Or…Get a Complete Tool Kit!

Think you’ll miss out on any supply? Get a terrarium tool kit like this one instead.

Soft Style Fine Spray Bottle

Set aside the hassle of buying things separately. This amazing tool kit has everything you need for maintaining your terrarium!

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PRO-TIP

Remember that closed terrariums need more maintenance than open ones!

WARNING!

Using watering can cause overwatering. Always use the spray bottle.

Will Decorating Terrariums Harm Your Succulents?

No, decorating your terrariums won’t harm your plants. The best part about terrariums is that you can decorate them easily. It makes them attractive and fun to watch! There are many types of materials you can use to decorate your terrariums.

Reindeer Moss

Reindeer moss is not harmful to your plants. It’s a popular choice for making terrariums more attractive!

Crystals and Other Stones

Are you a fan of natural crystals like rose quartz and emerald stones? Feel free to add them to your terrarium. You can add shells too.

Statuettes and Sculptures

Tiny statuettes can make your terrarium look like a mini garden! Don’t add a very heavy or huge statue, though. After all, it can end up damaging your plant and terrarium.

A tiny buddha statue inside a terrarium

WARNING!

Make sure your decor items are clean before putting them in your terrarium!

So Which Terrarium is Good for Your Succulents?

Open terrariums are the best choice for your succulents. They let in sunshine directly. They are perfect because they keep the environment dry. Your succulents will grow happily. And the best part is, you wouldn’t need to maintain them too often!

Need more advice on how to take care of your succulents? Check out this guide on how often to water succulents!

Can overwatering kill succulents? Learn how often to water succulents

If you are a beginner and don't know how often to water succulents. Their watering schedule depends upon the climate, humidity level, and succulents species themselves.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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