Quick and Easy DIY Succulent Terrarium for Under $10

I went to a MeetUp event at the Yorba Linda Public Library to create a small terrarium and, afterward, I liked the look so much that I wanted to make a larger version with a vase that I have. The library had us make terrariums in fancy water glasses and provided us with all the supplies and instructions.  Here’s what I made at the library:


It’s very cute.

The supplies for this project at the very minimum are: a glass container, rocks, activated carbon/charcoal, dirt, and a succulent. Optional are sand, moss, and other decorations.

As I said, I had a vase that seemed perfect for this leftover from when I got live tulips at Costco.  The base is wide so that it holds the tulip bulbs. I went to Walmart for the activated carbon and the rocks.  The carbon is located in the aquarium supplies section.  That’s because it’s water filter media.  The addition of the carbon to the terrarium is supposed to keep the water clean. I don’t know if this is true or necessary, but it’s what they had us do at the library so I decided to go ahead and buy some.  it was the most expensive part of this project.  I think it was about seven dollars.  The rocks I found in the aquarium section and the silk flowers section. I learned from my wine glass terrarium that you don’t end up seeing the rocks at the bottom, so I got black for that section.  I got nicer looking rocks to decorate the top.  I think both packages of rocks were around a dollar each.  The succulent I got from the Fullerton Arboretum.  It was big, healthy, and only $4.50.  It did have ants in the dirt so that was annoying, but I treated the whole plant with a spray of water and diluted vinegar to get rid of any bugs.  Here’s a photo of all the supplies:



Step 1: Line the bottom of your glass container with sand (optional) and then rocks. The rocks provide drainage for your succulent so that it doesn’t get too wet. The sand, I was told, is just for decoration. I lined the bottom and the sides of my vase with black rocks which left more space in the center for the activated carbon.

Step 2: Add the activated carbon.  I did about 1/4 cup for my vase.


Step 3: Add plant and dirt. I used some wood chopsticks to move my dirt around as I discovered putting my hand in the vase with the plant ripped off the beautiful leaves. Be more careful than me if you want a nice looking plant!! You can see all the leaves that tore off just from barely touching the plant in the photo below.


Step 4: Add decorations.  I like the look of moss, but it was like four bucks so I just decided on these nice rocks.  I poured them in and then used the chopsticks to spread them around the vase evenly without damaging more leaves.


Step 5: Just add enough water to wet the dirt.  Remember that succulents do not require much watering. Place in a sunny location and enjoy!


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