Succulents — plants with thick, fleshy foliage and stems that store water — are by far the most common plants seen in terrariums. This makes a lot of sense, because succulents are typically comfortable not receiving too much water, and don’t need much root space to thrive, making them perfect for small enclosures. Plus, many species stay small and compact, allowing them to live for years in a terrarium without transplanting.
Here’s how to care for this type of terrarium
- Light: Save for some lower-light tolerant species like Haworthia and Gasteria, most succulents prefer bright, if not direct, light. Place your succulent terrarium in a very bright spot, keeping in mind that glass tends to magnify direct sun, and can potentially burn your plants.
- Water: Succulents are drought tolerant plants, and are highly susceptible to root-rot. Combined with the fact that terrariums do not have drainage holes, you’ll want to water your succulent terrarium very sparingly, when the soil has gone almost completely dry. Water sparingly around the base of each plant using a watering can or a spray bottle. Most succulents will tell you when it’s time to water by puckering slightly in their leaves. This is a great indicator for when it’s time to water your terrarium
- Troubleshooting: Shriveled leaves? Time to water. Mushy, brown or black leaves? You’re watering too much. Remove these plants and replace with comparable specimens, taking care not to water quite as much. Reduce watering during winter.