One thing I definitely inherited from my mom is a love of plants. She has extensive gardens, and often during the summer she doesn’t stop weeding and planting until it’s too dark to see (although I wouldn’t be surprised if she kept going with a headlamp). While growing up, often I was drafted into helping, sometimes willingly, sometimes not. I may not have appreciated it at the time, but along the way, my mom taught me quite a bit about gardening. And then there are her houseplants, some of which have been around as long as I can remember. They may be older than me, but now some of them are in my care while my parents are traveling. Which means my house is even more of a jungle than usual, but I’m definitely not complaining. Like mother, like daughter.
If your mother is anything like mine, she’d appreciate a live plant far more than a bouquet of flowers. Even if your mom doesn’t have a bright green thumb, it’s okay, because this type of terrarium is super easy to care for. It’s planted with succulents that thrive with very little water, although they do need nice bright light. The haworthia, which is the striped one on the left, only needs to be watered every 2-4 weeks, and the jade, on the right, is also a water miser.
Cylindrical vase – Thrift stores and dollar stores usually have a good selection.
Sand of various colors – Available at craft stores or aquarium stores.
Succulent or cactus – I used a haworthia.
Succulent or cactus soil
Small brush (optional)
1. Place an even layer of pebbles in the bottom of your vase. The amount will vary depending on your vase, but you’ll want a layer of at least half an inch.
2. Remove your succulent from its pot and place in the vase. Brush off the top layer of soil so you can cover it with sand. When I took mine out of the pot I was able to spread a lot of the soil in a layer in the vase, but if your plant is more rootbound, add a layer of cactus/succulent soil over the pebbles.
If you get soil or sand on your plant, use a paintbrush to clean it off before adding the next layer.
3. Add successive layers of colored sand. After you add each layer, gently shake the vase to even it out.
Keep adding layers of sand until you cover the rootball of your plant back to the original soil level.
4. I kept this one simple since it has the bright pink sand, but adding pretty stones, crystals, or marbles is a fun way to further jazz up your terrarium.
For more desert terrarium inspiration, here’s another one I made last year.