My Succulent Terrarium

If you don't have a balcony or outdoor garden, a terrarium is a great idea for a house plant. Succulents are low maintenance, they just need some sun and a little water. Terrariums are easy to make, even if you don’t have a green thumb. I think it adds a beautiful touch to any room as the plants come in all kinds of colors. Since my living room is painted orange I wanted to create my terrarium around a vibrant orange moss. I recently read the book The Signature of All Things which talked about the world of mosses in great detail. Did you know 12,000 species of moss exist?

I really enjoyed the process of making my terrarium into its own tiny biosphere. I started off by picking the perfect container to build it in. The beauty of terrariums is that you can plant one in any container, the sky is limitless! Terrariums can be potted in cactus soil or sand. I arranged mine with a composition of different materials to create their own little world including colorful plants and crystals. I think the crystals create a great sparkle factor and natural beauty in my miniature landscape. I also added two airplants, also known as Tillandsia, which don’t require soil to grow. See they get all of the water and nutrients they need through their specialized leaves. In nature, air plants use their roots only for attaching themselves to rocks, trees, shrubs, and the ground. But in my terrarium I remove them once a week for a soak in water so they can absorb water into their leaves.

Succulents can thrive indoors in containers that don’t drain as long as they receive some light during the day and as long as you’re careful not to overwater them – a few drops of water once a week is really all they need. I also added some activated charcoal and pebbles at the bottom of the bowl to help with drainage and possible mildew issues. The more sun a succulents gets, the brighter it’s color. My plants only get morning sun from my window, but the species I have could potentially turn orange and red! And once a year they will bloom flowers! I love how they are sticking out of the bowl and spilling out.

Last summer on a business trip to LA, I walked by the vendor below on the street and fell in love with the succulents but thought how will I pack the spiky plant to take home? Well when I got home I showed this picture to my mom and she knew exactly where to get one locally and bought me a moon cacti. At first I kept it in a dark room and the cacti turned orange. That’s when I realized that it needed to be on a window to get sun. Once I put it there, it returned to its bright red color. I also spray painted the potter gold.

On the side bar to the left are the plants I have in my terrarium. I've only had my plants for a month, but with enough sunlight they will reach their full color potential. The air plant is the second from the bottom. My tallest plants are slowing turning the red you see in the middle picture.


  1. Great idea!!! Especially for those of us who don't have green thumbs!

  2. I have been wanting to make one of these for ages and keep forgetting. Great reminder, fantastic post!

  3. What a fabulous post! Those succulents are my kind of plants. Had a little cactus garden in a dish at one point and those babies took off. Wound up transplanting everyone into my yard. Thank you for this creative look at gardening.

  4. Love this! I am a huge fan of succulents!