Maybe I'm just speaking for myself here, but I have been OBSESSED with succulents lately. Succulent potters, succulent floral arrangements, succulent wedding favors, succulent wreaths, succulents in jars, succulents, succulents, succulents. The species has taken over Pinterest, successfully putting the gerbera daisy and country sunflower trend to an end. I've even recently noticed my local farmers markets selling them.
I obviously love the trend, but city living doesn't lend itself well to gardening. Once, I tried to grow basil on my windowsill, and it died. Then, I did some research, realized that basil needs to be in full sun (don't quote me on that), and it still died. So I gave up.... And then I realized that I REALLY like succulents.
So one weekend, my friend Kathy and I found ourselves in the aisles of Home Depot, trying to find materials to make our own succulent terrariums. After about 20 minutes of staring at soil types, I decided to call my mom, an avid gardener, for some help.
"Oh, honey? You're getting out this weekend? To plant some succulents? On a Saturday night? That's nice, I'm happy for you. I'm glad you've found a nice friend to plant succulents with."
Anyway, we learned that succulents can grow in any soil, but they prefer cacti soil... Or get this, succulent soil. Succulents also don't like to be in direct sun because their delicate leave-y arm things will singe. Also, in order to make a closed ecosystem (aka you don't need to water it, it automatically becomes its own ecosystem), you need some charcoal, stones, and a jar/container with a lid. It's pretty simple, and it took Kathy and I longer to acquire all the materials than to actually put it all together. (Albeit, our Terrarium Day Adventure included a class at our gym, some shopping, lunch, and a few wrong turns.) Another great benefit? These were much cheaper to make than ones we found premade at stores or on Etsy. Overall, I think we spent around $30 (Thanks in part to our thrift store/TJ Maxx container finds) to make two of these, and we had lots of material left over.
In terms of materials, in addition to soil, you need large stones to help drain water, and charcoal help things clean and recycle. I actually don't fully understand the details, but it's been about 3 months since Kathy and I first made our little home science experiments, and they're still going strong. Actually, my succulents have grown so much that it kind of looks like the Jurassic era in there. I expect to find some dinosaurs soon. I will call that a success.
Easy Succulent Terrariums
- Potting soil/cacti soil/succulent soil
- Charcoal (This can be found in pet stores)
- Stones or rocks
- Closed container or jar
- Place large stones in an even later on the bottom of the jar
- Put a layer of about 3 inches or charcoal over the stone layer
- Fill with soil
- Plant succulents
- Water, slightly and then close lid.
- Place terrarium in a place that gets sun, but not direct sun.
Update: while still on the succulent trend, I made these for my boyfriend’s house (he regrets giving me his credit card):
The glass containers I got from (you guessed it) a thrift store for 50 cents each, and this time, I took the soil and rocks from his backyard. Cheers!