The Ideal Cactus or Succulent for a Terrarium in Singapore

What are succulents and cacti?

Succulents are plants with thicker and more fleshy structures that allow them to retain water, which they store in their leaves and stems. Therefore, they are able to thrive in dry environments. Similar to succulents, cacti have thickened, fleshy stems to store water. The spines on most cacti species help to reduce water loss.

Each cactus and succulent will thrive differently against Singapore’s climate when grown in terrariums. It is essential to understand the type of cactus and succulent you need before purchasing our DIY kits or attending our terrarium workshops in Singapore.

Best cactus and succulent for a terrarium in Singapore

Aeonium 'Sunburst' aka Copper Pinwheel | Top Succulents and Cacti for Terrariums
Image Credit: Megan Hansen, Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ aka Copper Pinwheel



Aeoniums are succulents with fleshy leaves that grow in a pronounced rosette shape. Their large, colourful and rubbery flowers, and ability to flourish in partial shade make them an excellent succulent for a terrarium that will thrive in Singapore. By pairing them with regular potting soil, Aeoniums’ main water-absorbing roots found near the surface will allow the succulent to maintain an optimal moisture level.

Haworthia Attenuata | Top Succulents and Cacti for Terrariums
Image Credit: stephen boisvert, Haworthia Attenuata



Haworthias are small succulents that form tight and stemless rosettes of leaves three to 30 centimetres in diameter. These succulents have firm, tough and fleshy leaves. While the leaves vary greatly across its range of species, Haworthias typically bloom similar flowers. These succulent plants are also suitable for a terrarium placed indoors in Singapore as they can survive in partial shade. As these plants rot easily when overwatered, you must allow the soil to dry before watering it again. The soil should be well-draining to prevent a prolonged period of wet soil. Haworthias can survive even when there is a lack of water.

Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem. 1150 | Top Succulents and Cacti for Terrariums
Image Credit: Skolnik Co, Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem. 1150


Astrophytum is a genus of six species of cacti. Strong light is not advisable for Astrophytum. Therefore, a terrarium with this cactus should be treated with filtered sunlight, such as a sunny window. They also require a draining soil as too much water will crack the hard and dry surface of the plant. Astrophytum will be a good substitute to a succulent for a terrarium as it is one of the few plants that can flower well in Singapore and are easy to care for.

Gymnocalycium damsii v. rotundulum | Top Succulents and Cacti for Terrariums
Image Credit: Maja Dumat, Gymnocalycium damsii v. rotundulum


Gymnocalycium cactus is a popular terrarium plant as it can flower easily. Most species are small, varying from four to 15 centimetres, making them suitable to grow in terrariums. They also provide a pop of colour with their bright and vibrant flowers in white, yellow, orange and pink. They require sunlight to bloom well but too much will result in the loss of flowers. Lightly shaded sunlight will work best. The soil should allow good drainage so it will not remain soggy for very long. You should also let the soil dry out before watering again. Gymnocalycium can be very tough. Therefore, if you are unable to devote too much attention to caring for your plants, picking this cactus over a succulent for your terrarium would be ideal as the plant will survive well in the weather conditions of Singapore.

Purchase a cactus or succulent for your terrarium in Singapore

The above species of cactus and succulents adapt well to the hot and humid climate of Singapore. If you are ready to pick the best cactus or succulent and build your terrarium in Singapore, browse our catalogue terrarium supplies here.


On Key

Related Posts