Create a Terrarium for Your Succulents

What You'll Need
15 to 20 gallon sealed tank, drainable
Overhead UV light, built into lid
Succulent plants (such as echeveria)
Cactus soil
Pea gravel
Spray bottle

A terrarium is a manmade environment in a tank, and in this case, is perfect for controlling the elements in which to grow your succulents. Creating a terrarium is about as involved as filling up an aquarium for fish, so it’s easy to see that you don’t really have to do a whole lot to create your terrarium, at least, anything more than the tank and what you’d buy for indoor planting anyways.

Step 1 – Fill Tank

The first step in creating the terrarium for your succulent plants is to put the soil into the tank. Start with your gravel first and make a layer of gravel about an inch deep. Make sure it’s spread evenly, and that it isn’t packed in tight.
Next, spread your cactus soil over the gravel. This part’s easy because all it requires is your hands. Make another 1 to 2 inch layer of gravel, and then repeat with another 2 inch layer of cactus soil.

Step 2 – Add Nutrients

While fertilization for your succulents isn’t necessary outside, within a terrarium it’s a definite possibility that your plants will need added nutrients. Rather than spread fertilizer, just take a couple dollops of compost and add it to the corners of the tank. You can keep your plants healthy this way, and still not give them anything they don’t need or can’t use.

Step 3 – Plant Succulents

All that’s left to do now is to plant your succulent plants. Simply make divets into the soil layers with your fingers and place the plants into them. You don’t want to pack too many plants in there, nor do you want to pack the soil around the base of the plants because the soil needs to be completely permeable so that the roots can comfortably expand and grow.

Step 4 – Close Lid

The final thing to do is to close the lid on your terrarium and flick on the UV light for the plants’ first 12 hours of artificial sunlight. They should flourish for you here, and, if you water them correctly with a spray bottle of tepid water right around the roots and not directly onto the plant, they should grow hardy in the tank.

Always keep your drainage hole open, and keep a bucket beneath it, so that if you ever water your plants too much the water has a place from which to drain out.

You can plant a wide variety of plants in a terrarium if you want to, just follow the planting instructions and create the ideal environment for them within the tank.