How To Layer Your Open Air Succulent Terrarium

How To Layer Your Open Air Succulent Terrarium
How To Layer Your Open Air Succulent Terrarium

Take your succulent stylings up a notch!

Open air terrariums (AKA little glass houses for your plant bbs) are beloved by interior decor and houseplant enthusiasts alike, taking indoor plants from “lush” to “lavish.”

An “open air” terrarium is one that doesn’t seal closed, which is perfect for letting your succulents breathe and grow. Plus, you can easily add more succulents as your collection grows!

Terrariums can be made out of any glass container with an opening; a mason jar, fishbowl, vase, cookie jar, whatever! Check out your local thrift store for a cost effective option. Just make sure the container is glass so that sunlight can easily pass through onto your succulent.



To get started on your terrarium, you’ll need:

  • 1 Terrarium
  • 3-5 Succulents
  • Cactus Soil
  • Dried or Preserved Moss
  • Rocks (about the size of a small peach pit)
  • Sand

The Layers


Terrariums don’t traditionally have drainage holes, so the different layers are used to keep your succulents from sitting in water and rotting. Layer your terrarium in this order (we’re working from the bottom up):

  1. Pour in the sand until you have at least a half inch layer.
  2. Place your rocks in gently, as not to disturb your layer of sand. You want at least 1-2 inches of rocks. 
  3.  Lay down a layer of your preserved or dry moss next. Most moss is about an inch thick, so one layer is plenty. Make sure the moss is pushed up against the edge of your terrarium so the cactus soil will not fall down the sides and ruin the “layer look.”
  4. Add your cactus soil. Use the size of your succulents and their roots to determine how much cactus soil you’ll use. You want to give the roots a few centimeters to grow down into the soil.
  5. Nestle in those succulents! Tuck them into the soil, leaving a little growing room between each plant.


Terrarium Care

Keep your terrarium in a bright, sunny spot where your succulents will get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. To water, lightly pour a few tablespoons of water at the base of each plant every 2-3 weeks. Because terrariums don’t have drainage, you don’t want to drench the soil. The sand, rock, and moss layers aren’t just for looks – they’ll help any excess water to filter down passed the roots and eventually evaporate. 

We want to see your terrariums! Tag @sucstu or DM us pics of your creations so we can show ‘em off! 


You’ve got all the knowledge, now you just need the succulents. Succulent Studios sends you two new varieties of bb succulents a month. They’re always hella cute and you’ll fill that terrarium in no time (and then want to make another.) Hit the button below for $5 off your first box of succulent babes!