No green thumb? No problem.

By Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee
Updated December 07, 2020
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If you've ever felt like your thriving plant collection was missing something, Seana and Yair Monley Rodriguez of Tierra Sol Studio have an answer for you: teeny-tiny succulents and cacti. A succulent garden doesn't need to take up precious space. These green little wonders—no bigger than your thumb—come in a diminutive ceramic planter, fit beautifully in a minimalist home, and offer everything you already love about low-maintenance houseplants. According to the studio, they only need a few droplets of water per month.

mini cacti tierra sol
Credit: Tierra Sol Studio

But it wasn't a lack of space that inspired these North Carolina-based makers to experiment with growing hard-to-kill (dare we say, impossible-to-kill) plants. "We started Tierra Sol Studio because we weren't able to keep plants alive," Seana tells us. "We wanted plants in our house, but we both had zero success keeping plants alive. We were the worst plant killers!"

mini cacti tierra sol
Credit: Tierra Sol Studio

On a mission to help others develop their green thumb, the two began researching a range of plant varieties and how they can be grown to best thrive in the home.

"We found that most plants are sold in the wrong soil or planters that set a plant parent up to fail," she says. "So we grow the hardiest plants possible in a greenhouse built to adapt plants to indoor light, and we make our planters to replicate the desert environment."

mini cacti tierra sol
(Remember that all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.) The Zebra haworthia succulent (like the one pictured here) boast spiked foliage with bold white stripes, and is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow.
| Credit: Tierra Sol Studio

By crafting small-batch ceramic pots sized perfectly to match each plant, they were also able to ensure the plants had everything they needed without having to be repotted. "We fire our planters in a process that is unique to us in order to meet the needs of each plant," Seana explains. "Our planters allow for oxygen to reach roots to prevent overwatering." Seana crafts her petite planters to match the length of the cacti's roots-keeping them small in size.

Another reason that plant lovers often become plant killers? The soil. According to Seana and Yair, desert plants are often sold in unnatural powdery soil that clumps around roots. This soil holds water against the plant's roots, rotting them as soon as they are watered. Instead, desert plants need non-clumping gritty soil. The miniature plants from Tierra Sol Studio each come with a specialty soil and white sand for proper drainage.

mini cacti tierra sol
Credit: Tierra Sol Studio

As for at-home care? These hardy plants can be placed in a sunny spot with indirect light and water with a few droplets of water a month.

You can pick out your own miniature plant at their online shop where they range in price from $15 to $20 and each one is lovingly named. (Fernando and Rosita are a few of our favorites.) "We felt our little cactus babies deserved the same amount of attention as the larger plants," Seana says. "And there is nothing that makes us happier than watching people's faces when they see our mini cacti." Buy multiple to create a miniature succulent garden of your own.


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