DIY succulent terrarium – made with love in under an hour

Succulents are some of the easiest plants to grow, and work really well in pots. I had been mulling over a DIY succulent terrarium for a long time, but with our move in March it was put on hold. When I started sorting out our homeschool room I just knew we needed a terrarium in there. You don’t need to go out and buy an aquarium, any glass bottle, vase or bowl will do! We just happened to have one lying around (a story for another time!). If you need additional (P)inspiration for your own DIY succulent terrarium, I pinned some ideas onto my gardening Pinterest board.

Succulents are also easy to come by – I managed to collect these locally on walks through our neighbourhood and our garden. I have found that most succulent off-shoots will send out roots once planted. You can even pluck a “branch” stem with a few leaves, it will likely send out some roots in time.

This was such a fun DIY project for the kids and I!

Initially neither were too keen on helping out but once I got started they each contributed in their own way. Amelie helped in the beginning but tired quite quickly. Thankfully she returned later on and grabbed my phone to take some video, otherwise I’d only have a few photos to share with you! Arnan was very reluctant in the beginning but got caught up when I poured in the soil and created a hill. He really enjoyed planting some of the succulents and creating patterns with the white rocks. He made up a little story about one of the rocks being a river and some others a path, it was delightful working alongside him. Although he declared the project “boring” while I was faffing with the silica stones he did stick around to see it to the end and kept me company.

I created this fun movie on the “making of” our DIY succulent terrarium in Magisto on my Android phone – so easy – using the photos and video Amelie and I had taken.


You will need:

  • Succulents
  • A container such as a jar, or in our case an unused aquarium
  • Small rocks
  • Sphagnum moss (optional)
  • Activated charcoal (optional)
  • Succulent mix potting soil
  • Silica or decorative stones
  • Small paint brush (optional)
  • Tweezers (optional)
To assemble:
  1. Clean the glass container so that there are as few as possible marks on the glass. You will be looking through this glass when you view your finished project and it is much more difficult to clean the glass afterwards!DIY succulent terrarium
  2. Place a layer of small rocks into the glass container. This assists with drainage, keeping water off your plants’ roots and preventing them from drowning.DIY succulent terrarium
  3. If you have moss you need to place it on top of the rocks. This keeps the soil from falling through the rocks and gives your terrarium a neater look. I didn’t have moss so I skipped this step.
  4. Activated charcoal goes in next. I could not find any at all the plant nurseries I visited, and it is not completely necessary so I left this one out. I think as long as you don’t overwater your plants you won’t have a problem without it. Apparently the charcoal helps keep your terrarium smelling fresh.
  5. Pour in the potting soil next. You can use regular potting soil, but I found succulent mix at our nursery and thought I’d try it. There are also recipes for DIY succulent mix you could try. I decided to give our terrarium some interest by adding a hill since the container is so large, but you can pour the soil in in a level layer too.DIY succulent terrarium 3
  6. Now for the plants! Arrange your succulents in the soil, making an indentation for the roots.DIY succulent terrarium 4
  7. Gently arrange the decorative silica stones on top of the soil in between the succulents. Try to avoid the temptation of placing decorative rocks down before the silica… I learnt the hard way and had to pick up the rocks one by one and place them on top of the silica so as to keep the patterns my children had created! This is where the small paintbrush and tweezers came in handy – I could dab at the silica to place it in between the plants and brush the stones off from wherever they did not belong and pick up the stones with the tweezers, especially where my fingers were too big.DIY succulent terrarium 6

How easy was that?! If you build your own DIY succulent terrarium please post a photo or a link in the comments!



  • Michelle 2016-09-19 at 08:22

    Love terrariums and this is such a fun thing to do with the kids. If you can’t find activate charcoal you can use good old briquettes. Just crush them into smaller pieces. Works like a bomb.

    • Victoire 2016-09-21 at 04:46

      What awesome advice, thanks Michelle!


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