How to Care for Indoor Succulent & Cactus Terrariums

how to care for indoor succulent terrariums pop shop america

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We talk about terrariums A LOT.

Here’s how to care for Succulent Terrariums long term. This blog post is specifically for people that have had their terrariums for a few months. If you are just getting started, check out our blog post about how to build a succulent terrarium here.

gorgeous finished terrarium with jonathan adler bird bowl succulents and plants houston


Place your terrarium near a window. Partially sunny, fully sunny, it doesn’t matter. Succulent terrariums and cactus gardens are really adaptable. The trick is that it needs to be near a window. The other trick is that once you have it in a certain window, you should just leave it there because it’s going to get acustomed to a certain amount of light.

Shocking a plant is when it goes from getting a certain amount of light to something that is drastically different. It’s an easy way to kill a plant. If you have a succulent terrarium that you’ve had in a shady office and decide to change it to a full sun window – give the plant some time to adjust in steps.

all the succulents and cactus for succulent terrariums jonathan adler store


How much water should you give your terrarium? And how often? These are the most common questions. The answer depends on the size of the container and the size of the plants but here’s a good guide.

For a small vessel like the plants or the bird bowls shown above, half a cup of water should be perfect. For a larger vessel, perhaps 1-2 cups. The trick is that your terrarium needs to completely dry in between waterings. Less water is better. More water is bad.

How often you water depends on how sunny and how quickly your terrarium dries out. Around every two weeks good. If your terrarium is outdoors or in a super sunny window, you will need to water it more. In those environments, several times per week. But don’t worry about making it perfect!

Succulents will give you a clear sign when they need water. They will look wrinkly and prune-y like the way your fingers look when you’ve been in a swimming pool too long.

making terrariums at the jonathan adler store west ave pop shop americajpg


Succulents can do something really cool. If you plant a trimming or a healthy leaf that has fallen off, it will often grow into a new plant. This is called cloning and succulents clone really easily but not every single time.

“Puppies” are when you take a new growth of the plant that has established new roots and plant that. So there are clones and puppies.

When you have a rootless plant, or a clone, do not water it. No water. Not one drop! Because it doesn’t have roots, there is no way for the plant to absorb that water. And the watery soil will rot the plant.

Terrarium Food:

If you want to go above and beyond give your plant a little snack! It’s a great thing to do twice a year or so if you are really rocking a water schedule. There is special succulent food that you can heavily dilute. You can also try adding a tiny sprig of egg shells or coffee grounds. All plants love those.

My Secret to Growing Succulents

Sometimes things go Wrong:

If you made a terrarium at a Pop Shop Houston event, and you have questions. We love to talk about How to Care for Succulent Terrariums! Reach out here. But real talk, sometimes plants just die. Sometimes it’s not you. Sometimes it’s the plant. Don’t assume that you have a black thumb if something goes wrong with your terrarium! Just give it another try.

Didn’t get enough plant fun from How to Care for Succulent Terrariums? Here’s our how to build one here:

where to place your succulent terrarium with jonathan adler bird bowl

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