How to Build a Terrarium

Use our simple instructions to build an easy indoor garden that doubles as a stunning decoration. Learn how to build this beautiful terrarium so your succulents will thrive.

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Love the terrarium look but not sure how to keep all those elements alive inside the little glass ball? Not to worry! We have the ultimate how-to guide to help you build a terrarium that will keep your indoor plants thriving. 

Get our complete guide to succulent care. 

What You'll Need:

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  • Terrarium 
  • Sand
  • Rocks
  • Dirt
  • Moss
  • Succulents
  • Small flowers 

Step 1: Add Sand and Rocks

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Since a terrarium is unlike a normal gardening pot, it doesn't have holes to help drain excess water. Adding a layer of sand to the bottom, followed by a good layer of rocks and pebbles keeps the succulents' roots far enough away from extra water in the bottom so that they won't become oversaturated or start to rot. This allows the succulents to absorb the moisture they need and allows the rest of the liquid to filter down toward the sand. 

Step 2: Add Soil

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Choosing a kind of potting soil for your terrarium will depend on the kinds of succulents you plan to add. Plants like desert cacti require soil that is specially marked for dry-climate plants, while plants that need more moisture will be just fine in the same potting soil you use in the garden. It's a good idea to check soil needs when you purchase plants. You'll want to keep them looking pretty since succulents are the star of the show! 

Step 3: Add Moss and Succulents

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Soak either sphagnum or regular moss (or both!) in water and squeeze it almost-dry before adding on top of the dirt. This will retain the moisture around the succulents, keeping them fresh every time you spritz them. Add the succulents, nestling them between the moss and dirt. Add enough succulents to make the terrarium look full, but not so many that the plants are too crowded -- happy plants will look the prettiest! 

Step 4: Finishing Touches

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Add a few floral blooms for a pop of color. These will need to be changed out more frequently than the succulents, since the flower won't have a root system that can attach to the soil. Succulents don't need a lot of sun, so display your terrarium in a location that recieves indirect sunlight -- you don't want to fry them! Give your succulents a light spritz from a spray bottle filled with water every few days, adjusting your watering schedule based on how your succulents respond. 

Try making a cactus terrarium! 

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