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krystenr1
Aug 21, 2017 10:56 PM CST
I just planted some succulents in a terrarium a week ago and put it outside on a sunny step. It appears that some of the leaves have already shriveled. What have I done wrong? I've also included photos of when I originally planted them prior to the shriveling.


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[Last edited by krystenr1 - Aug 21, 2017 10:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Aug 21, 2017 11:05 PM CST
Looks like sunburn.
In an enclosed space like that it can get a lot warmer than the ambient temperature, which won't help. In addition, depending on where you got the succulents and what kind of environment they are used to, a sudden move into a lot more sun light would also cause them to get sun burn.

So see if they do better in less sun. Did you water them at all? If not giving them some water will probably not hurt either.

There are people with more experience growing these kind of succulents, who I am sure will chime in, I have not had any luck growing these kind of succulents in the Phoenix area - too hot in the summer even in the shade - so I have stopped trying and thus my experience is with them is limited. It does look like sun burn though.
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Hamwild
Aug 22, 2017 7:37 AM CST
Sadly (I say sadly because it looked beautiful!), terrariums aren't best for cacti and succulents because the glass cooks them. Sad
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Aug 22, 2017 7:58 AM CST
Thijs is correct in the assessment given! I also agree with Ham. The combination of sun loving succulents in a terrarium in the sun is not the best. I think certain succulents that don't need sunlight but bright light would be better suited if one has to put them in a terrarium. For example, some succulents that do OK in bright light and grow slower would be certain darker green members of Haworthia and Gasteria.
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Aug 22, 2017 9:47 AM CST
Would you guys suggest that I move them inside to a sunny-ish room? Right now they are in my backyard which is south-facing, so maximum sun. I think a better option would maybe to put them on my front patio, which is mostly shaded and north-facing. What do you think?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 22, 2017 10:18 AM CST
I never liked growing succulents in terrariums. It is just not their nature to do so. They prefer well draining media in containers with drain holes, lots of air flow, and contrary to general belief, some succulents are happier in part shade than in full sun. They will burn with intensified sun passing thru the glass. The moisture retention will just invite fungal rotting too.

I would recommend you repot your lovely succulents in a proper container with drain holes instead, no glass top cover.

Also, not sure if you are in coastal Los Angeles side or more inland. It intensifies more as you go inland, so better protect them from too much south facing sun.

[Last edited by tarev - Aug 22, 2017 10:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Aug 22, 2017 10:32 AM CST
tarev said:...I would recommend you repot your lovely succulents in a proper container with drain holes instead, no glass top cover.


I agree with tarev. If you are concerned with the health of those particular type of sun-loving succulents, you should consider removing from glass container and repotting. If you are concerned with having something pretty in the terrarium, consider other types of plant more suited to what a terrarium would offer... i.e. plants that are slow growing, needs lower light level, thrive in humidity, etc

Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Aug 22, 2017 10:36 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'm closer to downtown Los Angeles, so I am more inland and yes, the sun is very intense here.

I will remove them from the terrarium and consider this a failed experiment. I'm bummed because it took forever to get them all in there! Oh well. Thank you!
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Aug 22, 2017 10:43 AM CST

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Your experiment is not a failure if you learned something from it. Smiling

From what I have seen, terraria are usually a dead end for succulents. They look great inside until they fail to get enough water (or are drowned) and then it's typically downhill from there. My advice would be to avoid them unless they have a hole in the bottom.

The succulents you have chosen do not need full sun and will look better with some protection until the fall. I would say a couple of hours of sun would be sufficient in a location that's otherwise pretty bright.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 22, 2017 10:47 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 22, 2017 12:34 PM CST
Try cryptanthus instead on your terrarium, that bromeliad intensely loves moist conditions and has succulent-like leaves, maybe you can put in a small container with drain holes, and set it inside your terrarium, surrounded by sphagnum moss or spanish moss. This plant is endemic to South America, so it loves very humid conditions. So a terrarium set-up is suitable for it.

As for your existing succulents, try to look for shallow containers with drain holes, their root systems are shallow, you can still arrange in the layout you made, just no terrarium or glass on top. Position in part sun area during our very warm and dry months, as the seasons change later to the cold season, be mindful of watering and position to more sun so it can sustain the warmth and lighting conditions it needs during the colder period.
Name: Sweetwind
SF Bay Area (Zone 10b)
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Sweetwind
Aug 23, 2017 8:36 PM CST
OT - may I ask what the red succulent in your terrarium is, Krysten? I have one that looks similar, I've been trying to track down an ID. Thank You!
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Aug 23, 2017 10:05 PM CST
Sweetwind said:OT - may I ask what the red succulent in your terrarium is, Krysten? I have one that looks similar, I've been trying to track down an ID. Thank You!


It's a Graptosedum Vera Higgins!

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