succulents sitting on window in terrariums
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Succulent terrariums: big, small, upcycled, open, closed. These days, there is no shortage of inspiration for you if you’re looking to either purchase or begin your own succulent terrarium. You aren’t limited to a glass box with a few succulents inside. You can find a terrarium that will suit your personality, space, and taste, no matter what kind of succulents you choose to bring into your space! 

Traditional Terrariums

No one type of terrarium can be called traditional, but these are what you might assume. Most traditional terrariums are square boxes or house-shaped glass boxes. The majority are made of clear glass with dark gray or black veins. While they might seem boring, they allow you to be creative with succulents on the inside! 

Contemporary Terrariums

Contemporary terrariums verge on what I would call modern art. Contemporary terrariums do not have clean lines and sharp 90 degree angles. Rather, you’ll find:

  • Odd angles
  • Different colored glass
  • Arches and curves
  • Futuristic designs 

Open-Air Terrariums

There is no one way to describe a terrarium, but many succulent terrariums you will see will have an opening and no lid. These openings can be wide enough to get your hand in or so small that you might need to use tools – like tweezers or pliers – to get your succulents into place. Remember that this type of succulent terrarium will not be as humid as other kinds, so choose your succulents wisely. 

Closed Terrariums

Conversely, closed terrariums are closed. The closure can either be temporary or permanent, depending on the kinds of succulents that you choose to be inside. Regardless of how long it will be closed, the terrarium will be humid, so you may want to avoid succulents like cacti if you go this route!  

Potted Terrariums

Some of the most common terrariums that you will see at craft shows or artist markets are potted terrariums. Usually there are a few succulents planted in a clay or rock planted with some soil and rocks. This is not generally considered a terrarium in the traditional sense, but with its growing popularity amongst plant-lovers, it is one to not leave out. 

Vertical Terrariums

These days, there is no lack of innovative designs that will suit any taste. If you’re looking for something different, try a vertical terrarium! These vessels are tall rather than wide and can optimize tight spaces. Use something wooden, like a chopstick, to help the succulents in your terrarium grow to new heights! 

Round Terrariums

Round terrariums provide you with a globe-shaped home for your succulents. Round terrariums can be small enough to pop onto a side table or large enough to take up substantial space. The flat bottom of these terrariums mean that you will be able to set it nearly anywhere you want.

Sculpture Terrariums

If you’re looking for something that will also serve as artwork, you should check out sculpture terrariums. These terrariums continue to push the boundaries of what a terrarium can be and bring in different features than you might expect. 

Hanging Terrariums

Hanging terrariums can take on a variety of shapes and forms like those already discussed, but the feature here is that it can hang. Most of the time, a loop is blown directly in the glass in order to tie a rope or string through to hang. Be careful if you plan to try to hang it on your own as most terrariums are, of course, made of glass. 

DIY Kit Terrariums 

If you’re not sure what you want to do for your terrarium or how to do it, take the guesswork out and search the web for a DIY terrarium kit. The more you look, the more you’ll find from large and small retailers alike! Most DIY kits will come with everything you need: the terrarium, soil, succulents, and even some extra goodies.

Table Terrariums

Table terrariums are the choice for you if you want your piece to have function in your home as well. These types of terrariums can have your succulents be the base of your table, so that you can still have a glass top to use. These can be:

  • Coffee tables
  • Side tables
  • Entryway tables
  • Dining tables

Lamp Terrariums 

Who said your lamp can’t have succulents in it? Lamp Terrariums either have an enclosed terrarium or an open terrarium as the base of the lamp. Thankfully, most succulents do well with heat, so you won’t have to worry about your lamp scorching the succulents just beneath it. 

Upcycled Terrariums

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of options for terrariums on the market; however, don’t be shy about upcycling something to use as a terrarium. Really, the only rules that you need to follow are that it should be clear or glass and have no drainage holes. Even so, people use a variety of everyday items to use as a terrarium. 

Jar Terrariums

On the note of upcycled terrariums, jar terrariums are a popular option – upcycled or not. Jars are a great choice for your succulent terrarium because they:

  • Usually have lids with a tight seal
  • Have a wide mouth to get your plants inside
  • Are made of thick, sturdy glass


Your idea of terrariums may be those small glass boxes for your succulents, but let me leave you with this: conservatories are also massive terrariums! Think of your local greenhouse or nursery with the large (likely glass) structure where all the plants are grown and housed during the season. That is indeed a terrarium, so don’t let your imagination stop you from seeing all the possibilities!