We’ve all been there: the last tendrils of smoke wisp from the end of a tired wick and (sigh) the candle finally extinguishes forever. Most people throw the candle out without a second thought. I was one of those people too, until I realized that the shape and size of a Yankee or Village Candle holder is perfect for an open terrarium for succulents! And believe me, you don’t have to be an expert gardener to make this tiny ecosystem work.
How to recycle a Yankee Candle holder into a terrarium:
Step One: Clean
Make sure that the inside of the glass is perfectly clean and free of soot. Some gentle detergent and a sponge should do it!
Step Two: The Base
Because there are no drain holes in the bottom of the glass container, you must place small pebbles or rocks on the very bottom to act as drainage. I used pretty pink stones from Lowe’s, but you can use gemstones, broken glass, or even rocks you find out in your driveway.
Step Three: The Charcoal
There needs to be a layer of broken charcoal above the rocks to help soak up the water. Remember that half used bag of charcoal from last summer’s BBQ? Well, put it to good use by smashing up a few pieces in a plastic bag until they are grainy, and spreading a thin layer over your rocks.
Step Three: The Soil
What do plants need to grow in? Soil, of course! You can find a great mix at your local greenhouse or a chain store like Lowe’s. I would recommend the Cactus blend if you are planting a succulent. Place a fair amount of soil over the charcoal layer, around an inch or so.
Step Four: The Plant
This is my favorite part! You can find a pre-grown succulent at any greenhouse or garden supplies store for around $4.00. Make sure it’s small enough to fit into your candle container! Gently remove the plant from its original pot, making sure to leave the roots intact. Place it on the soil layer of your container, and then add soil around the plant until it is snugly embraced by dirt.
Step Five: The Toppings
After your little succulent is fixed into its new home, I like to add some sheet moss (again, inexpensive and easy to find at any garden store) over the top to give it a more natural feel. The moss can peek over the edge of the candle. You can decorate the top with tiny glass ladybugs or butterflies to make it extra beautiful!
To Care for Your Plant:
Follow the instructions that came with the original succulent, but keep in mind that generally speaking, succulents don’t need a lot of watering! They actually live longer with under-watering than with over-watering, especially since your little ecosystem is perfect at holding moisture! And remember, don’t stop at old candle holders! I have made terrariums out of mason jars and used sauce jars, and they always turn out adorable!
Source: Source: I used the advice from the Thrifty Decor Chick’s website to plan my first terrarium, and then took it from there!