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DIY Succulent Terrariums

Yes, yes, yes.  There are endless posts already written + photographed about DIY succulent terrariums.  But I really don’t care.  Because I had fun doing it, so I’m going to write yet ANOTHER post on DIY succulent terrariums.  So there.




We miraculously had a couple of sunny days in Vancouver over the weekend, so I took advantage of the weather to finally get my succulent nursery into some proper homes.  Jeff bought me a grip load of succulents whist I was away in Los Angeles + when I came home I kinda freaked out.

When Jeff gets his mind set on a certain theme, he goes crazy with it.  One month it was Harris Tweed blazers.  Another month it was 70’s pottery.  It came from a very sweet place because he knew I was going to miss Los Angeles + the succulents would remind me of home, but yo I got succulents comin’ outta my ears!!!

















This picture is only showcasing HALF of the succulents he bought for me, people.

First, I poured in a layer of decorative rocks for drainage.  Might I add that finding decorative rocks in Vancouver was VERY difficult!!!  I wasn’t too crazy about these pink hued rocks, but beggars can’t be choosers!

Next, comes a relatively shallow layer of succulent specific soil.  This is when I placed the succulents into a pattern that I was delighted with + continued to fill in the gaps with more soil.


















How do you wrangle that one specifically prickly beast of a cactus, you ask?  Well, heck!!!  I’ll tell ya!  Take some newspaper, keep folding it into a thick rectangle of armor + wrap it around the base of the cactus to grip it.

















You may laugh haughtily, “Ha HA!!!!  I have CONQUERED you, you potentially hurtful brute of the plant kingdom!!!”.  Or you may not.

*DISCLAIMER*  The photos in this post majorly suck.  I know it.  I’m well aware.  I’m blaming it on my sucky point + shoot camera that I am increasingly starting to resent.  You’ll see the difference in the latter part of the post when I bust out my special camera.

After the soil is poured in, press it down a little to give the cacti some stability.  I was trying to figure a way to tamp down the soil around the prickly cacti + thought to myself, “I need a tool”.









A-HAH!!!!  I used the handle from my scissors to work their way around + press down the soil.


















Finally, pour in a generous amount of decorative rocks over the soil to make it look real nice an’ purty.


















This time, I used the tip of my scissors to skoot the rocks around the diabolical, cacti with piercing needles.

















Skoot!  Skoot!!!!

Finished products!!!  Note: these pictures were taken with my fancy shmancy Canon DSLR that my pops gave me as a hand-me-down.  Thanks, pops!


















Can you tell the difference?

Mmmmmm, succulents.  Dreamy.



Now only 12 more left to plant!!!  Thanks for enduring my post on succulent terrariums!!!

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love succulents! They’re the only two plants I have – the only two I’ve never killed. 😛

    November 14, 2012
    • I’m finding that having finicky indoor plants in Canada is really difficult due to the crazy changes in weather? Don’t you think?

      November 14, 2012
      • I do not have a green thumb at all – I mostly just ignore them until I realize I’ve ignored them, and then I water them a lot all at once to make up for it, and then go back to ignoring them. Then I found out by accident that’s the way succulents like it – because they’re used to a rainy season followed by a dry season. I keep a warm house any time of year, so I don’t think the cold Calgary winters bother them much!

        November 14, 2012
      • Oh my word! You are the PERFECT succulent candidate!!!!

        November 14, 2012
  2. Deb Fayle #

    Thank you for that little DIY succulent terrarium info because as it turns out I too, have 6 little cacti that need to find a happy bed!! It was my project this weekend and I was going to ask my local resident expert on succulents what to do – so thank you Shelli!!

    November 14, 2012
  3. rocky nishino #

    Hi Shelli,

    You did such a beautiful job planting all those succulents. They are so pretty. Only way you could kill those plants are by over water it . They need water but give them a very little. I think it is good idea to put those terrariums by the window. They do not like too much heat and too much sun. I hate to tell you those plants need a lot of loving care.
    Good job, Shelli

    Love you,

    Mommy hiroko

    November 14, 2012
    • Good advice, Mom!!! It’s true, people think that succulents are easy, but they do need some degree of baby-sitting!!!

      November 14, 2012
  4. kenny daddO/Papi nishino #

    ALOHA, Nan, U & Jeff’San, do’in sum major decorating
    and fix’in, AWsuM,…ur succulents do look HOT HOT !!!!!
    yup, wut a difference a camera makes 4 a fine picture!!!!!
    cheers, Mahalo, can’t wait 2 visit Hong’Couver, SOON !!!!!

    November 16, 2012
    • Thanks for the camera, dad!!! I’m still learning….

      November 16, 2012
  5. My mom had a very green thumb, me, not so much. I tried a cactus once because I pretty much killed all my other plants, and yes, cacti need care because I forgot all about it, and it died just as all my previous attempts at horticulture did. 😦

    November 16, 2012
    • Awwww. Little succulents need attention too!!! Even if it’s a little misting with water from a sprayer every once in a while, it’ll help sustain them!

      November 17, 2012
  6. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say
    superb blog!

    March 9, 2013
    • Haha! Yeah sometimes WordPress is tricksy like that! Thanks so much! I’m glad you stopped by!

      March 12, 2013
  7. Mike Schultz Paintings #

    I love these! This is exactly what I need to do– you’ve just brought the desert with you! There is something really special about succulents and cactus plants…

    March 19, 2013
  8. I’m so glad you posted this!! Making my own terrarium has been on my list for two years. I really have to get on it.

    March 20, 2013
    • Oooh great!!! Good luck with that! I love my happy little cacti in rainy Vancouver! Gives me a sense of home!

      March 21, 2013

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