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I want to make my own cacti terrarium, what are the things i need? and how should i get started?

Hi Sander

Personally I do not think that cacti are suited to this type of cultivation as it will be too humid for them.

But there are ways around everything.

What I suggest is to use a open fronted container where air can circulate. This way, they will not be too humid and will not start rotting.

What you need is crocks for the bottom and also make sure that the container has drainage holes. Then mix some sand, charcoal and compost up to make up the right soil conditions. You have to give the glass a thorough clean to remove any fragments that could cause pest and disease.

Place the crocks at the bottom and then add the compost mix. Put on some gloves to handle your cacti or fold a piece of cardboard in half and wrap it around your cacti to free them from the pots and this also prevents damage to the spines. Tease out the roots a little and place the tallest in the middle or back and then work your way down to the smallest. Firm each one gently and do not water for a least 4 days so any damaged roots dry up and do not rot.

When you do water, water very gently to settle to mix and to just moisten the roots. The best time to make one of these is mid-spring to mid-summer, when they are actively growing. Its up to you.

Do not water more than every two weeks in summer and only about once a month or less during summer. Make sure air gets in to it to prevent a too humid atmosphere that could cause rot.

Give it plenty of light and do make sure to place it outside through the summer.

I hope this helps.

Good luck with it.



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Jonathan Alderson


I cannot answer questions about pruning and minimum winter temperatures of most species. I cannot answer questions about propagation from seed.


I have been growing cacti for a couple of years and have acquired about 35 cacti and about 15 different succulents. I have propagated some of them successfully and grown them into plants. I know how to re-pot and plant them and what time of year. I know mostly about desert cacti and only a bit about the jungle cacti. The jungle cactus that I know most about is the Schlumbergera. I know a lot about Aloe Aristata and this species is the first type that introduced to this category. I know about the propagation of most species and how to care for them. I can answer questions about watering, feeding and how to keep them healthy. I also know how to induce flowering in most cacti and succulents. I do a lot of reading and have got quite a few books and I have the internet to read up on different species. I know a bit about the classification about the different genus' and families.

Trade Base Community Allotment Society.

I have an NVQ Level 1 in horticulture.

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