Skip to content

Succulent Terrarium Care Guide

It’s been a few days since class and some of my plants look unhappy... What are normal symptoms of transplant shock?

Succulents tend not to be as prone to transplant shock symptoms as many other plant types, but transplant shock is a normal part of moving plants from one home to another.

Depending on the plants in your terrarium, you could see one or several of the following symptoms:

Yellowing or transparent leaves, drooping, faded color, mild fungal outbreaks, and leaf shed.

As symptoms appear, remove the leaves or part of leaves that are discolored. They will not return to their original color and doing so will help you track the progress of your plant.

As long as symptoms stop appearing within a week of transplant, your plant has successfully made it through the shock!

How do I help my plant make it through transplant shock?

​Succulents are light lovers, so give them as much as you can particularly after transplanting.

Even plants that typically prefer lower light will benefit from a medium to bright indirect light the first few days after a transplant to aid in the resettling process.

We also recommend applying a mild fertilizer any time you repot or transplant. Our bacterial inoculant is especially good at mitigating the symptoms of transplant shock.

What do I do if I see mold growing in my terrarium?

Its okay, mold happens! Particles are floating around just waiting for opportunities to touch down and grow. New soil and plants going through a bit of shock are very inviting to a mold spore.

Luckily, the most common outbreak after transplant is a mild white topical mold and it is very easy to treat.

Scrape away any visible mold growth from the top of the soil (you can use a butter knife, fork, or any handy utensil that reaches the spot). Allow the area to dry, and then apply a good saturating spray to the area of a simple mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide (the stuff you use to clean your cuts) and water mixed 1:1.

If it pops up again, repeat this process. Typically 1 - 3 treatments does the trick.

How much light does my terrarium need?

Most succulents are desert plants and would prefer as much light as you can give them.

Brighter light will encourage more compact growth and brighter colors.

Most succulents can handle living in more indirect exposures too, they will just grow leggy and have greener or paler coloring.

Just be careful not to put your terrarium too close to exterior windows.

Glass is a great conductor of heat, so when it’s really hot or really cold out the temperature of the glass can change dramatically and hurt your plants.

How do I water my terrarium?

Most succulents need water every 1-3 weeks.

We recommend giving a small sampling of the leaves inside the terrarium a gentle squeeze approximately once a week. If the leaves are firm like a plump grape there is no need to water. If they have some give to them (as though the plants are taking water from the leaves - because they are!) they’re ready for some love!

Using a mister, spray the inside walls of the terrarium glass and let the water run down the sides and up and over the plants into the back or hard to reach places. Most succulents will rot if there is too much standing water left on their leaves, so best to avoid getting them too wet to begin with.

You want to see that the soil is damp all the way around the container. The moist soil will look like its sticking to the side of the container.

Stop watering if you see any water pooling at the bottom of the container.

Over-watering is the #1 killer of terrariums, so always err on the side of slightly under-watering if you’re ever in doubt.

If your container is larger (6” or more, typically) you may want to spot water at the base of a few of the center plants as well.

What do I do if a plant in my terrarium dies?

If your plant dies within 7 days of purchase, we will replace that plant at no charge to you. Just get in touch with us over text, email, phone, or social media within that 7 day window and include a photo of your plant and then you may come in at your convenience for your replacement.

If it has been more than 7 days and your plant has died, remove the plant from your terrarium and be sure to fill its place with another plant or a heavy trinket like a rock or figurine to avoid having the remaining plants revert to a territorial growth habit.

Please feel free to get in touch with us at any point about your plants! We are happy to help diagnose or troubleshoot any issues you may have, or even just see how fabulous your creation is looking!

Do I need to fertilize my terrarium?

All plants need food, and plants in your terrarium ecosystem are no exception. We recommend using a bacterial inoculant once a month to replenish the bacterial populations in your soil.

Those little guys are there to help create any food or resources your plants are asking for.

The bacterial inoculant can be applied as a top dressing by sprinkling a pinch of the granules onto the top if the soil monthly or made into a tea by steeping in cool water and then watering in as usual.

Does temperature matter?

Succulents tend to be warm / desert dwelling species.

Because succulents are desert plants, they are not accustomed to having to deal with the cold. As such, they will not respond well to it.

With this in mind, keep them away from cold windows, vents, or other areas where the temperature may drop below about 50 or 60 degrees. If you would want a jacket where they are, it is too cold for them.

As for heat, they’re much more resilient - but don’t put them on the stove!

What if I have other questions?

Our text line is always open, and we’d love to hear from you. We also respond to questions on our Instagram, Facebook, and email. Please allow 24 - 48 hours for a response.