Sunday, May 6, 2012

How to make a succulent terrarium

Hey hey! Happy end-of-weekend to ya! I hope you had a great one. I got a TON done outside – I worked my tail off and sweat off about five pounds. (I hope.)

There’s something about working in the yard – it’s a feeling of accomplishment like nothing else. I fall even more in love with our home when I work in the yard too. :)

Today I’m sharing a little project I worked on weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to create a little terrarium for years now. Every time I see the little succulent plants at Lowe’s I just DIE at their miniature-ness:

Last year I got some and planted them separately into little pots, but they didn’t have much impact all by their lonesome.

This time I wanted to create a terrarium that would have a little more oomph. I’ve seen them done a few times in blogland, but couldn't remember where. So I just searched “how to make a terrarium” and it was super easy.

I have a bunch of empty apothecary jars so I knew they would be perfect:

apothecary jar

You want to use glass so the light can get to the plants.

The first step is a layer of small rocks, the second is a layer of soil:

rocks for terrarium potting soil

I hear there is soil just for terrariums but I was using what I had, and so far so good. (I read you can use either.) I’ve also seen a sand/soil combo used, but they come in regular soil so I’ve always figured that works just fine. (And it has for me.)

I later found out that it’s not a bad idea to add bits of charcoal as well, to help with moisture issues.

And that’s it! Really, I had no idea it was this simple. I thought you had to use very specific “ingredients” and you so do not.

I planted my little succulents in the soil, then filled the top with some moss:

moss

Only because it’s pretty. :) A local nursery gave me some – awesome!

I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I did another one as well because I had some extra plants. Some of the succulents looked like they were one plant but were really three or four, so you really get a bang for your buck with those:

I love all of the colors – the minty green and purple tones are my favorite. :)

You barely have to water these – actually too much water will kill them. Did you see that perfect little water droplet?:

I haven’t watered them in at least a week so it must have been there all this time. Wild! I spray them so they don’t get too much water and just kind of watch to see when they need it.

Succulents need dry air, not humid. So I go half and half with the glass lids – sometimes on, sometimes off:

apothecary jar terrariums

I left them on too long at one point and there was a small bit of mold growing. I read online that cinnamon helps with that, so we’ll see. So far so good!

If anything, they smell scrumptious!! ;)

succulent terrarium

I loved them so much, I got another plant for a mini-terrarium in one of my mason jars:

mason jar terrarium

This one was one of those that actually broke down into three plants, so I was able to make two mason jar terrariums. So fun!

I think they are too cool and if you have a brown thumb, this may be the plant for you. It’s hard to kill them, in my opinion. I had one at one point that I SWEAR went months without water.

how to make a terrariumThe cost isn’t bad at all – you could gather rocks out of your yard for the bottom layer. The succulents themselves run about $3 (for smaller plants) and $4 (larger) each.

Not bad for some easy plants and bringing some green indoors! These have been going strong for a few weeks now. LOVE. Have you created a terrarium? Any tips I missed?

**The May Before and After Party will go up Monday evening!

36 comments:

  1. I seem to have a black thumb, but maybe I should give these a try. Love the one in the mason jar.

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  2. Our lowe's has them pre-made for 30 bucks! Love the look, might have to get crafty myself!

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  3. I love succulents and terrariums! I never thought to make them in mason jars. I have hens and chicks in a rocky, sunny spot of my yard and they do well tere, surviving our cold winters in ohio.

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  4. I have several, when they have babies, I get so stinking excited! I had one last year that look like a little hippos mouth, so cute!

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  5. mmmm i absolutely love it! I did something similar last year and plan to again this year (it is barely spring here so am soooooo looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt!) i love how hardy and forgiving succulents are (sooo necessary for me with indoor plants) yours turned out super darling! go green thumb girl! xo

    www.NorthernCottage.net

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  6. Too funny...I just made one too! :)

    http://www.mainemommy.com/2012/04/terrarium-love.html

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  7. I have an obsession with succulents. These turned out beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    I did a faux succulent and shell centerpiece that I have in my bathroom.

    http://thesweetestmemoryblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/succulents-and-shells-centerpiece.html

    Have a great day, and love your blog!

    Kari thesweetestmemory@cox.net

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  8. I adore succulents, but I manage to kill them regularly ;-) The nice thing is they are inexpensive to replace--and they usually last me a few months before they're dead!

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  9. Succulents are some of my favorites! They remind me of my grandma's house. Yours look very potterybarnish! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. These look great and I am definetly going to be trying these. - I was wondering if you have found that the moss survives if you don't water often?

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  11. My MIL loves succulents, this would be a great gift for her!

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  12. Those look so lively and green! I love that they don't take much upkeep. ~ Maureen

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  13. well its good one. i shall try it for my own. lets see what happens.

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  14. twice i've tried succulents and twice i've killed them! i must have a reallllly brown thumb. :o( your succulents look so pretty...i'm inspired to try again!

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  15. These are so lovely! I'd love to make one. I'm not great at keeping plants alive, so maybe this would be perfect for me (although I have to confess that I actually have killed a succulent before...sad, I know!).

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  16. So lovely! And succulents i can do ;) How often do you water if they are in a container with a lid?

    Cheers
    ~ Jillian
    www.hersplitends.com

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  17. I really love succulents - not just because they look cool but because they're so low maintenance! I have a succulent from last Spring and it's just gone crazy. I actually share a pic of it in today's post (you can see it here).

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  18. I once had a little jade that went YEARS without water! The plant fell unnoticed behind a shelf in the backyard and I found it when I moved. Last year my neighbor brought me some from her yard, she unceremoniously dumped them at my front door in a plastic bag and said she was getting rid of them. They are going strong here! For me they do best outside, in the strong California sun and drought conditions we are having :)
    Also, when they get bigger, you can snap a little branch off, stick it in dirt and start a new plant.

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  19. I made one three years ago when we were first stationed here with moss and an errant something that grew FROM the moss (we got it from the yard) and it is still going strong just before we pack up and move again. I will say we opted not to wait until I found charcoal and I wish we HAD (it has an odor that I think we might not have had I used the charcoal - sort of musty). Can't wait to get to our new digs in Maryland and start another AND a fairy garden! They are a bit addictive!

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  20. Great tips and breakdown of creating this. The pictures are great as well!

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  21. So I just had to share... my fave place for getting succulents is Youngs. It's this nursery out of OR that ships... they have some super cool ones and I didn't even know succulents could get so cool looking! Wayy better selection than my local lowes. And the price is fab, at least for where i'm from.
    http://www.youngs-garden.com/sempervivum-hens-chicks/

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  22. Thanks for this post, I love succulents and I have tried to grow them the last few years without success. I will have to try it this way.

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  23. Great idea! I've been thinking about making a succulent framed thingymajig (that is the technical term), but I really like this idea too!! Great job.

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  24. I love succulents, and your terrariums look fantastic!
    How fun!

    xo-Lisa

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  25. Love this! Simple and gorgeous. My sister in law's wedding (next week!) will feature succulents. I should make a terrarium for her as a post-wedding gift. Thanks for the idea!

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  26. Ha! I made a terrarium this weekend as well, although mine's for a kid's party project. Your's is lovely.

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  27. If you know anyone with succulent plants, you can cut pieces off to make your terrarium. My grandma gave me a little piece of one of hers a few years ago and we planted it outside. It's now up to my knees. My point is you can get them for free and they will grow :-) I now want to try my own terrarium to bring color and life inside. Love the idea!

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  28. Your apothecary jars are really pretty I'm relieved you leave the lids off much of the time---you're right, succulents do need dryness. In a closed, humid environment, they can easily rot. The finer a succulent's leaves, the more the plant will tolerate excess moisture, which makes sense, because fat-leaved succulents are full of moisture. As you might imagine, one type of succulent that truly isn't suited to terrarium life is cactus.

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  29. So glad you posted this! I have a coupon to a local garden center....and this is what I wanted to do! Love the interest and compactness for indoor plants...they look awesome! I am going to try more rocks/sand, less soil, so I'll let you know if I have as much luck as you did.
    laura

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  30. So glad you posted this! I have a coupon to a local garden center....and this is what I wanted to do! Love the interest and compactness for indoor plants...they look awesome! I am going to try more rocks/sand, less soil, so I'll let you know if I have as much luck as you did.
    laura

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  31. Love this...I have plants around my house and love how they make our rooms feel...succulents are great. I haven't done a terrarium yet, but looking at yours makes me want to run out and grab some supplies and plants :)

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  32. Love these- what a great idea! Do you know how much sunlight these need? I would love to do one, but don't have a sunny spot.

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  33. My son's preschool class made these as Mother's Day gifts. When he handed it to me, I blurted to the mom next to me, "Thrifty Decor Chick JUST posted about these!" I felt ridiculous, of course, but there it is!

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  34. Thanks for the post! However, I do have one question: how do the succulents survive with the closed lid? It seems like it would help increase the risk of root rot and/or dampening off for seedlings...

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  35. I LOVE succulents, and this is the perfect way to display many varieties in a small space. The Mason jar is my favorite. I've found this weekend's project!

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  36. I've made succulent gardens out of many different things, but never thought of the Mason Jar. I've got some Mason Jars from the early 1900s and didn't know what to do with them. Thanks for the idea.

    Here's what I've done: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7732999267775341668#editor/target=post;postID=2414287692008208132

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