This Tuesday Tidbit idea came to me because of something I saw on HGTV. I’m not calling anyone out, but if I see one more succulent terrarium, I’m going to scream. (Song from Willy Wonka going through my head.) Succulents do NOT belong in closed terrariums. They are better suited for dish gardens like the one below.

succulent dish garden

Use your succulents in a dish garden instead

Why not terrariums

So why shouldn’t you use succulents in a terrarium? First, let’s look at the reason we put plants in terrariums. Terrariums are typically enclosed containers so the humidity does not escape. What kind of plants need high humidity? Ferns, selaginella, calatheas, mosses, and more.  Do succulents like high humidity? Not really. Also, most succulents need to grow in high light. If you put a covered glass container in high light, what is going to happen? Your plants will literally bake in the container. Typically, high humidity plants are also lower light plants which makes them better suited for terrarium life. In the large jar below, I planted three humidity-loving tiny plants-two ferns and a selaginella.


This large jar has three small humidity loving plants inside.

Plants NOT to use

Here are plants that should not be used in a closed top terrarium. You may see these used in terrariums on television (as I did), on Pinterest, in books, and other places, but I would love to see those succulent terrariums a few weeks after planting them…..







Dracaena (sansevieria)

Sansevieria (dracaena), gasteria, and euphorbia

When you are making a terrarium, find plants with thinner leaves that indicate they need higher humidity. Steer away from succulents and cacti. You’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment, not to mention a container full of dead, mushy succulents.

Have you had this happen to you? Do these kind of things drive you crazy like they do me? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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