DIY Succulent Terrariums


Are you sick of me posting about succulents yet? Honestly, every succulent planter requires the exact same steps, but there are so many cute ways you can plant them! I know a lot of people search specifically for succulent terrariums, so I thought I'd dedicate another post to our favorite drought-friendly houseplants.


And before I get started: if you want to explore some other succulent planter options, you can also make:

Click any of the above to see the how to make!

For the terrarium in this post, I bought a few glass containers/jars from my local thrift store for about $4 each. The best containers have a wide opening, like a large glass jar, bowl, vase, or even fishbowl!


Things you will need :
- Choice of container (any of the above ideas!
- Succulents
- High-drainage potting soil
- Horticultural sand
- Gravel or any small stones/pebbles
Charcoal (optional)
- Moss (optional)

Note: The charcoal and gravel are highly recommended by more experienced gardeners, but I can tell you that I've made quite a few succulent planters without the charcoal and by replacing the gravel with horticultural sand. (I was too lazy to get the supplies.) While I can't guarantee success, my planters have actually been doing great! With that in mind, if you don't have those materials on hand, you can decide for yourself if you want to test your luck without them!


  1. Fill your planter with the following layers (from bottom to top):
    1. Gravel, 1 to 2 inches: because you're using a closed container, which means water cannot drain out, you need to create your own "draining" system at the bottom. 
    2. Charcoal, thin layer (optional): This makes sure your soil stays fresh and odor-free!
    3. Soil, 2 to 3 inches: You want enough soil for your succulents' roots to be covered and to grow a little. It's a good idea to mix a little bit of regular soil with some horticultural sand, which helps promote drainage.
      Keep in mind: if your container is pretty shallow, you'll obviously not be able to do several inches of each layer. Just roughly maintain the ratios and order of each the layers as best as you can.
    4. Sand, thin layer: Because it looks cute and to promote drainage!
  2. Add your succulents, arranging them as you like. A few tips:
    1. Use a pen or pencil to make a little hole where your succulent will go and to push roots into the soil layer.
    2. Plant the larger ones first, and then add smaller ones around your bigger ones.
    3. Make sure there is enough room for the plants to grow - don't overcrowd your planter!
    4. Use different colored and sized ones to add variety. 
  3. Optional landscaping:
    1. Sand: I love the way the horticultural sand looks on top, so I often pour a small layer over the soil once I've planted the succulents.
    2. Moss: Lots of people like to add little layers of moss on top of the soil, which you can place in between succulents with your fingers.

In terms of caring for your succulents, they do like water, just not too much of it! I've been watering my succulents about once a week so that the soil is moist for a day or two afterwards. I also have found that sunlight makes a huge difference - the succulents that are along eastern facing windows and get daylight almost the entire day are much perkier and lively looking.