building a cactus terrarium
DIY,  Lifestyle

How to Build Your Very Own Cactus Terrarium

Pass your time being stuck in lockdown making your very own mini cactus terrarium.

This is what I’ve loved most about the whole lockdown experience, getting back in touch with my creative and arty side, designing homewares and other fabulous things around the house.

From staying in drinking hot chocolates, snuggled on the couch, watching some brilliant International television shows and movies, to concentrating more on my writing and getting back into reading, I’ve really taken the whole lockdown experience as a way of getting back in touch with everything I love doing.

And without the distractions of other things which usually took up most of my time, I’ve managed to better delegate my time to work and leisure, to give me more time to enjoy those things I love doing.

One of this things I’ve always wanted to do, is create my very own mini cactus terrarium. I had spent the better part of at least three months collecting a variety of inspirational imagery from Pinterest from other who had created some fabulous terrariums, so now it was time to create my very own.

I already had the vase, as it was given as a gift with flowers I received many moons back. As a vase it was a little awkward to use, as it was difficult to keep the flowers in the right place, with them swishing around the very fish bowl like vase shape. So it sat at the back the cupboard for a very long time, waiting to be used for another purpose. A home for cactuses.

Of course, sometimes in Australia it can be super difficult to source a lot of things you need to get creative. And more often than not, a lot of the items are really expensive to purchase as well. So, I spent a lot of time online looking at a variety of shops online to see where to get items for the best price. Turns out Kmart and Bunnings here in Australia are the best spots. For glass vases, to soil, rocks, sand and cactuses. Anywhere else and the prices were just way too much.

As as much s I love Flower Power and Spotlight, and enjoy a stroll through their homewares and plants, they are way to expensive for simply creative at home arts and crafts.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • A glass vase or bowl of sorts (which you can get from either Bunnings or Kmart. Spotlight also sell these, so source the best priced for your budget.
  • A variety of cactus. The smaller the batter and a few different shaped ones are great for creating layers and contrasting effects for your garden.
  • Sand
  • Rocks or pebbles
  • If you want you can also add some figurines into the garden, if you have the space.
  • Cactus food
  • Soil

Of course buying the things required to make your garden is the easy part, it’s the designing part that’s challenging. Even after gaining inspiration from Pinterest, to actually create what you see is another thing entirely. So do expect a little trial and error along the way.

I also had a bowl of clean water and soap, paper towel and an empty bowl on standby, in the event I had to pull it all out, start again and redesign, in the event I didn’t like what created or made a mess of sorts.

Here’s how you start creating your garden:

If you are choosing to use a bowl like mine, which is a very fishbowl like design, large space in the middle, but small opening at the top, then you’ll want to start by adding in your larger cactus first, before moving on to the smaller ones.

Only fill the bowl, vase or whatever type of glass container you are using with soil a 1/4 of the way, so you’re not filling it too high with soil and restricting yourself with space to move around and of course space to plant your cactuses. Once you have done this, then you will need to move onto planting your cactuses.

As mentioned before, make sure you plant the larger ones first. I chose a nice green spiky one, with long leaves for a contrasting effect to the garden. This was a little difficult to work with, as I miscalculated the size of the bowl when purchasing the cactus from Bunnings.

But after some careful negotiating of the cactus in the bowl, I managed to finally fit in into the right place, before moving onto the next cactus and then the next one after that.

Once I had them all in the right place, I was then ready to place a layer of sand onto of all the soil to create a nice desert landscape for the terrarium.

Once this has been done, you can them move onto decorating the top layer with rocks or pebbles and anything else you think would work to complete your design. I kept mine simple and chose some beautiful pale green and white rocks I found at Bunnings. I didn’t cover the whole landscape with them though, but rather used them in small clusters throughout to either support the cactus or to create a rocky desert theme.

Of course, I had WAY too many cactus leftover, so I will now have to create another one – shame shame HAHA.

I truly had so much fun making this cactus garden and I look forward to making another one, I have even found another vase at the back of the cupboard which would be perfect to use. It is a tall wide round shaped one, not a fishbowl one, so I will be able to fit at least three of the leftover cactuses I bought in my next garden.

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