Glassing the little succulent

A while ago (I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks already!) I got a couple of new succulents, one of which is going to someday be put into my succulent terrarium. Whenever I get around to it. Soon. The smaller of the two plants won't be going in the terrarium I decided, since there's not really room for it.

So I'm going to give it a little terrarium of its own.


First, let's take a look at the plant, which I haven't identified yet, although if you forced me to take a guess at gunpoint I'd say it's an Aloe. Since I'm no succulent expert, that could be wrong. Here's the little guy though:

I only realized after planting that this is a "pup" growing off the side.

The interesting thing about it right now is the flower stalk:

Apparently this has flowered once before, probably while languishing in the Home Depot houseplant department:

I keep saying that this is a small plant, but haven't proven it yet. Here's your proof:

Even if I had an outdoor planting bed that never got below freezing I don't think I'd be putting this into the ground -- it would live in a pot for a while until it attained more size. That is if it even will get any bigger. Without knowing the species I have no idea -- it may already be fully grown.

In any case, it's time to give it some room to grow -- if it wants to. I'll start with this glass, which is actually a candle holder:

I'll use this mixture of potting mix and sand:

I think there's some extra perlite in there too, but I'm not sure. Those brown chunks are dried bits of bark and sticks from the compost I used months and months ago when making this mix.

Let's take a look at the plant's roots:

There are some old rotten roots there, but there are signs of new ones as well (the white ones). So I have no doubt that this plant is healthy and will start growing once it gets some room.

A little potting mix into the glass, then the plant went in, and I used a spoon to get more mix around the rootball:

And that's the job done:

Look at all of that room!

I'll be very careful when watering this little fellow, since there are no drainage holes in the glass (of course). The nice thing about it being glass though is I can see how deep the water is going and how much it is being absorbed.

I also like being able to see the sandy soil through the glass. It's like one of those decorative sand creations, but simpler to make and more "organic".

This tiny terrarium will live on the edge of our kitchen sink in front of the only usable south-facing window in the house. I'll enjoy it all winter long!

(One of the cats tried to chew the flower off just seconds after taking that last photo. I shooed her away and it's been left alone since -- but that can change at any time.)


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Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (January 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM)  

That's very cute and nicely planted. I'm not a huge succulent fan, but I'd like that in my kitchen too!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (January 24, 2012 at 10:51 AM)  

I really like the end result. As you said, you can observe a plant so much better in a glass. It shouldn't need much water at all.

Gardener on Sherlock Street  – (January 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM)  

That is a great idea. A beautiful succulent in a beautiful glass container would be a great addition to our home as well. I have a succulent in mind. Now, for the container.

ricki 'sprig to twig'  – (January 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM)  

Looks like an Aloe to me. I have one that looks just like it...started small, but is not staying that way. Home Depot is annoying in that they think "succulents" is a proper label...but they do have some great ones at low prices.

Kathy G  – (January 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM)  

Whenever my aloe sends up pups, one of the cats pulls them up and deposits them on the kitchen countertop. I replant it, and the process continues daily until the plant has enough roots to anchor itself in the dirt.

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