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by Blue
(Son Ranch)

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Succulents in a glass fish tank terrarium

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It’s been said that you can’t grow succulent plants successfully in a container without a drainage hole – I beg to differ! Here’s a way you can plant your mother-in-laws antique compote, and it will be eyecatching. I bet your mother-in-law won’t be able to say anything, she’ll be so envious!

Here’s what I did;

First clean your fish tank (or compote) and fill it almost to the top with lava rock rinsed to remove the dust and dampen it.

Place a selection of succulents (Here I’ve used some tender Echeveria ‘Perle Von Nurnberg’ and set-oliver, a couple of Senecio mandraliscae, two different Sempervivum, a tall border Sedum and Sedum album ‘Twinkle’, Sedum cauticola and Sedum ‘Voodoo’ to trail over the sides.)

I top dressed with more lava rock as I took most of the soil off each plant.

I’ll take this apart as the weather cools because some of the plants will survive better outside, and the glass fish tank could fill with water and shatter if it gets frozen.

So, for a fabulous temporary fall container go ahead and plant up that compote!

Comments for Succulents in a Glass Fish Tank

Aug 28, 2010

Like a fish out of water!
by: Countrymouse

Wow!!
What a great idea!! I love this little arrangement Jackiā€¦ and the good news is small fish tanks can be picked up for a song at garage sales etc. It wouldn’t even matter if they had tiny cracks etc.
Once emptied, they could be overturned and left outside all winter but would be best emptied and stored in a garage, shed, etc.


Jul 14, 2014

Thank you!
by: Marylou

Thank you for a great informative site, I love
succulents, but only plant them inside. Would the fish tank with only lava rock work as well inside? I would appreciate any help with this,
thank you,


Jul 15, 2014

Lava rock – yes, you bet!
by: Jacki

Hi Marylou, this fish tank is pretty much exclusively lava rock, very little actual soil.

If the succulents you choose are the tender kinds, like Echeveria and similar, they’ll be totally fine grown this way.

Overwatering of course, is an absolute no-no, especially in a container that has no drain hole, but you’ll be able to see the water level rising and can drain it out.

You will most likely need to give the plants a little bit of fertilizer now and again, but lava rock does contain some nutrients, so play it by ear.

Good luck with it!