Thursday, January 31, 2013


As I am sure that you have noticed before, I love succulents.
They are beautiful and hard to kill.

A while back I made a terrarium for myself, and another for my neighbor.
Many of you responded to the images with a desire to know HOW???

So here it is.
Day 12: DIY Terrarium

The wonderful thing about making your own terrarium 
is that you can really be as creative as you want.
You can use any kind of vessel.
You can choose all sorts of different gravel.
And the choices of plants are essentially endless.

Step 1:

You will need:
Cactus soil
a container (I used a large glass jar)
gravel (I recommend hitting up petsmart or an aquarium store for better choices)
a variety of succulents, air plants, or cacti
1 chopstick
stones or figures (optional)

How to choose your plants:

There are really no rules here, but let me educate you a bit.
There are slight differences in the care of some of these plants,
especially between air plants and succulents.
(most succulents and cacti like the same conditions)
When choosing your plants you want to look for ones
 that not only coordinate in color, but also in care.
Looking for ones that like the same living conditions is key since they will 
essentially be living in their own mini ecosystem.

You also want to look for balance.
You need enough width and enough height so that your jar doesn't look empty.
I generally like to cover 3 zones.
1. plants that cover the base and won't grow taller, but wider.
2. medium heigh plants that are fuller that take up volume.
3. tall and thin plants for height.

You don't need to fill your jar with plants for it to look beautiful either,
sometimes less is more.
A little tip about how many...
Odd numbers are always more pleasing to the eye.
So instead of 4 plants, go with 3 or 5.

I have recently fallen in love with air plants, and found a great retailer on etsy.
Twisted Acres was so helpful in teaching me the ways of air plants.
They gave me great tips to keep my plants looking spectacular.
The customer service was second to none, and the plants came delivered in the mail so quickly.
Definitely check out their etsy shop!

Step 2:

First you must put a bottom layer of gravel on the bottom of your jar.
Succulents DO NOT like their roots to be wet and will rot if they sit in water.
Next, you will need to add enough soiled to cover 
all of your succulent and cacti's root systems.

Arrange your plants with enough space for them to grow.
Add more soil to cover the root systems and stabilize your plants.
Remember DO NOT plant your air plants in the soil.

Step 3:

Once everything is exactly where you want it,
add the top layer of gravel.
This is where I use a chopstick to help guide those pesky little stones into place.
Add your air plants into your arrangement right on top of the gravel.
Also this is a great time to add larger stones or other figurines.
I love the way that raw crystals look in terrariums.

Step 4:

Simply find the perfect place, 
making sure that your plants get just the right amount of sun.
It is so humid where I live that I rarely have to water these terrariums, 
they provide themselves with enough condensation to survive.
I sometimes remove the lid so that they can get fresh air 
and not build up too much moisture.

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