DIY Terrarium with Succulents


I've been wanting a glass terrarium for succulents in my home for quite some time now -- I know, I'm way behind on the trend! I purchased this inexpensive greenhouse from ikea a few months back and just now finally got around to putting it all together! I'm such a procrastinator! 0:) At first I wasn't sure if the greenhouse would make a good terrarium, but I figured I'd give it a shot and see how it worked out. :) So far, so good!

I did a lot of research to figure out the proper way to build a terrarium. I knew that I needed to place pebbles or rocks at the bottom for drainage help, and I also knew I needed to use cactus soil; however, I didn't know that I needed to add a layer of activated charcoal between the two layers! Activated charcoal is what fish tank filters use to keep the tank water clean and fresh! Adding the layer of activated charcoal between the pebbles and soil helps circulate the air in your terrarium, keeping everything fresh! This isn't necessary in a terrarium that is open at the top, but since our greenhouse completely enclosed our succulents, this extra step was necessary. Activated charcoal isn't like the charcoal you use to grill up some burgers! You'll have to buy this supply at a pet shop. :) Here's a link so you can figure out ahead of time what you're looking for -- learn from my mistakes, I had NO idea what activated charcoal was.. hahaha!

Glass Terrarium with Succulents

Anywho, just to sum it all up, here's the order in which to layer your terrarium supplies!
1. Pebbles/ Rocks
2. Activated Charcoal (Not necessary for an open top terrarium)
3. Cactus Soil

You could also add a little moss between the charcoal and soil if you wanted a little bit of texture, but it's not necessary. :)

I picked my succulents up in a 9-pack at Home Depot for about $10. :)

(Petting your plants is totally normal, right?  Yes, I really am this weird. )  :)

Terrarium Greenhouse

Glass Terrarium

Glass Greenhouse

I love how my little terrarium turned out! I plan on putting it up in my office once I rearrange everything this weekend. :) I'll be sure to share with you all exactly where it ends up and how my little plants survive. :) Lucky for me succulents are very easy to maintain, so hopefully they won't go dying on me anytime soon!!

Do any of you have a terrarium in your house? What kind of container/vase/jar did you decide to use?

xx, Shannon

P.s. I ordered some little plastic dinos on amazon with plans to put them in my little terrarium jungle!!! Muahaha!!!


  1. Aw, I love how these look! Michaels has a lot of fakes ones that I've been wanting to buy (but that would get pricey and real is SO much better).
    Plastic dinos?! No way, too cute!


  2. I would love to create me own terrarium one day! I think they look great!

  3. Love your terrarium! The dinos will be a cute addition. In the past I've had bad luck with succulents, but I think I've finally got them figured out; low light and basically not a lot of water.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your comments, Shannon.

  4. Hi! Love the terrarium and am thinking of making one as a gift for my sister. I know you say activated charcoal is only necessary if the terrarium is enclosed, so why did you use it? It appears from the pictures that it is open ie. fresh air can get into it. I guess I'm a little confused, but I don't want them to die, so if you can respond I'd really appreciate it!

  5. Hello,

    Until now i made my terrariums in the large glass vases. This time i'll use Ikea greenhouse but canjot be sure about the bottom of the greenhouse. Plate is very low and not stable with the glass parts. and i see you put a base inside but couldn't understand what it is. I was thinking that maybe i can put the cling film or something like that as a base.


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