February 27, 2013

Terrariums and Succulents

Planting Succulents via Tried & Twisted

This weather is a terrible tease. The other day, I swear I felt a warm breeze; then I actually saw the sun when I woke up in the morning. My hopes were raised! But then it rained, and the cold gray skies of winter returned.

That silly Punxsutawney Phil promised an early spring and yet the gray days and bitter cold just drag on.
I suppose it serves us right for taking our weather reports from a rodent, but it's still a fun tradition*-- even if it is a bit inaccurate. 

With the sun peaking above the horizon when I get home from work, my green thumb has been itching to get started with the garden outside. Since it is still too cold for that, I looked around inside the house for some dirt to set my fingers into.

Behold--my terrarium!
He's seen better days: What happens to succulents without light

It's in sad shape, isn't it? My terrarium was a gift from my fella over a year ago, and the plants thrived for a while...until I took it into work. Locked within the dark windowless cubicle environment with nothing but UV light to keep it company, each plant withered, cringed, and gave up the ghost. All except for this last plant. See how he tries so desperately to reach a light source? What a trooper.

So for a quick afternoon project, I gave my terrarium a face-lift with fresh dirt, new succulents, and a brand new spot by the window. In 5 minutes and for about $10, I brought a little color into the house and added a touch of natural decoration to the place. Care to see how it was done?
When planning a terrarium, a lot of the details are up to your own creativity. Almost any glass container can be made into a terrarium. Then there is a wide variety of plants to choose from: moss, ferns, cactus, or whatever petite plant you can find. Personally, I adore the soft, sophisticated colors and dramatic shapes and textures available in the succulent family. Just look at my new green succulents -- don't they just look like green gummy bears?

Most individual succulents can be bought for about $2 - 4. Buy enough plants to fit in your container, depending on its width and depth.

Start by layering the terrarium with pebbles on the bottom for water drainage, charcoal in the middle for humidity control, and soil on the top. If you're planting cactus, consider using a layer of sand instead of soil.

If replanting an old terrarium, like I am, then take the opportunity to clean out any dead leaves and debris. Check for any mold. If there is mold, you should remove dirt and start from scratch. Wipe down the glass outside and inside while the jar is empty for easier cleaning.

Planting Succulents with Tried & Twisted

Use a spoon to dig deep little holes about the size of each individual succulent. Remove the succulent from package and plant. You'll probably need to get your hands dirty to settle the plant into the ground and cover the roots.

If your jar has a curve or lip, you may want to start planting from the outside wall and work your way to the center when planting multiple succulents so you can easily dig without knocking over the plants that were already planted.

Add rocks, sea shells, action figures, or other decorations for extra charm in your terrarium.

Planting Succulents with Tried & Twisted

Instant green! My apartment now has a touch of color and life, and the succulents can live a long time with very little maintenance. Succulents require sunlight and watering once a week (mist spray is best), whenever the ground is dry. A closed terrarium will require even less watering.

Planting Succulents with Tried & Twisted

Rating: 1 out of 5. This is as simple as playing in the dirt!

Thanks for stopping by! How do you beat the winter grays? I'd love to hear about any terrariums or house plants you've started.

*For a fun reading assignment, check out Classy Local for a story of Andrea Lazarus' first-hand experience with the legendary groundhog celebration.

Linking at: 
Create & Share at Trendy Treehouse , We Did It Wednesday at Sew Much Ado, Summer Spruce-Up Planter Link Party,


  1. Pretty! I really ought to do this, get a little practice with some easier plants.
    Soon enough we can go outside and dig in the real dirt!

    1. I'm so excited that it's actually warm enough to go outside today! Soon...very soon!

  2. I so want to try a terrarium! I just have so many other things to do as well!

    Jenna @ http://rainonatinroof.com

    1. I know the feeling! I have too many projects planned and never enough time. But a terrarium is one of the few projects that is nice and quick. I'd love to see how yours turns out if you have the time!


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