How to Create a Stunning Succulent Terrarium

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Video diy terrarium with succulents

Succulent terrariums have become all the rage lately, and I completely understand why. These adorable little plants are not only easy to care for but also make for stunning decorative pieces. I personally have a soft spot for succulents and find them incredibly fun to collect and grow.

One of my nieces recently came across a photo of a succulent terrarium and instantly fell in love with the idea of having one in her own room. She was particularly drawn to the clear glass bubble bowl that beautifully showcased the layers of soil and gravel. Intrigued by her enthusiasm, I decided to help her create her very own succulent terrarium.

Gathering Supplies

First things first, we headed to a craft store to purchase the clear glass bubble bowls. These bowls resemble round fish bowls and are perfect for creating terrariums. Next, we made a quick stop at a big box hardware store to pick up various succulent plants, pea gravel, and a bag of potting mix specifically designed for cacti and succulents.

Addressing Drainage Concerns

One challenge with planting succulents in a glass terrarium is the potential issue of drainage. Succulents do not tolerate overly wet roots, so we needed to devise a solution. To overcome this obstacle, we decided to create drainage by adding a layer of pea gravel at the bottom of the glass terrarium. This way, any excess water would have a place to go, preventing the roots from becoming waterlogged.

Planting the Terrarium

One of the advantages of using a clear glass terrarium is the ability to observe what’s happening beneath the surface. This visual aspect allows us to determine when and how much to water the succulents. My niece chose a large 12-inch bubble bowl, allowing her to accommodate a variety of succulent types and sizes. I, on the other hand, opted for a smaller 4-inch bubble bowl that required only a few small succulents.

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We carefully selected a mix of tall and short succulents, with one specific succulent serving as the focal point. It’s essential to choose plants that complement the size and shape of your terrarium, so we recommend bringing the container with you when purchasing the plants.

Planting Steps

Here’s a step-by-step guide to planting your own succulent terrarium in a clear glass bowl:

Supplies Needed:

  • Clear glass bubble bowl
  • Succulents
  • Pea Gravel (aquarium rocks can also be used)
  • Potting Mix (specifically formulated for succulents)


  1. Fill the bottom 2-3 inches of the bowl with a layer of pea gravel to ensure proper drainage.
  2. Add a layer of potting mix, making sure it covers the gravel and is at least 1-2 inches deep.
    • Feel free to experiment with the amounts of gravel and potting mix based on how you want your terrarium to look from the outside. Alternating thin layers of gravel and soil can create a visually appealing effect.
  3. Gently remove the succulent plants from their pots and place them in the topsoil layer of the terrarium. Arrange them according to your preference.
  4. Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, sprinkle a thin layer of pea gravel on top.
  5. Water the terrarium using a watering can with a narrow spout, directing the water onto the gravel and soil rather than the foliage of the plants. Be careful not to overwater.

Care Tips and Enjoyment

With proper care, succulent terrariums can bring joy and beauty to your space for a long time. Make sure to read up on essential tips for succulent care to ensure their well-being. If you’ve created your own terrarium or have any succulent care tips, we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

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If you’re passionate about plant crafts, I invite you to check out my Pottery Barn inspired Live Air Plant Terrariums. And if you can’t get enough of succulents, you’ll be thrilled to learn how to make these DIY upcycled can planters. Let your creativity bloom!