Succulent Terrarium Care
Congratulations on your new succulent terrarium!! We hope you had a great time putting it together! Here is a guide to caring for your new creation. If you have any questions feel free to contact us!
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT TRANSPLANT SHOCK:
Within the first week or two, the plants in your new terrarium may show some syptoms of transplant shock. Don’t worry this is a normal part of moving plants from one home to another and nearly always goes away on its own. Some plants will show no symptoms while others may exhibit several. Leaves damaged due to transplant shock normally wont recover. Remove damaged leaves if they are unsightly. New growth should be healthy and beautiful! If new growth after a week or two isn’t healthy looking, or if you have any specific questions about how your terrarium is doing please don’t hesitate to contact us we are more than happy to help!
SYMPTOMS OF TRANSPLANT SHOCK INCLUDE (photos coming soon):
– Lowest set of leaves changing color or falling off
– Leaves curling
Be sure to water within the first 48 hours of planting your new terrarium!
When watering your terrarium it’s helpful to keep the weather conditions that your plants are used to in mind. Most succulent species are native to dry areas and are therefore designed to withstand drought by storing any water they can get in their leaves for later (think camel). Armed with this information you will find that it is always better to under-water than to over-water. Most succulents will bounce back from getting a little dehydrated but rarely do if they become over-watered.
To water your terrarium use a spray bottle and spray the glass and the soil but not the plants. Use the shapes of the glass to direct the stream along the sides and up and over the back. The goal is to get the soil evenly wet but not have standing water collect in the charcoal and pebble layers below. You should be able to tell how deep the water is into the soil by looking at the out side of the glass and observing the darker color of the wet soil. Avoid watering using a cup or faucet as it is difficult to evenly apply this way and run the risk of pooling, and over-watering some and under-watering others. The more plants you have in your terrarium the more room you have for error as closely packed neighbors can redistribute water to other nearby plants.
Do not water your terrarium again until it is completely dry or your succulents are a little soft!
Monitor the moisture in your terrarium about once a week for the first few weeks until you get a feel for what kind of watering schedule it needs. Perform a visual check by looking through the side of the glass (wet soil will be darker in color) and use your finger to feel if the soil on the surface is moist. Do not water your terrarium again until most or all of the water is completely gone or if your plants start to exhibit symptoms of under-watering (see below). Most succulent terrariums need watering about every 2 – 3 weeks but this may vary due to conditions in your home, heat, air quality, light and season. We recommend checking on it once a week.
Signs of Over-Watering:
-Lower leaves or stems turning black or mushy
– Mold, mildew or insects appearing in your soil
If you experience any of these symptoms stop watering and put into a warm dry and sunny place until it dries out.
Signs of Under-Watering:
– Wrinkled or rubbery feeling leaves
– Bottom or new growth leaves falling off
– Bottom leaves turning transparent in color
If your terrarium is showing signs of under-watering resume a gentle watering schedule by following the directions above. Succulents are designed to withstand dry climates and are well equiped to recover from drought.
However, too much water following a dry spell can shock it and make it more susceptible to over watering, so just be careful not to panic and water too much.
Succulents thrive best in higher light environments. Keep them as close to a window as possible for best results.
Southern or Western facing windows will provide the most light. Succulents exposed to high natural light conditions may turn pink or purple. This is normal, enjoy it! If parts of leaves or stems closest to the light begin to turn brown or white they are getting too much light and are getting sun-burned. Sun-burn on succulents is an uncommon issues in our great PNW, however if symptoms occur move your terrarium to a slightly less sunny spot and remove any unsightly leaves as they won’t return to their original color.
A NOTE ABOUT LOW-LIGHT:
Good news! If the spot you want to house your terrarium in doesn’t get a lot of natural lightmost succulents will survive in lower light environments too. Succulents housed in lower light conditions will grow slower, not at all, or may grow leggy as they stretch in attempt to get closer to the light source. To help your succulents survive low light environments we highly recommend using a foliar fertilizer (a spray applied directly to the leaves) 1- 2 times per month (available for $5) to help supplement the nutrients the plant isn’t able to photosynthesize themselves due to lack of light. This will keep them healthier and less susceptible t pests, molds, and symptoms of mis-watering. There are also a number of discrete plant light fixtures and bulbs you can use to supplement natural light (Shop here – link coming soon).
The soil in your terrarium has enough nutrients in it to keep your plants happy for at least 6 months. After that use a bacterial inoculant fertilizer (available here – link coming soon) to water into the soil. This will re-up the amazing micro-organisms that live in healthy organic soils to keep the ecosystem you’ve built for your plants thriving!
Using chemical fertilizers such as Miracle Grow will kill the bacteria in the soil and make it more
difficult for your plants to sustain themselves so please refrain.
You will also see a white film form on your soil, which is the bacteria and beneficial organisms dying off.
You can also use a foliar fertilizer spray applied directly to the plants’ leaves
1 – 2 per month in addition to or instead of the bacterial fertilizer (available here – link coming soon).
IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS OR QUESTIONS:
Please let me know! I’m here to help you be successful in caring for your plants! If you have any questions, comments or concerns dont hesitate to contact me via email, text, phone call, or on Facebook or Instagram.