Add a charming dose of greenery to any space with an open-air terrarium. A terrarium is an excellent way to enjoy the aesthetic benefits of indoor plants in a low maintenance way; they require little upkeep, occasional watering, and only small amounts of sunlight. Enjoy our step-by-step guide to verdant décor below!

woman holding terrarium

What You'll Need

  • clear glass container
  • gravel
  • potting soil
  • fine white sand
  • a variety of succulents and cacti
  • small scoop
  • gardening gloves (optional)
terrarium with soil, succulents, and moss


Step #1: Bottom Layer

Begin by placing 2 inches of gravel or small pebbles at the base of the glass vessel. This allows for adequate water drainage for the plants.

Step #2: Soil Time

Add 3-4 inches of potting soil on top of the gravel.

Step #3: Perfect Plants

Depending on the size of your glass container, choose a few different succulents or cacti for the terrarium. We recommend using odd numbered plants, like groupings of 3 or 5. It's best to choose diverse types for the most visual appeal. We like one tall plant, one low one for ground cover, and a focal point that pops with a unique shape or bright color. Plant from biggest to smallest for best results, leaving at least an inch between plants.

Step #4: Top Tier

For the finishing coat, scoop white sand and sprinkle throughout terrarium, about 1/4 inch level is ideal.

Step #5: Fantastic Flair

It's fun to add some decorative elements, like tiny dinosaur statues, ceramic mini mushrooms, polished stones, or moss. Mix and match or change it up for a new look. For maintenance, water about once every two weeks.

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