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Whether you have a modern aesthetic or crave an alternative to flowers, a terrarium is always a stunning choice. And if you've seen succulent terrariums in gift stores, you know how popular — and pricey — they can be. But you'll be amazed at how easy and inexpensive they are to put together.

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Materials Needed

To make this succulent terrarium, you will need a glass container with a large opening, some succulents, glass beads or marbles, decorative gravel, potting soil, and if you wish, an extra personal touch such as the heart-shaped pendant seen here.

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Glass Beads for Drainage

Rather than sitting in wet soil, succulents need proper drainage. To create a layer in which excess water can go, place about an inch of glass beads or marbles into the bottle of your container. I used red glass beads, which you can find in the floral supply section of the crafts sore.

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Add a Layer of Soil

On top of the glass beads, add about an inch of soil. Nurseries sell special soil just for succulents, but I used regular potting soil. Both will work just fine.

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Place Succulents in the Soil

Whether you are transplanting succulents from your yard or from plastic containers, place the succulents in the glass container, pushing the roots into the soil. Select plants that have different textures and colors for visual appeal.

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Make One Large Succulent a Focal Point

Here's an important succulent arranging tip: select one large plant as the "star" of the arrangement, and let the smaller ones surround it. This way, the terrarium will not look like one big bush. I selected a rosette-shaped succulent – echeveria – as the focal point.

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Cover the Soil with Gravel

It's a good idea to cover the soil in gravel. It serves as a decorative element, but also keeps the soil from moving around. You can buy bags of decorative gravel in the floral supply section of crafts stores. Pour the gravel directly from the bag wherever there is exposed soil.

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Add A Heartfelt Touch

For extra appeal, finish the terrarium with an additional element, like a pendant or ornament. I found a rhinestone pendant in the jewelry supply section of the crafts store. I like how the sparkle of the rhinestones contrast with the rustic elements of the terrarium.

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Caring for the Terrarium

If giving the terrarium as a gift, be sure to pass on some care tips. Succulents need very little water, especially if they are in a terrarium. A little bit of water near the roots every other week is all that is necessary. Because too much sun will cook the plants, the terrarium should placed in a room to receive indirect sunlight. Overall, terrariums require very little maintenance, so they really are an ideal gift.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong


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