If you like having plants around but don’t live where you can have a garden, indoor plants are a great alternative. Decorative glass jars are great for succulent terrariums that you can place on windowsills or desks for a bit of nature inside. Succulents like the Hens and Chicks (proper name Sempervivum) are very easy to plant.
Succulent Plants – you can have a variety to mix together or just one
Glass jars with lids or terrarium jars
Potting Soil (if there isn’t enough in the containers of the plants you purchased)
Optional but very helpful: Plastic dropcloth to work on top of
I purchased some small rocks from a local home improvement store. They were labeled “soil cover” and I mostly chose this style because I liked how they looked. You will want rocks in the bottom of your terrarium for drainage, the specific type or look is up to you. I rinsed the rocks before using them to remove and dust or debris. I have gathered my jar and the plant that I picked up from a farmer’s market that will have a new home in a terrarium.
Place a layer of rocks at the bottom of the jar. The depth of the rock layer is up to you, as long as there is room for water to drain into.
Place some soil into the jar. Build the edges up and leave the center low.
Depending on the container your plants come in, you may be able to turn over the pot and squeeze the container to release the plants. If they are reluctant to come out, you can use scissors to carefully cut the plastic away.
Carefully break up the soil under the plants. This plant was in pretty good shape overall. I did not separate the plants before nesting them into the jar.
Gently position the plant into the jar and fill any air pockets with soil.
With sempervivum (also known as hens and chicks), it is recommended that you give them a heavy watering after transplanting to help them reestablish their roots. Use a funnel to direct where the water should go while watering.
The soil all around the plants is wet but not soaked.
This is a different variety of sempervivum that I also purchased at a farmer’s market.
Set up jar with a layer of rocks at the bottom. Turn the pot over and remove the plants from the pot.
This plant had a lot of ‘chicks’ or small off-shoot plants. The pot was pretty crowded so I separated all the plants before replanting them into a terrarium.
Here is a photo of a specific plant that bloomed. This ‘hen’ bloomed at the end of it’s life cycle but it created many ‘chicks’ that we can use for our terrarium.
I split up all the plants from this one pot to see what plants I had to work with.
Begin building the terrarium with plants that appear healthy.
I arranged my terrarium so larger plants were in the middle with smaller plants around the edges. You can be a bit creative with your arrangement.
Give the terrarium a large drink of water.
Put the lids on the jars and place them where they will get sunlight. After two or three days, take the lids off so the moisture level rebalances. If there is too much water in the jars mold can grow which you do not want! Once they have dried out most of the way, place the lids back on the jars. Succulents (depending on the type) can live with very little water. You will need to watch the plants to see if they seem too dry or too wet. They will need occasional watering. I have my terrariums on the windowsill above my kitchen sink so it is easy to check on them every day.
-Carly | Antibromide