Terrariums are a great way to give your garden an elegant look. But if you are planting succulents in these containers, there are a couple of things you should know so that your plant doesn’t die a sorry death in that beautiful glass container.
- 1 How Much Sun Does a Succulent Terrarium Need?
- 2 How to Water Succulents in a Terrarium
- 3 Common Mistakes in Caring for a Succulent Terrarium
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Sun Does a Succulent Terrarium Need?
When we think of caring for plants, light and water are the two things that first come to mind. When it comes to taking care of a succulent terrarium, here’s what you need to know.
Direct light can be good but if it is red hot sunlight or too much, it is capable of scorching the plant. This is especially true for plants that are still babies and you will know that’s happening by the burn marks that will spottily form on the plant. This means that they are drying from the outside.
How to Take Care of a Terrarium
This could also happen from the refraction of light through the glass of the terrarium. So, you might want to make sure that the case is placed right. That is why it is often recommended that the lid of the terrarium be removed.
Luckily, burnt leaves on succulents can be replaced as new ones grow. Just make sure you get them out of the burning sun. If you don’t have too much space, you can try putting a grocery bag or a paper towel on the plant during the hotter hours of the day while making sure there is enough airflow. Don’t suffocate the plant. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended that succulents be planted in open terrariums.
Indirect light is another great option for succulents in a terrarium. So, try to place the plant near a window in a bright room. If you are going for artificial lights, pick LED bulbs over incandescent ones. CFL bulbs can also get the job done.
Without good lighting and airflow, succulent terrariums don’t have a good chance of survival. You will know this if your plant is growing long, thin stems and the leaves are discolored.
How to Water Succulents in a Terrarium
This is an interesting one to tackle especially with succulents because they need well-draining soil. So, if you place them in a terrarium, here’s what you need to know. They can survive in a terrarium which does not have holes but if you get one with holes, as you ideally should, you must add a layer of stones so that the water is easily drained from the plant.
If you have a glass terrarium, you can get hydrostones that look pretty and are very functional too. The regular succulent rules apply very much to these too. So, make sure the water doesn’t collect at the bottom of the plant because that way the roots are likely to rot. Part of that process includes getting the right kind of soil. You need well-draining soil over those stones so that the excess water slips out nice and easy.
Then there is also the location which decides how much water should be given to the plant. If you have placed them such that they are getting the right amount of sunlight, watering them once every 3-4 days should be good enough. But you will have to adjust it a bit depending on the weather around you—depending on whether it’s too dry or too humid.
You will also need to make a decision based on whether your plants are inside the house or outside. When you first get the plant, you might need to do a little trial-and-error to figure out the watering schedule. This is important because succulents are known to die from overwatering. So, a little less is still better than excess.
To avoid such tragedies, a lot of people start off with a spray bottle. If you live in a region with a dry climate and your succulent is in a large terrarium, you can try a spray bottle. But make sure it is more than a little spritz because that is not enough.
That’s why watering cans are a better idea for dry climates. In fact, if you’re in a humid region, the leaves might get enough from the air but the soil must be wet and the roots must get some water too. But make the decision based on the trial-and-error results. This brings us to the possible mistakes you can make while caring for a succulent in a terrarium.
Common Mistakes in Caring for a Succulent Terrarium
- If you just mist the plants instead of watering them because succulents don’t need too much water, you might think you are saving them from overwatering but depending on your climate, that might be a horrible mistake. You can mist the leaves that like the extra humidity and it looks cool but that doesn’t always work for succulents in a terrarium.
- Closed terrariums are also a bad idea if they are going to be housing succulents. This also increases the risk of overwatering because the moisture just collects at the bottom. Instead, get one with holes and add some stones at the bottom. While you’re at it, remember not to add stones to a terrarium without holes just because it is made of glass and the stones look cool. That is a recipe for disaster.
- You also don’t want to plant too many succulents together because the arrangement works for the terrarium. Now, succulents are better than other plants at this but make no mistake, there will be trouble with water- and resource sharing if there’s too many of them bunched up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Succulent Terrariums Need Sand?
Yes, they still need well-drained sand and the terrarium needs to have holes so that the water can drain out easily.
Why Are My Succulents Dying in My Terrarium?
There could be a few reasons. They might be getting too much water or sun. Check the leaves for sunburns. And if you’re not giving them a lot of water, make sure the terrarium has holes and that the water is not rotting the roots.
How Long Do Succulent Terrariums Last?
This really depends on a lot of factors like how long that specific plant is meant to last, how you are caring for it vis-a-vis the weather in your region. They live for as long as they are expected to outside a terrarium.
Can You Put a Succulent In a Closed Terrarium?
You can but you really shouldn’t because succulents need excess water to drain out of the soil. So, they need holes at the bottom of the terrarium. They also don’t do very well with a closed lid because it doesn’t allow for proper airflow.
Do Succulents Do Well in Terrariums?
They do, if you get the right kind of terrarium and take good care.
Do You Need Activated Charcoal for Succulent Terrarium?
You don’t really unless you are using a sealed container. Activated charcoal is typically used to keep microorganisms out of the water.
You will have to make a few changes when it comes to caring for a succulent if you place it in a terrarium. But most of the fundamental rules apply. So, a little bit of research and instinct and you should be fine. And that’s how to care for succulent terrariums.