How to Make a Desert Terrarium (Desertarium)

Firstly, what is a terrarium?


Terrariums are usually sealable glass containers containing soil and plants, and can be opened for maintenance to access the plants inside. There are many different kinds of terrariums- rainforest, air, moss, ferns, etc. But, today, we are going to make a desert terrarium.

For a desert terrarium, it is very important for it to be planted in an open glass container. The container shouldn’t have a narrow opening. The container shouldn’t be a tall jar, as humidity can accumulate in the tall jar. I would recommend a shallow, wide-mouth container.


After picking the perfect container, lay the first layer with pebbles, pearlstones or small rocks. This would create a drainage layer since there isn’t a drainage hole in the container.


Make sure that the drainage layer is sufficient enough for the container that you are using (usually it’s 1/5 of the container’s height). Then, add desert/cacti potting soil to it. The right planting mix for cactus plants has superior drainage and will dry out quickly after watering. Cacti will harvest the moisture they need immediately to store in their bodies and excess water needs to be evaporated or drained to prevent fungal disease and rot.


Afterwards, you would want to pick the type of cactus/succulent to pot! I chose Sedum rubrotinctum which its leaves propagates like crazyCrassula perforata (a.k.a string of buttons) and an African Milk Tree (yup).

Crassula perforata (String of buttons)

Dig some holes into the soil and pot the succulents in, make sure that the succulent is able to stand by itself before decorating it.

After decorating.

You may choose any kinds of decoration, but natural decorations are the most preferred. Charcoal, wood, stones and a little bit of moss were used on my desertarium.


And, that’s it! Use a squeeze bottle to water the soil (not plant! please!) once every four weeks. Also, I wouldn’t recommend watering it immediately after repotting because you wouldn’t know if any roots have been damaged. By watering it immediately, it would encourage root rot. Don’t overwater as succulents tend to grow faster and stronger with neglect. Not full neglect, but, you know~ Just tend them once a while!


Also, really appreciate the fact that paper bags will be charged if the participants needed one. Why? Because it encourages people to bring their own bags and be more environmental friendly.


Lastly, thanks The Plant Story for holding today’s terrarium workshop, I had so much fun doing some nature therapy. I’ll definitely go again!

(p.s. I am in no way sponsored by The Plant Story. My company just decided to have a corporate workshop at their venue and I went because.. I like plants. However, if they do decide to sponsor me in any way. I welcome them with all my heart. Definitely will share discount codes or something if they do. I bet you’d like that, right? Haha! So uhhh, @theplantstory, how does a collaboration sound to you?)

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