How many times have you seen those DIY videos and tutorials making cool cactus gardens inside a glass terrarium? We’re sure you thought, how neat would it be to have that ultimate cactus garden that doesn’t need anything else but sunlight and a little water? Well, there are some good reasons you shouldn’t follow this tragic path. All too often they end up having more problems than people like to admit. Here are some tips you shouldn’t follow when planting any kind of succulents in a enclosed glass container.

Why You Should Not Plant Succulents in a Terrarium

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Did You Know That Terrariums Don’t Have Great Airflow?

Once more reason that you should know is that airflow is restricted to levels you can’t control. Plant a succulent in a near-bubble structure and you’ll find that the air itself is a deathtrap waiting to happen. This is why the greenhouse effect is a very real problem in this world. It all starts when a closed (or even partially closed) terrarium has that high water content, and the air becomes a lot warmer than you thought could get.

Going to a greenhouse always feels so muggy and likewise for visiting that butterfly exhibit at the zoo. Those enclosed rooms are filled with so much excess moisture that even the windows usually get all fogged- up. And sunlight just doesn’t fix this problem either. It can act as the accelerant to a super-heated death blow.

The more airflow that a terrarium has can lessen this effect, so having one that is as open as possible might just work. But always keep in mind that the smaller the opening, the more air cannot get in. And certainly in hot sunlight will speed this effect up to 11, making your succulent die in a slow agonizing demise.

Most Enclosed Terrariums Don’t Have Practical Drainage

While a terrarium is a cool way to display flowers, plants, and assorted decorations, they present a whole other downside you might not know about. Here’s what happens in a nutshell when you try to grow cacti in a terrarium. The main factor to remember is that succulents are real sensitive to moist soil. Everyone who grows them knows this already, too much water is bad for them to thrive.

But then you see how a lot of these folks are using gravel at the bottom (in their DIY’s), to act as a drainage system. All this does is makes the scenery look pretty. Moisture from the topsoil eventually lets excess water to flow right back to the bottom. But here’s where you get into trouble. Unless you have a release hole drilled into that glass container, that water isn’t going anywhere.

Here’s the problem: evaporating water from the bottom rises and gets trapped in the upper soil. It condenses and ends up back down there. Don’t fall for this trick. Things like bacteria and fungi that can grow in there getting into your soil later. Take it upon yourself to not make this mistake.

Why You Should Not Plant Succulents in a Terrarium

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Why Is Too Much Humidity Bad For Succulents?

Sad as it seems, your terrarium isn’t designed to be a dry place, which is what succulents need to thrive. Your succulent does need water, but when they get enough- that’s it. Do a finger test in the soil, if it’s moist then no more water! Most partially enclosed terrariums have moist soil, so there’s always a greenhouse effect going on from all that moisture in an enclosed space.

In all honesty, the humidity is not going to hurt your succulent, though the moisture in the soil (especially that warm air) can cause fungi and mold to happen. While this isn’t a bad thing for most cactus species, that bacteria can ultimately harm their root system. This effect has a double danger because of the moisture level in there.

Evaporation is just not happening fast enough because of the high water content, so the soil always stays too moist. In the end, you might have the roots of your succulent developing what is called: root rot.

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Is It True Terraria Need Their Space Too?

Another problem you will face- is that in a space smaller where terraria need to grow doesn’t work out either. Alright, smaller succulents can grow quickly in a couple of weeks but after that they have reached the goldfish effect’. Your terrarium isn’t designed to offer them more space to grow further. And in that time their root system will have increased likewise and that brings more drama to the table.

If the terrarium is not big enough to suit the needs of their growing roots, other cacti that share the same space are forced to fight for root territory. Succulents need a wider root system that’s meant to catch all the moisture their roots can reach. If that space is limited, you’ll find that stunted growth will be a result. Not just that but when more than one plant is fighting for dominance, the overcrowding can be tragic for any cacti.

A Mixed Bunch Is A Mixed-Bag

Once again we return to that mistake we’ve all been led to believe. The more the merrier when it comes to colors, varieties, and cool looking cactus arrangements- they look incredible! But the big question is: Why would you do this if you know that they’ll all have to compete in a small container Yes, folks, Just by having nine little Indians in a closed space is going to make life terrible for them all.

They all need to grow and need a wide space with distance from each other. By putting too many succulents

altogether, you’ll start to notice that they’ll begin fighting for survival. And as you might have guessed, they all will go one-by-one because the stronger species of cacti wants to survive more than their greedy neighbor does. Suffice to say, that having an overcrowded terrarium is a bad idea from the start.

In conclusion, we hope these tips are helpful for your succulent garden and the reasons why we believe that terrariums are not good to use at all. Not that all terrarium designs are totally bad, just beware of these conditions that can happen. Always be sure that your cacti have the proper environment so they grow the way they were intended to grow.