Why You Shouldn’t Make a Succulent Terrarium

Why You Shouldn’t Make a Succulent Terrarium

The idea of a succulent terrarium sounds great, but the reality is that terrariums are generally not a good home for succulents. A succulent terrarium is when you put rocks or moss on top of dirt in an either open or closed glass container and then place the succulents in it. The problem with this type of planting is that the soil cannot properly drain out water because it is enclosed in a glass container with no drainage holes. This means the roots will likely rot and die, which makes this type of planting very difficult to maintain. If you want to create a beautiful indoor garden at home then we recommend getting some pots and planting them in those instead. Here’s why you shouldn’t make a succulent terrarium:

  1. Succulents are just not made for humid or wet environments. They come from arid environments that are dry and experience periods of drought, not tropical rainforests like your usual houseplant. Succulents are not the best choice for terrarium plants because they won’t tolerate high humidity and constantly wet soil. Please plant them in the ground or in succulent pots with drainage holes! Instead, opt for an air plant terrarium, which is a much better pick, due to longevity and lower maintenance of air plants.
  2. There is too much risk of pests and plant disease in the closed environment of a terrarium. Root rot, browning of leaves, fungi, and fungus gnats... yes, there can be lots of issues relating to longevity of your succulents. 
  3. It's hard to maintain proper succulent care especially accounting for light and water requirements. Most succulents are not meant to be in shaded indoor areas, so placement of the terrarium matters. Excess heat can be an issue for terrariums placed in the sun.
  4. The container being closed around the sides means there won't be room for the succulents to expand out with new growth like you would find with potted succulents which would have new pups growing and even hanging down the sides of the pot.
  5. Repotting succulents in a terrarium is a pain because if you want to change out the soil you have to take everything out and the glass gets dirty around. When you use tillandsia/air plants in terrariums instead of succulents, there's no need for soil at all!
  6. Succulents in terrariums likely also won’t grow properly and you’ll often find that they will grow tall and leggy instead of expanding across the surface of the terrarium. This etiolation is due to lack of light, which is difficult to resolve when using terrariums.

Succulents can be a great choice for your living space if you plant them in the right places. They're beautiful and don't require much water to thrive so keep them in pots where they’re allowed to grow out. There’s been a growing trend in succulent terrariums and it might seem like the perfect idea to make your own succulent terrarium so that you can enjoy your succulents year-round... but when you’ve done your research on succulent terrariums, you’ll be shocked by how many people have tried them and realised they shouldn't be made with live plants because of their high risk of dying. So if you love succulents but want to keep them the best and low maintenance way, then plant them normally in pots. The same kinda goes for indoor plant terrariums, but they are much easier than succulents to maintain.

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