The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

DIY Indoor Succulent Garden

I remember calling my mom a few weeks after moving into my very first apartment and asking her how to keep a plant alive. Within a few weeks, my 21 year old self had managed to off several.

Her answer: “Get a succulent.”

More than a decade later, the succulent is still my favorite plant and I happily have them displayed all over our home. They are the absolute easiest way to bring the outdoors in without much maintenance or thought. Since their current rise in popularity, it is now much easier to find wide varieties at your local big box store or farmers market.

This is a perfectly quick project to add life to your office space or to take on as a family in anticipation for Spring! Just be careful, it’s terribly addicting…


· mini succulents (check your local farmer’s market)
· glass container (IKEA and Michael’s are a great source)
· small rocks
· charcoal
· cactus soil
· orchid bark
· spoon
· spray bottle

Start by adding a layer of rocks in your glass container. I like to keep my layers as even as possible just for visual purposes but you’ll want at least a full layer with no holes. Follow this step by adding a layer of charcoal. I found both of these supplies at my local nursery.

Next you’ll add a little bit of your cactus soil. Nestle your plant in the soil and continue to build soil around it using your spoon, patting the soil down around your plant with your fingers as you go. Finally add a single layer of the orchid bark over your soil layer and give a few mists of water to quench your plant’s thirst! Depending on the humidity in your home and where your plant is placed will depend on how much water it needs. In our home, a few mists every 2 weeks seems to do the trick!

Here are some fun variations from our home to add some pep to your succulent garden:

Spray paint one of those boring containers from an old florist delivery.

Search out fun vintage glassware at garage sales or antique shops to use as vessels.

Add a little fun for the kids by adding some painted toys. This garden resides on the window sill in our playroom! I just loved the painted dino terrarium idea from Harpers Happenings so I added them to our succulent garden.

Simply wrap some hemp or twine around a glass container for a more rustic look! Just tie or glue in place.

About Shannon

Shannon Harrison is a modern freestyle portrait and wedding photographer living near San Diego, California with her best friend/husband and 3 wild wee ones by her side. When shes not hanging with her clients from JACKANDRUBYstudios, you will find this homebody in the kitchen baking something drizzled with caramel or perusing the aisles of Target. Known to pull out her beloved Nikon at the local grocery store or a family bike ride, Shannon finds inspiration just about anywhere. She encourages photographers and hobbyists alike to focus on personal projects and their families to drive creativity. After all, no one can see your family the way you do.

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  • Yvonne

    Great examples of using succulents indoors. I used it for inspiration on my post on using succulents in terrariums.

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  • Mei Yii

    I love how you explained it – so much simpler than most other websites I’ve read. :) thank you for the creative tips on how to decorate them too!

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  • Altered-art

    Thank for this easy how to! I love succelants too!

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  • Jasmine Sargent

    Love succulents! But I promise you I can still kill a succulent! I forget which rooms I put them in and then end up with no water all of winter! lol

  • Marci Goodwin

    Great idea! A couple years ago I posted how to make a terrarium here at The Creative Mama and it is still alive! These are such easy, interesting projects.

    • shannon

      Just looked your up Marci! looks beautiful. i havent quite made it to that nice of a terrarium yet :) theres hope yet…

  • Stacey Holbrook Woods

    Thank you for this post, Shannon! My thumb is black too. My succulents are even dying. My husband teases me that I’m the only person he knows who can kill a cactus. Hmm, charcoal… so that’s what I’m missing! Now I’m on a mission to revive them. 😉

    • shannon

      I cant imagine that you have a lot of time to worry about the plants. LOL! Ive had trouble when mine were too close to an open window or too much water. Maybe thats it?

  • Clair Dickson

    You mean there is hope for a black thumb like me? Thanks for sharing this info- I would love to start adding plants to my home but I thought I was a lost cause. :)

    • shannon

      You’re not Clair! I swear its easy :)