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  • Writer's pictureMiri M

DIY Succulent terrarium in a wine box

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Succulents and cactuses are wonderful plants. They require very little care, and there are so many varieties, colours, shapes and sizes. Succulents almost always look nice and cute when you put them in a nice pot.

I love colourful succulents that look like roses, and jade succulents that have meaty little leaves that remind me of the paws of puppies. Naturally, I have accumulated quite a few of them and the collection of plants in various plastic pots looked a bit messy. So I took out a wooden wine box that I have saved for some time and arranged the succulents into a terrarium.

Life is like a cactus, prickly but beautiful. Life sometimes succs, but it always gets better.

Here are the simple steps to create your own terrarium:

1. Prepare the box - If you choose to use a wooden box, you need to line it with a plastic sheet to prevent it from getting wet and molded. Fill half the box with cactus soil to ensure good water drainage.

2. Prepare your plant - Press gently on the pot to loosen the soil. Then take out the plant and gently squeeze on the soil to loosen the roots. Pat away the soil on the roots but try not to break them. Pull out the individual stalks gently.

3. Arrange - Put the bigger and more attractive pieces in the appropriate areas of your box first, as if you are arranging a bouquet of flowers. Once you decide where to put them, you can dig holes and plant the roots. Add the smaller succulents around the main ones. Arrange them closely together, but don't press them too hard against each other.

4. Fill the gaps with dry soil - Use a spoon to carefully fill the gaps with soil and then give the box a few taps. Use a soft brush to clear away any excess soil on the plants or the box. To finish, use a syringe to squeeze a few ml of water near the roots of each plant, don't put water on the leaves.

I took at video of the terrarium, it is now placed at the entrance of our home to welcome us home everyday.

How to take care of succulents?

Succulents are basically cactuses that thrive in a dry climate. They should be planted in soil with good drainage, placed in a shaded area with few hours of direct sunlight per day, and lots of flowing air.

I live in Southeast Asia and I get about 3-4 hours of afternoon sun per day. I water them once per week, carefully using syringes to put water in the soil but not directly on the plants. If weather is too hot and dry, I water them twice per week. I give them my bokashi tea fertiliser twice a month to keep them happily well fed. (Click here to read my post about bokashi composting and how I make my own natural fertiliser).

It is very easy to keep succulents in tropical climates, but relatively harder to keep them in temperate climates because of the seasonal changes. Keeping them indoor in air-conditioned places could also be challenging, but they will be healthy as long as you can keep them near the window and do not let the roots rot due to over watering.

If you are interested, here are two other succulents that I have. The first one is a Jade Plant (a.k.a. Elephant Bush), and the other one is called Sedum (a.k.a. Angelina). I hope one day I can master the skills to propagate them.

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