Terrariums are typically defined as an enclosed, glass planter within which you can place your choice of vegetation to grow and flourish with very little care from you. The definition has expanded somewhat to be applied to more open, glass or other delicate looking planters in which you can place easy to grow plants, such as succulents and air plants. Succulents and air plants store their own water, are of a slow-growth habit, and some in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures- making them an ideal choice for terrariums.
The following succulent terrarium ideas showcase the many types of planters and planting design ideas you can use to create your very own low maintenance indoor garden, or to give one as a gift. Create multiple plantings to place together, or simply hang a single drop of vegetation from a sunny window- the choice is all yours!
You own little zen garden is transformed by carefully placed greenery amongst decorative rock and carefully raked the sand. Fun, whimsical highlights – such as this smiling meditating statue- help influence your own relaxed, happy state.
Terrariums can come in all shapes and sizes, and straight lines and acute angles of cubical containers add an artistic touch to your plantings. Allow your succulents to defy gravity as they grow up sloping sides, all while mixing and matching various choices for texture and hue variations.
You don’t have to have a large variety of plants in your display. Sometimes one simple choice is the perfect accent to your indoor garden. The great thing about succulents is that they can make their home in a wide variety of sun straights and easy to water.
Succulents are popularly grown in arid conditions since they retain their own water source. Using them in decorative planters created your own tabletop desertscape that requires very little in the way of maintenance and brings an unexpected pop of color and texture to your home.
Upcycle an Old Fishbowl
Old fish bowls make the perfect tabletop terrarium and are fun to layer with various soil and rock textures before placing your plantings inside. They also provide a view of your creation from all sides- making them a perfect conversation piece.
Pebbles, rocks, soils, wood, even colorfully dyed materials can all be carefully placed in your choice of terrarium for added interest. Choose those that compliment your choice of plants, or even make it into a fun project your kids can do for gift giving!
No need to be limited by the size of your terrarium choice. Succulents are slow growing plants, with many that don’t really grow at all. Allow your plants to drape over the edges or creep along the rims of your container for a more natural look.
Mix and Match
Since succulents do amazingly well in arid climates, they also compliment cacti quiet well. Mix and match your plants for pops of color and variances in texture for an unexpected and cheerful view of your plantings. Just be sure not to prick a finger!
With many different textures available for your terrarium, don’t just limit yourself to one type of plant. Choose those that have complimentary hues to one another, as well as drastic texture differences, to make your planter unique and all your own.
Although circularly shaped bowls are popular for these types of plantings, the flat surfaces and angled edges of a more cubic design can create some interesting visions. This squared off terrarium looks as if it is entertaining quite the balancing act, bringing even more interest to your tabletop.
Teardrop shaped glass planters allow you to use them in various ways. Place them singly or in clusters on a tabletop, or hang them like little drops of another world from windows and shelving. Available in many sizes, these bring interest to whatever space you place them in.
Little hanging globes are like gazing into miniature worlds complete with tiny ecosystems. Mix and match your substrates and plantings to provide variances in interest, color, and texture. Different sized globes also work wonderfully well together to compliment your creations.
Shallow bowls highlight your planting material just as much as your plant. They also are the perfect choice for a more upright plant that reaches beyond the boundary of their container to add even further interest to your space.
Cluster of Greenery
The great thing about terrarium is that there such huge variations of shapes and sizes of containers you can use. Plus they easily mix and match together for your own little indoor garden that you can place and hang just about anywhere due to the easy care of a succulent plant.
The large variation of succulent options allows you to have fun when picking and choosing which plants you want to place together. You also can allow for various sizes due to their slow growth as long as you are aware that eventually, you may need to do a little transplanting.
A terrarium doesn’t have to be all-encompassing. Rather it can be a shallow bowl that you fill simply, or overflowing with the greenery you want to showcase. Shallow bowls are also wonderful opportunities to showcase taller succulents and provide them room to go up, rather than out.
If you have space, try finding an old seedling starting the cold frame and transform it into your own personal greenhouse inspired indoor garden. These pieces are electric and timeless in nature and can work in any decor to brighten up a dreary corner or as use as a centerpiece.
The flat surfaces and corners of geometrically inspired planters are perfect for modern and contemporary settings or even serve as an unexpected conversation piece in more rustic decor. Don’t pass up your options just because they aren’t what you normally lean towards.
The triangular opening of this planter allows you a peek into the top for carefully balanced texture and color choices. Choose your succulents to stand out from one another based on leafy textures and bright colors for added interest.
Fun planter shapes are what you should strive for to showcase your succulents in a unique, whimsical way. This house shaped planter is perfect for allowing a glimpse into your substrate layering and allows you the surface area for even more creativity.
The fun thing about succulents is how they mimic in shape and texture many larger types of plants. This miniature desert looks as if you could have just walked out into a backyard in a xeriscaped landscape somewhere in the Southwest!
Reminisce about your paradise vacation with a miniature version of a tropical greenery escape. Mosses, air-plants, and leafy greens pair well with fun souvenirs and colorful pebbles. This is an excellent way to remember your holidays and enjoy the greenery of plants indoors year round.
Don’t toss the many jars your groceries come in. Rather use them to create a variety of small terrariums that are perfect for succulent plantings. These are a great way to add variety to your little gardens and also help with the environment!
Cactus are often forgotten as part of the succulent family, but no fear! They are true succulents and if you can carefully handle them make wonderful additions to your succulent gardens! Everything from soft prickly needles to sharp thorns provides added interest and texture to your plantings.
If you choose glass containers with large bases then you can layer your planting materials with colorful rocks, create designs, include sand, or even pops of color through the use of aquarium gravel or other items you may have.
Terrarium and succulent planters don’t have to be glass based. Terracotta is a fantastic potting choice as it holds cool moisture and provides a richly hued setting for your choice of plants. Natural clay terracotta is also a perfect choice for the more desert-like influence succulents represent.
Cubic planters look as if they are in an intricate balancing act and are set upon their edge to showcase what they hold within. Whether you choose to display these on their own or mixed with other various shapes and sizes is up to you, but no matter what you decide – you are sure to bring interest to wherever it is placed.
The many fun shapes and styles of terrarium planters can take on all sort of fun forms to add to your collection. This wagon inspired design is set on little wheels with a rolled carriage bed and a hinged top for easy plant access.
These old cold frames make the perfect terrarium. They are easy to access and can hold various different planters, or even make one large landscape. The size is also friendly to other possibilities that you may want to be added – such as cool souvenirs and larger features.
Mimicking the shape of a biosphere-like project, these tiny planters play with light and reflection of their many surfaces and are the perfect addition to any indoor planting. Use a pebble base for your selection of succulents to pop out against and showcase their colors and shapes.
Never choose boring. Instead, find the most unique planters you can find for your plants and then pick the most perfect ones to highlight in them. This off-center bowl allows for a backdrop of sorts to showcase taller succulents among more low growing species.
Pops of Color
Rocks are the perfect way to add unexpected (and sometimes unnatural) pops of color to your terrarium design. Aquarium rocks are a popular addition, are easy to find in a wide array of hues and sizes, and layer wonderfully if that is an idea you would like to pursue.
Although not a terrarium per se, using a rustic box as your planter creates a unique approach to decor. Shallow boxes such as this are easy to fill as well and create a dense vision of growth that looks more like a carefully planned artistic impression than a miniature garden.
Even if you do have an enclosed area, don’t be afraid to add in a bit of height even if you are worried it might be too much. The slow growth habits of succulents make them the perfect choice for small spaces as this young cactus and jade combination display.
Alone terrarium looks so lonely, and since they pair so well together you should definitely always have more than one on display. These carriage style planters showcase their planted treasure perfectly and provide an awesome side table display.
Flat glass surfaces and prism-like depths may make interesting planters, but don’t forget about the smooth curves of rounded options. These spherical surfaces provide interesting reflective surfaces and showcase your planting substrates in a magnified manner.
A Sea of Blue
Take advantage of colorful aquarium rocks to ‘float’ your plants amongst a sea of blue. The sky is the limit when you start thinking outside the box and create an unexpected vision compared to what is expected.
Sometimes all you need is a few simple options and a nice miniature plan for a xeriscape. From above you get a peaceful view of complimentary colors and brightness. A decorative shell or favorite rock finishes off this planting that depends on texture and shadow rather than plants.
Tiny terrariums are perfect for filling in the spaces between larger planters and are excellent additions to small desks and other work areas. Plants help bring harmony to the areas they are placed in, and due to the small size of many succulent – they are the perfect fit for spaces that might otherwise be deemed too small.
Delicate wired planters are easy to hang in various windows and look like giant teardrops as they reflect light. Use one large plant or various small ones to fill the space, or even choose from draping vegetation for even more interest.
If you plan on using multiple plants, be sure to pick out a few different sizes and play with how you want to lay them out prior to planting them. Succulents have incredibly shallow root systems so you can put them close to one another without worry that they will choke one another out as they mature.
Remember, your terrarium plantings are yours, and should reflect your own personal style and taste. An addition of favorite colors and other meaningful knick-knacks work well with these type of indoor plant designs.
A Macrame Touch
Use macrame to hang your various planters, including those that are more traditionally made to be placed on a flat surface. Macrame is a natural looking weaving but adds small detailed touches and interest to your spaces.
Through the Looking Glass
Small openings may require some patience to work with, but they provide a wholly unique display and are well worth the effort. Glass jars set on their side often make good choices for this type of planting.
If you choose to only use one terrarium as a statement piece, look to what you place it upon to help make the color and texture choice of your plants and substrate pop. This is especially true for larger planter choices as part of the whole decorative effect.
Even if you do not layer rocks for detail, choose a light colored rock or sand to place as your top layer to make your succulents stand out. Hues of green and the variances in texture stand out best when showcases against these types of options.
If you have been interested in making your own succulent and terrarium combo, or already have a few and simply needed a few new ideas, this article provided many for your consideration! Succulents are incredibly easy to care for and mix and match well with your own personal touches.
We’d love to hear below about which ideas were your favorite! And, as always, please share!