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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Simple & Sweet Succulent Terrarium

January 22, 2015

There’s something so refreshing about having live plants growing happily on your windowsill. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good faux floral, but sometimes it’s good for your soul to water and care for plants in actual soil.

We don’t all have time for a garden – heck, I wish I had more time to spend in my own! Opting for a more low maintenance version makes this cute and simple project attainable for even the busiest of working moms – green thumb or no green thumb!


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass container
  • Decorative stones or sand
  • Soil mix
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Succulents


Step 1. Choose a glass container with no drain hole and place a layer of the decorative stones or sand at the bottom. (approx 1″)
Step 2. Add  approximately 2″ of the sphagnum moss and flatten gently.


Step 3. Expose plant’s root ball.


Step 4. Pour the soil to the desired depth making sure there is enough to cover the plant’s root ball completely.


Step 5.  Start by planting the biggest plants first.
a) Dig a hole with your fingers or old spoon, making sure it’s big enough to hold the entire plant root system.
b) Tease out the roots gently and trim if required.
c) Place the plant in the hole. If the container opening is too small for your hands use tongs to help.
d) Gently tap down the soil around the plant.
e) Continue placing the other plants.
Step 6. Place layer of decorative stones or decorative sand around plants. (Optional)
Step 7. Gently water your terrarium with a mister.
Step 8. Clean any debris left from the soil with  paper towel.
Here are some tips to keep your terrarium happy and healthy:
  • Choose plants according to the type of terrarium you want to plant. Ideally, choose slow-growing plants with similar light and humidity requirements. For example, pair tropical plants with mosses, and cacti with succulents.
  • Place your terrarium in a bright location so your plants get plenty of light. Make sure however, that it is not direct light.
  • Water your terrarium with a spritz bottle. If the water is seeping through the stones you are watering too much. If you have a closed container, you may see some condensation on the inside walls after planting or when you overwater. This is normal. Simply remove the cover and let the excess humidity evaporate.
  • Prune back your plants when they get too big and remove any dead foliage.

And there you have it! The perfect low maintenance addition to your windowsill, dining table, office nook or even the kiddos’ bedroom window. I hope you enjoy this sweet little terrarium, and I hope it brings you a simple moment of refreshing calm in the hustle and bustle of your weekly routine.


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  • TidyMom
    12:58 pm, February 14, 2015
    I love this idea!! just pinned so I remember to do them!
  • Erin
    3:03 pm, February 10, 2015
    My friend and her two kiddos are on their way over now to do these as a fun play date activity! Just did one on my own to test it out, and I love it! Can't wait to see the kids do them- thanks so much for the tutorial- love your show!
  • Deb Wright
    8:36 pm, February 3, 2015
    We love your program! We need you guys in Springville Alabama......LOTS of opportunities!
  • Nova
    8:20 pm, February 3, 2015
    God I love you guys!
    Your like peas and carrots!
    Stay beautiful.
    Watching your show brings joy.
    Thank you.
  • Bee Larson
    8:07 pm, January 28, 2015
    I've been making these arrangements for years. I'm inlove with jar with the lid photo. My next pproject , that's for the great idea! Love your show, I even got my husband to watch and will be visiting your shop on our visit to Waco soon!
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