DIY: Cactus Terrarium

DIY: Cactus Terrarium


What’s not to love about building yourself your own terrarium, sure you can go out and buy beautifully, ready-made ones, but you cannot deny the satisfaction at looking at something you put together with your own two hands.

Discounting that satisfaction there are multiple benefits from having a terrarium in your home or any plant for that matter:

  • Reduction of anxiety/stress.
  • Sharpen mental focus.
  • Lift moods and boost creativity.
  • Purify and humidify air.
  • Lower heart rates and blood pressure.
  • Higher levels of quality of life.
  • Personalise and decorate whilst making a house feel like a home.

The first ever plant that was mine and I was responsible for as a child was a single cactus in it’s brown plastic pot that it originally came in, which sat on our kitchen windowsill for years. And because of that simple nostalgic reason I am very fond of cacti.20170729_203953

They are just so gosh darn pleasing to look at.20170808_221842

What you will need: *(where I got mine)*

  • Vase / Glass container (£4 from Dunelm)
  • Cacti / Succulents (£9 from Ikea)
  • Soil (£2.75 – Cactus and Succulent Focus Repotting Mix from Gordon Riggs)
  • Pebbles (£2.99 from The Range)
  • Gravel / Sand / Charcoal (£4.50 Aquarium Gravel from Pets at Home)

How to:

  • Fill the base with rocks or pebbles which works as a false drainage, preventing the plants from becoming flooded.
  • Add a layer of soil (specific to cacti and succulents), thick enough to allow the roots of your plants to be placed into them and future growth. Aim for a depth slightly deeper than the height of the plant’s pot.
  • Break up the hard, settled soil around the roots and discard any topdressing.


  • Dig a well by whatever means you wish (spoon, fingers etc) and place your plants roots in. Add more soil around the top and compact it down around the base of the plant until secure.
  • Add accessories of your choice (I choose adding a few more of the pebbles and gravel. The option here are quite limitless; moss, coloured stones, miniature figurines, coloured glass etc.

Building your own terrarium is surprisingly easy, and can be made to look very unique depending on your personal preferences.


I’ve read a lot online regarding the care and watering requirements of cacti, most of which contradict the previous, I did, however, pick up a leaflet on caring for cacti from Gordon Riggs, so I’m going to base my actions off of that.

  • Water the plants regularly throughout their growing season in spring and summer. Moisten soil thoroughly, allowing it to almost completely dry out before watering again.
  • Water in the early morning or late in the evening, as plants may scorch if they’re covered in water droplets during the heat of the day.
  • During winter months, when days are shorten, light poor and growth subsequently slows, stop watering all cacti and allow them to go dormant. They should only be water if temperatures rise above 10°C or if plant begins to shrivel.
  • As cacti are sturdy little plants they need little maintenance in order to thrive, but adequate light, warmth and ventilation are still required.

Whilst I am not sure of the lifespan of the cacti with this setup, as I’ve also read about the many pitfalls of a terrarium, I am happy to give it a go and see how it all fairs, as it did only result in a cost of £23.24, with plenty left over soil, pebbles, gravel and two cacti.

Are you enjoying and joining in on the current cactus and succulent pop culture? What are you preferred type of cactus; miniature, large, flowering?

And how has your week been? 


  1. September 19, 2017 / 1:40 pm

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    • September 23, 2017 / 2:55 am

      I have just recently found loads of comments in a spam section on my blog (didn’t even know that existed) so sorry for the late reply!
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