Terrarium DIY

Let’s talk TERRARIUMS, amigos!


     So if you haven’t noticed, terrariums have become all the rage lately in decorating, and I am all about it! (Confession, I may or may not currently have 3 terrariums in my living room alone LOL) Terrariums are stinkin’ adorable, & when done right, are such a ridiculously low-maintenance way to add a funky, unique, fun pop to any room. So let’s chat about the RIGHT way to plant them!

     First things first, THEE key & probably the single most important part of building your terrarium, is your soil. I always say your succulents are only as healthy as the soil you plant them in, and this is even more true & critical when building a terrarium. With succulents you ALWAYS want to make sure you have the best-draining soil possible=a mix that allows ample drainage, plenty of oxygen flow throughout the soil, & allows the carbon dioxide to cycle from the bottom, up, & out of your terrarium or planter. SOOOO what’s the secret sauce to creating this type of soil? the BEST, most natural way of doing that is by….


1st KEY: Using a good quality soil (ie. one that is low in peat moss & low in coco coir because these can easily cause root rot, mold, & attract bugs) I typically use either Kellogg’s Palm, Cactus, Citrus soil, or EB Stone’s Cactus Mix (both of which have a small % of our pumice in them already!

2nd KEY: Boost the health of your soil by using lots of PUMICE!  Pumice has a multitude of benefits when planting in general (read all of them here), but especially with terrariums. One of the main benefits of pumice is it’s sponge-like structure, which allows for excess water absorption; terrariums have no drainage holes in them so if you over-water the extra water will puddle at the bottom and cause your plants to rot. So using a high % of pumice in your soil (I typically use at least 60% pumice mixed with 40% soil) will ensure any extra water will be soaked up within the pumice stones, and released only when the soil begins to dry out! On top of that super helpful quality, PUMICE also has dozens of trace minerals in it that help feed your plants nutrients, it adds significant aeration, allows that carbon dioxide to leave the root system, deters bugs, & never rots/never needs to be replaced.


First, add a layer of PUMICE at the bottom as a base to catch excess water, then add your mix of 60% pumice, 40% soil.

So, now that you have the 2 major keys to building your perfectly crafted & low-maintenance terrarium, let’s get to actually building!

   STEP 1:    I like to prime my terrarium with a base layer of PUMICE. I put about a 1-2″ layer of pure pumice (I used our 1/8″ size in this project). This again, catches any excess water & keeps your succulents roots nice & dry. Some people also like to add a layer of activated charcoal on top of the pumice, especially for enclosed terrariums, or shapes that do not get a lot of oxygen flowing through them. Using a thin layer of activated charcoal can stimulate oxygen, keep the water fresh, & fight off bacterial growth.

   STEP 2:   After you’ve laid your foundation, next step is to add your 60:40 – pumice:soil mixture. I suggest adding at least a 2″ layer of soil, depending on the height/size of your terrarium you can add more or less; for this medium sized terrarium I used an average of 2.5″ deep in the middle, so the succulents would be flush with the lip of the terrarium. Additionally, I actually increased the depth of the soil towards the back of the terrarium to about 3″, to better elevate and show off the far succulents, making the soil deeper made those plants visible from every angle. Soil depth is really personal preference, it comes down to what look you like, you can get away with a lower depth of soil, I just prefer more depth aesthetically, & so the roots have plenty of room to spread out over time. 

  STEP 3:   Grab your succulents and start removing the soil from the root ball!


Remove ALL soil from the roots.

     For indoor terrariums I typically suggest using succulents that do well indoors. For this terrarium I chose a mix of hardy succulents that I had around: a Graptoveria Debbie for my “focal succy”, a zebra haworthia (to add dimension), panda plants, Aeonium Castello-paivae, ghosties, and some freshly propagated teeny graptoverias & echeverias. Some other great options for indoor terrariums would be sedums, string of hearts/bananas/pearls, aloes, hens & chicks, jade, lithops, crassula, and most types of cacti! Echeverias are a possible option & are so delicate and beautiful, however most types tend to stretch toward the light if they aren’t directly near a window or source of indirect bright light. Just to keep in mind!

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     When planting the succulents I find it easiest to start with your largest succulent, or whichever succulent will be your focal point that the eye is drawn to, and then build around that. When planting in such a small space, I’ve found having a tiny spade and chopsticks is a serious game-changer! Use the tiny spade to dig a hole for each succulent, and use the chopstick to press the roots down into the soil as far as possible. I bought THIS kit on amazon for $8, and I swear, it’s changed my life; it has everything you could possibly need, from tiny spade & rake, tweezers, spray bottle, squeeze-waterer, farina-safe dust brush etc. It’s an amazing steal not just for terrariums but planting in general! (ps. I’m not getting paid to recommend it, I just love it so much & think it kicks buttcheeks!)


     Once you have all your succulents arranged beautifully & squeezed into their cute new terrarium home, (I literally mean squeezed, as you can see I squished alllll these succulents in here because I personally love the look of a rainbow-variety of colors, & overflowing planters with a lot going on. Some people however prefer to leave space and only use a few succulents, so they have room to grow. (NOTE: with any planter, when you plant succulents close together it will slow their growth, they accommodate to the space they are in; so in this case because I have the plants crowded in the terrarium so closely, they will grow much slower, staying the size they are for at least a few months!  I will eventually have to swap them out once they overgrow, but that will be at least 4-5 months from now.


LAST STEP: Time for the finishing touches, using your chopstick & mini spade adjust everything to sit exactly the way you want, and add a final topping of Pumice (I used this blue barrel that came in my handy-dandy amazon kit to pour around the succulents). I dress the top of the terrarium with pumice to again, catch excess water, and because I just love the look it gives it. It has a cool layered-look from the sides & back, and to me has a more finished look than just leaving the soil exposed. 


…& that’s all folks. It’s seriously THAT easy!


Now, Let’s talk follow-up: WATERING & Maintaining

     This is the final major key to keeping your terrarium healthy & last as long as possible! This was also the most asked questioned I got on instagram & on my Christmas terrarium project. Like we discussed earlier, because there is no drainage hole in the bottom of terrariums watering makes or breaks your succulents in their new home. Using the base of pumice, & pumice in your soil mix helps immeasurably, but over-watering & mistakes can still happen! 

WHEN TO WATER: My biggest piece of advice for watering your terrarium, less is best, & err on the side of under-watering rather than over-watering. You only want to water your terrarium when the soil is bone-dry. The easiest way to test the soil dryness is by using our handy chopstick, once again. Stick the chopstick as deep as it will go in between your succulents, and pull it out; when you pull the chopstick out, feel it, if you feel any moisture at all on the stick wait to water, but if the stick is clean and dry then you’re ready to water! So with this exact terrarium, I have been watering once every 3 weeks, and it has been extremely happy with that (preface: I live at the beach, so it’s an extremely humid environment, year-round).  

HOW TO WATER: I’ve found the best and safest way to water terrariums is by using a dropper for small terrariums, & using the squeeze-bottle waterer that comes in the Amazon pack for medium-large terrariums. Using this squeeze bottle allows you to water in between the succulents, rather than on top of the succulents. Standing water in the rosette or on top of your succulents can attract aphids and leave unattractive water-spots on your succulents. ALSO SO SO IMPORTANT, when you’re watering, do so EXTREMELY sparingly, do not flood the terrarium, you only need just enough water to simply hydrate the roots of the succulents in the terrarium! So, for example this bad boy we made, I water with barely 1/3″ cup of water total, using the squeeze bottle to water in between the succulents so it goes straight down into the soil (which again, I only do once every 3 weeks when I feel the soil is dry as the Sahara Desert). You DO NOT want to overwater, as stated earlier, it is sooo much better to underwater than overwater, succulents can actually still thrive with neglect, but once they get oversaturated and rot, you’ve lost the battle, & there’s no going back. 


     Now all that’s left is to find the perfect spot for your new work of plant art! I typically suggest putting your terrarium in a place that gets consistent bright & indirect light! Most succulents typically do not do well in low-light areas, or dark corners of cabinets & parts of the house that don’t get natural light. You will be able to tell if your succulents need more light if they start stretching out and getting tall & the leaves begin to stretch out. If this happens, I suggest either moving your terrarium to a brighter area permanently, OR if you really like that spot, just make sure to frequently move it to a sunny spot, several times a week. Unintentional bonus: this will help you get more exercise ;P


    So friends, that’s pretty much it! It’s a lot easier than people think to create & up-keep these beauties, if you do it the right way from the beginning. When using high-quality soil, pumice, planting the roots well, watering accurately, & making sure they get enough light, your terrarium can thrive as long as you’d like! I got a lot of questions about whether it is realistic to keep terrariums for long periods of time without them dying or overgrowing it & having to replant them, and the answer is yes it is absolutely realistic, and even better, they can be literally the most low-maintenance, easy, adorable addition to your home.

Hope that was helpful! Now go get to planting your own terrarium!


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HUGEEEEE thank you to my amazing intern @iwasakiphotos for helping me create this beauty & taking these ridiculously gorgeous photos!

Propagation How-To & FAQ’s

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Do you want a kabillion succulents but also don’t want to pay the kabillion dollars that goes along with buying them??? Well, then you’re in the right place, PROPAGATION is the name of the game. What the heck is propagation? Well buckle up kids, because it’s about to get allllll kinds of magic school bus scientific up in here right now. Just kidding, I’m definitely no scientist, but hey, I think that’s why this blog will be helpful to folks who like me, just want things explained to them as simply & plainly as possible…like “explain it to me like I’m in 2nd grade” status.


“the super easy, magical process of taking 1 mature succulent & turning it into 2, 3, sometimes even 20 NEW baby succulents, at no additional cost to you!”

Okay, that’s not Webster, but that definition did come straight from Lexi’s Dictionary. More succulents, for no money, truly sounds to good to be true, but it’s not, promise! If I can do it, anyone can do it!

So FIRST THINGS FIRST, grab a succulent, ANY succulent…

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One of the best things about propagation is that the mama succulent can be in prime health, or one of your sadder succulents that have been dropped *guilty*, bruised, grown too tall, or stretched from lack of light etc. I have even propagated some succulents that I’ve found root rot on near the lower part of the stem, that have reproduced perfectly happy & healthy new babies! So instead of throwing away the whole damaged succulent *single tear* why not try to at least get one or two babies out of it on its way out?? (note: if you pull leaves from a succulent that you found rot or aphids on, I suggest keeping those leaves separate from your other healthy propagation babies, JUST to be safe & not spread any potential unseen aphids or rot to healthy leaves).


Before plucking any leaves for propagating, I do a preliminary check underneath the lower leaves of the mama succulent first, many times you will find leaves that have been accidentally knocked loose from the stem & are just laying on the soil underneath mama & that have already begun the propagation process all on their own. This is like finding buried treasure. (Perfect example is this guy I just found underneath mama Perle, loungin’ on top of the pumice she’s planted in.


When you find these leaves underneath mama, you have 2 options, either leave it tucked under mama until it grows large enough to need it’s own pot, or pull it out from underneath & set on top of a bed of PUMICE or a 50/50 mix of PUMICE & cactus soil to continue growing. Either way, you’re already on the road to your kabillion succulents.


Now comes the fun part, the plucking! So one of the biggest keys to a high success rate in propagating is making sure to pluck the leaf correctly! If you don’t, the likelihood of your leaf reproducing is much lower. When removing leaves for propagating, you want to gently grab the sides of the leaf with your thumb & pointer and wiggle it back & forth from side to side, slow & steady. After a few wiggles you will hear a sort of “pop” sound & the leaf should completely release from the stem without tugging or pulling. During the plucking process you want the whole leaf to stay in tact, you want a “clean break”. If you wiggle too abruptly or at a wrong angle, or try to just pull the leaf off, typically a small part of the leaf will break & remain on the stem & chances are your baby leaf will not successfully reproduce if this happens. (Tip: The bottom leaves of the mama are most likely to give you the best results & release most easily)

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After you’ve plucked your little heart out & have a handful of leaves ready to reproduce, it’s pretty easy breezy from here on out. I have personally found the best success from laying the plucked leaves immediately onto a bed of dry, pure PUMICE. (I use our 1/8″ or 3/16″ size pumice for my propagation trays)

Here’s the benefits of using Pumice vs. just soil – our PUMICE is:

  • SUPER dry – which is very important for freshly plucked leaves (they are more susceptible to over-absorbing water & rot until they have been given time to callous.
  • Packed with minerals & nutrients that help boost growth & photosynthesis while your new babies are growing big & strong.
  • Sterile – ultra-clean, free from harmful bacterias, molds, & insects that can be hiding in soil or other natural amendments.
  • pH Neutral – unlike other amendments it will not effect alkalinity or acidity, giving a more stable, neutral home for your babies to thrive.


Once you’ve placed your leaves on a bed of PUMICE (if you don’t have pumice place them on a dry tray or paper towel; however, I highly suggest NOT placing them on soil at this point). Now, place the tray somewhere dry, with indirect or filtered sunlight (ie. in a south-facing window that gets morning light, or a shady area of your outdoor garden that gets morning sun only), do NOT place them somewhere that gets lots of direct sunlight or where they will get very hot or cold at any point throughout the day. The next part is probably the hardest part, LEAVE THEM ALONE. Ha! Let the freshly plucked leaves callous for at least 3-5 days without watering them or touching them AT ALL. Until the new leaf callouses, the “head” (where it was detached from the mama) is like a super sponge water absorber, & the leaves are most susceptible to rot at this point because of that factor. So LEAVE THEM ALONE, & away from areas that get morning dew or any sort of water at all.

After the leaves have had their time of solitary confinement, you can start paying a little bit of attention to them. Leave them in this dry, indirectly sunlit spot & after 5 days to a week you can begin to very LIGHTLY spritz around the leaves with water using a spray bottle once a week. During the early stages I like to spray closely around the leaf, but not directly on it, just to be safe & keep from over-hydrating/rotting the head of the leaf. Propagating leaves can grow with very minimal water, but cannot handle over-hydration. This is another common mistake made during propagation. It’s honestly better to deprive/under-water than over-water your babies in the beginning stages. Many people will actually wait until pink roots are visible to begin watering in general!

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After a few weeks, sometimes it can even take months with certain varieties of succulents, your baby leaves will start sprouting beautiful pink roots. This is when you finally have verification that your baby leaf is on its way to becoming a toddler. Keep misting/spraying your succulents once a week at this point (every other week during the winter) & just be patient. Confession: the waiting can be SO frustrating & it may seem like nothing is happening, SO I suggest taking progress pictures every other week to visibly see the growth you may not notice day to day. But STILL, leave them alone, do not move or pick up or pull the leaves to check if the roots are growing, this can disturb the roots & actually cause them to wither & die.

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Once your leaf has lots of pink roots & has finally sprouted a pup (your new tiny succulent), you can transfer it from the tray to it’s own pot! (still keeping it in a south facing window or shaded, brightly lit part of your garden) I typically like to transport them to a 2″ recycled nursery pot or terra cotta pot with a mixture of 60% PUMICE, 40% cactus soil! Make sure whatever pot you transfer to has TONS of drainage (again, excess water equals rot & all that patience you’ve had thus far goes out the window). I typically leave the mama leaf on when transferring the pup as long as possible, it helps continue to lend nutrients to the pup as it grows, and the mama leaf will eventually either fall off on its own or get SUPER dry & crunchy & be easily removed when ready & done supplying nutrients to the pup.


When transferring simply set the leaf in the middle of its new pot & sprinkle a tiny bit of pumice or your pumice/soil mixture on top of the roots & once again, do not water for a few days while the pup is getting established in its new home. I like to continue to spritz water until the mama leaf has fallen off & I am certain that the baby is grown enough & resilient enough to withstand normal watering.


Once the roots are planted, all that’s left to do is really just kick back, relax, & wait for continued growth, watering once a week or whenever you feel the soil is bone dry. Additional tip: If you can give them a drink of rain water that is also super helpful (rainwater is packed full of minerals & washes away excess salts, dirt, & dust that may have settled on the pup or in the soil).


Alright, that’s all folks. It’s truly that easy. The biggest factors that trip people up are the process of plucking the leaves, (remember clean break, gentle wiggle) putting the leaves in the wrong environment to grow (no direct hot sunlight, they sunburn immediately like your palest friend at the beach) & no overwatering or premature watering after plucking (when in doubt, risk under-watering rather than overwatering). & for the thirtieth time LEAVE THEM ALONE to do their thing, I know they’re cute & you want to take videos & photos of the progress but do all those things without touching or moving them. Lastly, keep in mind, not EVERY leaf is going to reproduce, regardless of how perfectly you pluck the leaf & pristine your environment, sometimes they just don’t make it. I’ve found I have generally a 70% survival rate with my propagating leaves, so give yourself some grace for the lost ones & keep plucking away.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any other questions or comments PLEASE leave them below, I’d love to help in any other ways I can! ❤

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Here’s an additional bit of advice/reading, just a few of the most Frequently Asked Questions I get on instagram about propagating:



What are some of the best/easiest types of succulents to propagate? Especially for a Beginner??

     GREAT QUESTION! So some sorts that I & others have had great/quick results are:

  • Thicker-leaf succies (like Graptoveria & Echeverias: Opalinas, Lolas, Lilacinas, Fred Ives, etc)
  • Ghost Plants, & Dwarf Ghost Plants
  • Sedum Burro’s Tail, String of Pearls
  • Kalanchoe (mother of thousands)
  • Panda Plant (one of my personal fuzzy favorites)
  • Sedum “Jelly Bean” or “Pork & Bean” plant

What do you do if you get mealy bugs in prop tray?

     Oooof, Mealybugs in your prop tray are worse than ants in your pants. First of all, immediately move the leaves/pups with mealies to their own separate tray to keep from contaminating other healthy leaves. After moving them, I have had the most success with spraying them with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, or if you want to be even safer mix equal parts alcohol & water, and spray your infected succies with that & check back in a few days. If the mealies are still there in a few days repeat the process again. Do not oversaturate them however!

How can I know when a leaf is a lost cause or has died?

     If your leaf starts becoming white/translucent, brown & mushy, or starting to get black spots or grow mold, or the roots turn brown & crunchy it’s time to say goodbye sadly. These are all signs that your leaf is dead/dying & can’t be revived. Also, if you’ve had a leaf or leaves on prop trays for a few months and there are no roots at all or changes in growth, that’s also bad news, time to restart.

How do I know when to water?

     DO NOT WATER AT ALL for at least 3-5 days after removing leaves from the mama stem, give time for the opening, exposed head of the leaf to callous & adapt, otherwise it will absorb too much water too quickly, & rot. I actually put the leaves on a bed of dry pumice & wait an average of 7-10 days before watering at all. After you’ve patiently waited, you can use a clean, empty spray bottle to spritz the soil around the leaf (rather than directly on the leaf), this causes the growing roots to stretch toward the moistened soil & grow more quickly. Until they are more mature continue to only spray with water once a week, then once you transfer to its own pot & the mother leaf has shriveled or been removed, you can start watering more frequently.

How do I know when to transfer my baby leaf to its own pot?

     Honestly, you can move your new baby whenever you want really. I usually prefer to wait until the leaf has sprouted a number of healthy pink roots and has a decent-sized pup (mini succulent) growing out of the leaf. The most important factor is that you move the leaf as little as possible, other than that it’s totally up to whenever you’re ready!

Hope you enjoyed the blog & learned something new!

Until Next time friends,

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Last Minute Christmas DIY’s

       It’s crunch time friends, t-minus 5 days until Christmas, & I don’t know about you but I for sure am still a busy shopping beaver. This year though, I wanted to try to get creative with my decorations for my apartment for Christmas, & for our tables for our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner. I also wanted to make more succulent-style gifts for the friends/family I know that love succulents! Sooooo, I’m going to share a couple of my favorite DIY’s I’ve done that are SUPER quick, easy, and cost almost nothing to create you could still manage to whip up before Christmas Eve!! (Additional perk, they’re also amazing to give as gifts after Christmas dinner is over, or even just keep as winter decorations!)

First Christmas Craft – Snowy Christmas Terrarium



  • Terrarium (Available for purchase at Target or Hobby Lobby/Most Craft Stores)
    • You can also even use a fish bowl if you have one!
  • PUMICE (aka “snow”)
  • A cute, vintage ornament or toy truck! (Have fun with this part, I also later used some snowman ornaments or you can even display favorite keepsake ornaments!)
  • Bottle Brush Trees

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Conveniently, these were all things I already had in my home, & you probably do too, so this project literally cost me ZERO DOLLARS to make! That is the glory of this DIY!

     There’s really not much to building this beauty, which makes it that much better!

STEP 1: Fill the terrarium with pumice. (I used the size 1/8″, our smallest stone) & I went almost completely to the brim of the terrarium opening to ensure everything is visible!

DSC04170STEP 2: Place the ornament in the back of the terrarium & press down lightly to dig slightly into the pumice & sturdy it. Then place any other things you’d like to be in the background scape (bottlebrush trees, other ornaments, small figurines, etc).

STEP 3: Remove the soil completely from the roots of the succulents you will be using in the terrarium scene, then create a hole in the pumice (I like to use chopsticks to make manipulating the succulent into the hole easier & push the roots deeper down into the pumice.)

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     Add as many succulents as you’d like, or as few as you’d like, you can also add some battery-operated twinkle lights to give a cute night-time scape feel as well! & that’s literally it! Super fast (only takes about 5 minutes to make) so easy & you have an eye-catching Christmas terrarium everyone will love! I also made another terrarium with just a cactus & some twinkle lights from the dollar section at Target that I wrapped around it to look like a Christmas tree!

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Christmas Cardstock Succulent Planters 

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This next DIY is one I saw on Pinterest & absolutely fell in love with because the possibilities are ENDLESS! All you need is

  • A variety of sizes of Tin Cans (luckily it’s soup season!)
  • PUMICE (no soil needed)
  • Christmas-theme scrapbook paper/Card stock
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Succulents

     Most important part before we get started on DIY-ing, make yourself some soup or chili, put on a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie & enjoy yourself! Then after that, we can get started crafting. First step is you’re going to want to take the labels off each can & then empty & clean out/dry the inside of them all. 

     Next, you’re going to want to take your decorative cardstock & measure it to be slightly taller than the top of the can (only a few centimeters really), so that none of the metal is visible from top to bottom of your “planter”.

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     After all your cardstock is cut to size for your can-planters, get down with your hot-glue-bad-self. Grab your glue gun & don’t be afraid to use quite a bit, it won’t be visible at all through the cardstock. I like to hot glue it in 3 different spots (the middle of the front of the can, and under both seams around the back of the can where the cardstock will overlap). This will ensure that the card is securely attached to the can & will last as many Christmas’ as possible! 

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     Next, fill your newly-decorative planter-cans with PUMICE (I used our 1/8″ size here). Another amazing thing about this DIY is there is NO SOIL NECESSARY! Using only Pumice IMG_0371will keep your succulents happy & healthy, they can actually thrive in pumice alone, which will meanwhile keep bugs & mold out of your house, & it will also keep your tin planters from rusting when watering the succulents! 

Lastly, after all your tins are filled, all that’s left is to plant the succulents! Remove all the soil from the roots of the succulents, then once again, you can use chopsticks here as a hack to create holes in the pumice, & to press the roots down deeper into the pumice. & that’s literally IT! You’re done! These are so quick & simple to create, but the possibilities are literally endless, because the variety of sizes of cans & different pattern cardstocks available! They can also be updated each holiday/season by simply removing the Christmas cardstock & replacing with your new holiday decor cardstock or just cardstock that matches the interior of your home! (Can you say shiplap?!)

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LAST DIY but not least……

Succulent Ornaments!

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As a proclaimed crazy plant lady, I do my best to cover anything/everything in succulents that I possibly can, and in that spirit, I wanted to do a funky take on ornaments for my tree this year, so I decided what better way than to put some succulents on it? Duh! So we created these quick & easy succulent ornaments, and chances are yet again, these are all things you already have in your home!


  • Succulents (I used a variety of sizes from 2″-4″)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Ornament hooks (we bought these super sturdy pre-cut floral wire, as well as the silver & green ornament hooks at Walmart) You can also use copper wire, or even floral wire if you have some around!)


That’s literally ALL you need! First step, is once again, remove all the soil from the roots of your succulents, and once you remove the soil cut the roots/stem with scissors, but leave about half an inch of stem remaining to make your ornament more secure.

DSC03963    Next, take the floral wire or ornament hook and wrap it around the leftover part of the stem as tightly as possible. You’re going to then hot glue under the wrapped wire & over the top of the wire, completely encapsulating it in the glue; don’t be afraid to apply a thick layer of glue, that will only make your ornaments more sturdy!ACS_0172ACS_0179     Now all that’s left is let the glue dry, & you’re ready to hang away!  Keep in mind, the thicker & longer the wire, the stronger & better to manipulate it will be. Again, the possibilities are endless, you can make as many as you’d like with as many colors, types, & size of succulents you’d like!

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Alright, now I need to go finish my Christmas shopping ya’ll! But good luck making all these beauties & good luck! I hope you enjoyed reading & creating along with us.


Merry Christmas Friends! & Happy New Year!

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Oh Hey Pumpkin! ♥ DIY Succulent Pumicey-Pumpkin

          There’s a chill in the air, everything is pumpkin-spiced, the leaves are crunchy, my 2nd favorite part of the year is upon us, Happy FALL ya’ll! Though we’re only about halfway through the fall season, it’s FLYING by, & ashamedly as I type this I actually already have Christmas music blaring in the background, feel free to judge all you want LOL (I can’t help it, I have feliz navidad disease). ANYWAYS! We’ve worked on a couple fall pieces so far, and the first DIY is one that I’m sure you’ve already probably seen everywhere, however we put a little bit different of a spin on it…a PUMICE-EY spin of course!



          You’ve probably seen them on Pinterest or Instagram, because simply carving pumpkins is not good enough, us crazy plant ladies have to take it a step further & put succulents on everything, including those orange gourdy beauties. If you’ve seen any of these DIY’s, people typically use real mini/large pumpkins & use craft glue or hot glue to  attach moss to the top of the pumpkin, & then proceed to hot glue the succulents around the stem of the pumpkin on top of the moss. This way works, however the succulents cannot thrive in the soil-less environment with minimal hydration, so it is definitely meant to only be a very temporary home for the succulents. The glued succys will quickly need to be removed from the pumpkin within a few weeks and re-planted into well-draining soil as they require. HOWEVER, when I saw these pins & DIYs I was a bit flummoxed because for me, if I’m going to put my heart & soul & time into creating this fall-themed piece of artwork I want it to thrive & last! I want it to be happy & healthy, & last the whole Fall season if not longer! That’s when I came up with our take on this DIY. So grab your pumpkin-spiced latte, UGG boots, & let’s get to DIY-in’.




  • Lots of Succulents, duh!
  • Faux Pumpkins (We got ours from Michael’s with a coupon for $5.98 each!)
  • A bag of our PUMICE, obviously! ♥
  • Quick-draining Cactus/Succulent Soil (we always use Kellogg Palm, Cactus, Citrus mix)
  • Your usual Potting Tools
  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • A serrated knife or pumpkin carving knife
  • Chalk Paint (whatever color you’d like your pumpkin to be)
  • Hot Glue Gun or Quick Drying Craft Glue
  • Coffee, lots & lots of coffee 🙂


          First things first, my favorite part of the DIY project, succulent shopping! So we bought our succulents wholesale from a local grower Rancho Vista Nursery, because we are making 11 succulents pumpkins to use as centerpieces at a party, so will need A LOT of succulents. When buying succulents for any project, my advice is always BUY MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED! The first few projects I did I bought what I thought would be the exact amount I would need & ALWAYS ran short. So now, I buy a handful of extra succulents to be safe, because it’s always better to have too many succulents than not enough right? 🙂


          So let’s talk how to choose succulents, the general rule of picking succulents for a project like this is you want “thrillers”, “spillers”, & “fillers”. What does that mean? “Thrillers” are the eye-catching succulents, the focal point of your project that thrill the eye, whether in color, size, or texture; we chose one of these for the center of each pumpkin. “Spillers” are your hanging succulents, the sedum donkey’s tail, string of pearls/bananas, crassulas, etc. anything that will trail & hang down the side of the pumpkin to create more dimension in your piece. & lastly, “fillers“, these are going to be the bulk of the succulents you’ll be buying that actually fill your pumpkins. We tried to pick a very wide variety of succulents for fillers, so that every pumpkin looks unique & has different colors, patterns, dimensions, & textures. One handy tip for fillers, instead of buying all individual 2-3″ succulents, consider buying 4-8” pots that have a mama to use as a thriller & the babies or cuttings around her as fillers, this will save you significantly.


This is a perfect example of a “Thriller” we picked out to use in the center of our pumpkins!

          Once you’ve chosen all your succulents, the NEXT STEP is to prep your pumpkins & soil! As I said earlier, we purchased our faux pumpkins at Michael’s,  with a coupon we paid $5.98 per pumpkin. This is the biggest difference with our DIY, instead of using real pumpkins, we are using sturdy plastic pumpkins, that are hollow on the inside so can be cut open & filled with proper draining soil & utilized as permanent container homes for your succulents!  

          To prep your pumpkins, you will need your serrated knife or carver to carve the top of the pumpkin off (like you would when you make a jack-o-lantern!) You can also drill a few holes in the bottom of each pumpkin for better drainage.


          Once you have all your pumpkins carved, you can make them even more unique & choose to paint them. I suggest painting with chalk paint to give that rustic, farmhouse chic look. We chose to paint some rose gold, & a few with rose gold polka dots as well to give each centerpiece it’s own unique vibe!

AfterlightImage copy 7 Next step, proper SOIL. 

      Since we’ve turned our plastic pumpkins into actual permanent containers the soil we use is CRUCIAL, just like in any other succulent planter. The most important part of growing healthy succulents is your soil! Just like “you are what you eat” so are your succulents! & the key ingredient for healthy, nutrient-rich succy soil is PUMICE. Our Pumice is KEY because it creates proper drainage while getting more oxygen flowing through your soil, & it absorbs excess water so reduces the chances of overwatering & rot. Our pumice also has dozens of additional minerals that nourish the soil & plants even more. (You can read more benefits about our pumice HERE).

          So, for these pumpkins I used our size 3/16″ pumice, mixed 50/50 with Kellogg Cactus soil, as I recommend for all succulent containers & gardens. Once you have your pumice/soil mixed, you’re going to want to fill each pumpkin all the way to the brim, & create a taller soil mound in the center of the pumpkin so the middle focal succulent will be elevated higher than all the rest & create a more attractive dimension to your pumpkin!AfterlightImage

Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for, finally TIME TO PLANT!

         Time to get the creative juices flowing. I find the best way to tackle a planting project like this, especially for us doing so many at once, is to pick out all your “thrillers” first & set them next to the pumpkin you’ll be putting them in. Once you have chosen which succulent you’re going to use as the focal AfterlightImage copy 2point of each centerpiece, you can much more easily envision the rest & build around that. Once you’ve made your thriller selections, it’s time to start planting. So, start by removing the root ball from each succulent, (as pictured to the right). Gently pull the succulent out of the container and massage as much soil off of the roots as possible, you always want to do this when planting because this allows you to loosen roots that may have clumped together while growing in the nursery pot, so the roots can breathe better.

          Once you’ve gotten the soil off of the roots, create a deep hole in the center of the mound you built in your pumpkin planter & plant the stem/roots of the succulent as deep as you can, this creates a much sturdier centerpiece. I mean the last thing you want is a wobbly pumpkin, amIright? So now after you have all your thriller-focal point succulents planted start going to town with your “fillers”. My favorite go-to fillers are Zebra Haworthias, Elephant Bush, Graptoverias, & the ever-lovely Perles.

afterlightimage-copy.jpg     Always remember when planting a project like this the most important aspect of designing is HAVE FUN WITH IT! There is no science or blueprint to designing & planting a succulent container. Every single one is unique & the point of planting it in the first place is to enjoy yourself during the process & then enjoy the final product! The process is what makes it so beautiful & soul-soothing. So don’t stress out about placement, colors, patterns, or textures too much, don’t try to copy ones you’ve seen on instagram or Pinterest, build one that reflects YOU & your personality & style. Honestly just do whatever YOU like best & what combinations/colors tickle your fancy most!

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       Your last & finishing touches of your pumpkin shenanigans, are your “spillers”. As we discussed earlier, the spillers are the succulents you’ll add around the outer edges of the pumpkin’s rim that will waterfall over the side, giving a fuller dimension & will complete the look of your pumpkin. When it comes to spillers, in my opinion, you can never have too many! On some pumpkins I also used 2 different types of spillers, & I loved the results! So grab your hot glue gun, string of pearls or donkey tails, and get to spilling! You don’t HAVE to hot glue the spillers, or any of the succulents, however I knew I would be transporting this a few hours away & wanted to be sure they were all securely in tact when they get to their destination. Do not fret one bit, the glues will NOT damage your succulents, just make sure to remove them VERY carefully when/if you choose to dismantle your pumpkin in the future, and they’re ready to replant!

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& That’s It!      

     As you can see it’s really not all that complicated to build these beauties! So, run to Michael’s, grab a plastic pumpkin, a bag of pumice, & create a gorgeous centerpiece for your fall-themed front porch, office desk, or fall dinner party, or heck, since you’re planting them in a proper container with healthy soil, you can even build them this weekend & save them to use as a Thanksgiving centerpiece. It will be just as luscious & gorgeous in a month for turkey day as it is now!

     So that’s that! Thank you so much for reading & hopefully creating along! & a special thank you to the real MVP @iwasakiphotos for taking all these amazing photos & helping me build a ridiculous amount of these LOL. Also, if you end up making your own give me a shoutout on Instagram @SexySucculents_ ! I’d love to see how YOUR pumpkins turn out!

     Now if you excuse me, I’m back to stuffing my face with pumpkin pie while listening to my Christmas music & watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies ;P 

Until next time,

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End of Summer DIY Succulent Grill

       It’s that time of year again friends, I can’t even believe it but summer is coming to an end. To celebrate such an amazing season we wanted to make a unique summer-themed pumice project we’d never tried before, & honestly what says summer more than an old barbecue grill OVERLOWING with succulents & Pumice?!

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(Please note: no bbq’s or succulents were harmed in the making of this Labor Day Party centerpiece; We only created it as a temporary piece, the succulents will all soon be replanted in long-term containers with drainage holes & the bbq will be once again used to flame-grill delicious meats)

SO LET’S GET TO DIY-ing! Here’s how this baby came to life & how you can make your own!  First things first, let’s talk SUPPLIES! 

What you need:

  1. Old Barbecue (any style works really! whatever you have laying around or find that you like)
  2. AfterlightImage copy 5Succulents (…too obvious? LOL Really though, make sure you buy a good variety of sizes & colors that work well together!)
  3. PUMICE, lots & lots of pumice! Shop OUR pumice here!
  4. Quick-draining Soil (I always buy Kellogg’s Palm, citrus, cactus soil; or E.B. Stone Succulent soil from Home Depot/Lowe’s because both of those already have a small % of our pumice in them!) 
  5. & lastly, an ice cold Lemonade & some summer tunes to enjoy while you pot.   

That’s literally IT. That’s all you really need, it’s a ridiculously easy & inexpensive yet chic way to show off your succulent planting skills & fancy up your backyard for an end of the summer bash!

Next Step, Soil & BBQ Prep. (& puppy petting)

     What many people fail to realize is how important using GOOD SOIL is to the life & quality of your succulents! I always tell people that the principle “you are what you eat” applies to your succies, they will only be as healthy & vibrant as the “food” (soil) you plant them in. Succulents need soil that drains extremely quickly since they do not like excessive hydration, especially around the root zone. This is why using PUMICE is so crucial:AfterlightImage copy

     Our Pumice absorbs any excess water that might gather around your succulent’s roots or in the soil & locks that moisture in until the soil has dried out & needs rehydrating! Pretty crazy right?! PUMICE is even more crucial when planting in something that does not have drainage holes, like this grill; I wanted the grill to still be use-able after we took the succulents out, so I didn’t drill holes in the bottom. Because of that, I used a higher percentage of pumice (60% pumice, 40% soil) than I typically would (standard succulent soil for pots with drainage holes is 50% pumice 50% cactus soil). If you want your succulent BBQ to be a permanent fixture in your backyard however, simply drill a dozen or so drainage holes in the ACS_0147bottom!

     Using pumice also makes the soil much less dense, which allows more oxygen to the roots, because the pumice creates pocket airways for the oxygen to flow through, which also helps boost the vitality of your succies.

Once you’ve mixed your pumice & soil together, fill the grill ALL THE WAY to the brim, & then create a tall mound in the center of the grill. Creating a mound will give your arrangement a more eye-catching dimension, so all your succulents are not all laying flat at the same depth & squished together. Planting the succulents at gradual heights using the mound displays each & every gorgeous succulent individually.

NEXT, once you have your grill filled & mound formed, I like to “pre-arrange” the succulents inside the grill on top of the soil in their nursery pots to get an idea of what they will look like once planted (like a succy schematic). This is mainly just to envision what succulents will look best color, size, & shape-wise next to one another. There’s no exact science to it, so just let your creative juices start flowing & figure out which textures & colors & sizes you like next to each other & then snap a photo to look back to reference once you start actually planting! Or forget the blueprinting & just gung-ho start planting away, we all need to just fly by the seat of our pants sometimes, right?

NOW LET’S PLANT BABAY! Once you’re ready to start planting, begin by taking the succulents out of the nursery pot & removing all of the old soil from the roots 

AfterlightImage copy 2completely. This ensures that the succulents will be fully exposed to the healthier soil you’ve mixed & the roots can breathe much better & receive proper drainage. Then, just plant away, making sure you dig deep enough holes for each individual succulent so that the entirety of the plants roots will be submerged & also have room to spread if it’s a permanent fixture. 


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       Remember, planting isn’t a science, it’s an artistic expression & every single person has a different design eye & style, which is what makes succulent planting so awesome & each project so SO unique! Think about it, I could give you the same exact BBQ, with the same exact succulents I used here, & your BBQ would probably turn out COMPLETELY different & just as if not even more gorgeous! So while you’re planting remember that, it’s not supposed to be stressful or rigid, it’s a fun experience meant to be enjoyed & meant to be an outlet for you to express your creativity & personality/style!

       So that’s really all it takes, friends! It’s honestly super simple, easy, relatively inexpensive & SO fun, especially if you invite a friend over to do it! We just jammed out to some good ‘ol 90’s music, drank lots of iced coffee, enjoyed ourselves & got to create something gorgeous that was a HUGE topic of conversation at the summer bbq party, & I hope you’ll do the same if you choose to make this beauty! Thanks so much for reading & happy end-of-summer dear friends.

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       Oh! & before I forget! For upkeep, if you choose to make this a permanent fixture in your yard, I would suggest watering it at least once a week (or whenever the soil is dry to the touch when sticking your finger as deep down in the soil as possible). Note too, once it gets cooler where you live, then you may be able to get away with once every other week, watering schedule for succulents in the winter is always different than watering in the summer, don’t forget that! Also, if it gets very chilly at night where you live or over the winter I would suggest either covering it with a blanket or protective covering of some sort, OR transplanting these babies into a greenhouse or individual pots until it warms up again (that’s what I chose to do).

If you have any questions at all, or if I left anything out PLEASE feel free to comment below! I’d love to hear from you guys & what you thought of this blog/creation!!!

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to enjoy the last few days left of official summer, so until next time friends,

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DIY-Hanging Planter (for under $15)

Alright, so we can all admit we love channeling our inner Joanna Gaines, am I right? Give me everything shiplap & farmhouse chic please & thanks! Well, this was my first attempt in a loonnggg time at just that. We recently started a Pinterest for our company because now that I have an extra set of super talented hands, I want to & actually have the TIME to finally do more hands-on planting projects & funky succulent decor for my new little apartment. & when Kris stumbled on this idea I immediately fell in love with it & we both agreed it needed to be our first project.

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Photos by @Iwasakiphotos

So this little baby is literally thee most simple DIY I think I have ever done. It took us less than 1.5 hours total to create, & we spent under $15 on all the components! (which is crazy because people are selling them on Etsy & Pinterest for upwards of $60!!!) So friend, sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee, & get ready to read the easiest tutorial of all times for the cutest hanging planter ever.

What You Need:

  • Jute ($1.05 at Walmart)
  • Pre-made Wood Frame – $3 (I found a bunch in the $1 section at Target! Woot! Or you can easily make your own out of scrap pallet wood for free or 2×4’s)
  • Clear Mason Jars – $3 (also found in the $1 section at Target; came in a package of 4)
  • Pumice (obviously) 😉
  • Fast-draining succulent/cactus soil (I use Kellogg palm, citrus soil)- $5.97 @ Lowes
  • 2 of your favorite succulents
  • Drill
  • Tape Measure & Pencil/Pen to mark drill holes


So after you’ve gathered all your materials, first things first, get to drilling. You’re going to want to measure the top of your box, so you can mark exactly where you want your drill holes. This will ensure your hanging planters are lined up properly & are equal distances from one another & the sides of the box. (additional idea: if you make your own box out of pallet wood, you can made a rectangle shape instead of a square, & hang 3 or 4 mason jars inside of the frame instead of just 2.)

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Next Up, Mix the batter 😉 & by batter, I mean the pumice & soil! I suggest for a planter/container like these (that do not have drainage holes in the bottom) a ratio of 60% pumice and 40% cactus soil. Why? Well, Using pumice will soak up any excess water when you water your hanging succulents, to prevent root rot, as well as increase the oxygen flow to your succulents roots! I mean, if you are taking the time to make this cutey, you might as well make sure it’s going to be as healthy as possible & live as long as possible! Pumice will help do just that. I even added a layer of pumice at the bottom of the containers for even more drainage, to prevent any possible water from sitting around the roots. (For more information about pumice, & it’s benefits you can read HERE).

After you’ve mixed your soil & pumice, fill the containers about 3/4 of the way full of the mixture, but do not plant the succulents just yet. Before you plant them, you’re going to want to wrap your containers with the jute. So, get your roll of jute & start by tying a tight double-knot around the rim of the container. Once you’ve tied off, you’re

AfterlightImage 3going to wrap the jute around the rim until it covers as much as you’d like! Once it is the desired thickness, tie the jute into a double-knot on the side of the container, & cut off an additional even length piece of jute to the tied-side & double-knot that jute on the opposite side. These 2 strings with double knots on each side will secure the jute to the container & allow you to suspend the planters from the top of the box. Do this process with both containers.

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After you’ve wrapped both of your containers, plant your succulents!  I chose 2 that I thought complimented each other well, size, color & texture-wise. When choosing succulents for a project like this I suggest having one trailing succulent, such as string of pearls, burros tail (as pictured in ours), or string of bananas! Something fun & eye-catching. Also make sure to factor in the type of succulents that will do best in the location you are thinking of putting your hanging shelf: ie. if you are going to have it in a window with bright light & air flow you have a wider variety of succulents that will do well, however if you are going to put the hanging planter in a place that does not receive sunlight, you’ll have fewer options that will stay alive & healthy (Haworthias, like the one pictured in our shelf) do wonderfully in these scenarios!

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(I completely remove the dirt around the roots of the succulents, because the soil most nurseries plant with has little to NO airation or drainage, because the pots/soil they use are meant to only be temporary homes.)

Once you have your succulents planted & mason jar containers ready to hang, next & final step is to simply hang those bad boys! The way I found easiest, & most sturdy was to put the 2 jute strings on each jar side by side over the top of the succulent, set the jar inside the frame & then thread both strings through the hole (threading towards the ceiling) you drilled when you began. Once threaded through, wrap both strings around the back of the frame at least once & re-thread it through the hole one more time in the same way (toward the ceiling), & tie it off with a knot, & then a bow! Repeat a second time with the other mason jar. Tip: you can either tie the jars off at the same height to make the jars hang side by side, OR you can alternate the heights like we did, having one jar hanging higher toward the top of the frame with our trailing burros tail succulent & the other hanging close to the base of the box.

& that my friends, is all! You’re done! I told you it was easy. You now have a gorgeous new hanging planter to enjoy PLUS the bragging rights for building a $60 planter with your own two hands for $15. It also makes a wonderful gift as well to the Magnolia-lover in your life, or someone who just loves all things succulents! If you have any other questions or ideas/suggestions on this little guy comment below!

FullSizenewRender 2 copyThanks so much for reading friend, & if you try to make one of your own send me a picture of the final product! We’re on instagram as @SexySucculents_ . Look forward to seeing how you make it your own! ❤

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Welcome to the #SexySucculents batcave.

Hey Guys! Sooooooo first off, WELCOME to the party! If you don’t know yet, my name’s Lexi, I’m 25 years old going on 70, living in Southern CA, & have one of the strangest jobs of all times. I sell rocks. Literally though, LOL ; to clarify, I am the owner of a company AP General Pumice, that sells pumice for gardening. In the the insta-world I moonlight as @SexySucculents_ .


I was sitting with my intern one day talking about things we wanted to do over the summer with the business, things we think would be awesome, & we decided this BLOG was one of those things! This blog is really a work in progress, who knows where it’s going really, but in the words of the great philosopher Michael Scott,

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence, and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way. Like an improv conversation. An improversation.”

I feel like that quote personifies this blog pretty perfectly LOL it’s an “imblog-ersation” we’ve started it, but don’t quite know where it’s going, we just hope to find it along the way. In my brainium however, I’m hoping it will be a combination of DIY-projects (mostly succulent-oriented but also some other cool stuffs), helpful articles on caring for succulents & using our PUMICE, maybe entrepreneur tips & business advice, & maybe even some personal stories & struggles that I feel like might be helpful for others to read! I really just want this blog to be helpful, encouraging, fun, something that might brighten someone’s day somehow. If you have any ideas or things you’d love to read about comment below! I’d love to hear what you want to read new friend ❤

But, for now, this tiny pumice lady has got a hot date with a bowl of Chipotle, so I’ll be back soon with our first official blog on a DIY we just finished that I’m pretty much obsessed with.

Have a great day friends!

Xoxo, Lex