Terrarium (Take Two)

On Friday I stopped by the garden shop to find some citrus fertilizer for my sick looking Meyer lemon tree, and I got sidetracked by shelf after shelf of the sweetest little succulents. I didn’t have an empty planter for them though, so I left them all sitting there waiting for a home. So sad!


On Saturday we left the West Elm + Etsy event (photos to come) with the terrarium I’ve been crushing on, and I hurried back to the garden shop to adopt some cutie patootie succulents. This will be my last terrarium post for a while, I promise. I don’t have room for more!

west elm terrarium


    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yes! Just a layer of rocks, a thin layer of activated charcoal (from the pet store—it helps prevent rotting), a layer of soil, and plants!

  1. dana

    I wish we were neighbors so I could help you out by taking some of those extra terrariums off your hands! So great!

  2. Lauren J @ The Barn

    I am new to terrarium’s, how long do the plant typically live? I have a black thumb but I was thinking this might be a more fool-proof way to add some green into our house that I might not kill within a week :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I don’t know how long they’re supposed to live, but my plants usually survive until I either forget to water for too long or over water them. The succulent terrarium I planted in February is looking good and the plants are growing. I just water it a little bit once a week.

  3. Dana

    So do these babies stay small? All of our plants either die because I forget to water them (oops) or get super big and we have nowhere to put them. But if I can find a variety that doesn’t need much watering AND stays small … That would solve all of my (plant-related) problems! :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I’m not sure how big they’ll get. The succulents I’ve had in the past have been very slow growers, and I figure if they get too big I can just trim them down a bit.

  4. Kirstin

    All these questions about succulents, but I’m wondering about your little Meyer Lemon tree — did you find some good fertilizer?

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Haha, thanks for worrying about my little tree! :) I couldn’t find any citrus fertilizer locally, so I ordered some citrus fertilizing stakes on amazon.com. Hopefully they will do the trick!

  5. Talia

    This totally inspired me, so over the weekend I made a cute litle terrarium (out of a big jar meant for the kitchen!) with succulents and cacti! It looks fabulous, so thanks for the inspiration!

    I think I may do another with just succlents, they are far too adorable to refuse!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Sure, the terrarium I got from West Elm (the link is above in the post). To plant the terrarium I put an inch or two of river rocks at the bottom for drainage (purchased at Lowes), then on top of that sprinkle a handful of activated charcoal to help with filtration (available at pet stores in the aquarium section). Then I put several inches of succulent/cactus soil (from Lowes) and planted my succulents (from Lowes). That’s it! :) I water it with a turkey baster a little bit each week.

  6. Shannon

    This is awesome! Beautifully done! Can you use any glass container to create one? Also where did you get the unique hanging one?

  7. Marisa

    If you are new to terrariums, please be aware that succulents and cacti are one of the worst choices for contained plants. They are dry climate plants that retain moisture, so they don’t require moisture in the air (which is the whole point of a terrarium). Succulents also require high amounts of sun, but putting terrariums in light increases the humidity and magnifies the effects of the sun’s rays, effectively baking the plants inside. Good terrarium plants are low light and moisture-loving, like ferns, peperomia, polka dot plant, nerve plant, and mosses. Please save your succulents (and yourself from the heartbreak) and plant them in open air pots instead!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I’ve had the succulent terrarium pictured above for over a year now, and it is still going strong. You should see the aloe—it’s growing up out of the terrarium now! In my experience succulents work great for open terrariums if you keep them in indirect light and make sure not to water them very much.

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