How to Make a Terrarium

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House

Terrariums are a great way to add some greenery to your home. In addition, they can have the benefit of creating an oxygen-rich environment and a charming touch to your indoor area. Regardless of your space, a terrarium can be a nice way to give your home a little splash of green.

How to make a terrarium
Image credit: youtube.com/SerpaDesign

Before you can get your hands dirty, you need to gather your materials. For this project, you will need:

  • A clear glass container
  • Small stones or rocks
  • Your terrarium plants of choice
  • Potting charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Any additional fun accessories you want to include in your terrarium

Just follow these simple steps to make your own stylish terrarium:

  1. Clean your glass container.You can use any clear glass container. If you are on a budget, you can use old vases or glasses that can be purchased secondhand. Feel free to get creative to add your own personal touch to the mix. Also, some plants prefer humidity and will flourish in a closed environment. Others grow more easily with an open top. See below for tips on choosing the right terrarium plant.
  2. After drying thoroughly, line the bottom of the terrarium with your rocks or stones.This acts as drainage for your terrarium.
  3. Next, add a thin layer of potting charcoal.The purpose of the charcoal is to keep the soil fresh in this largely enclosed environment.
  4. Add a thick layer of soil, paying close attention to leave holes for your plants.At this point, about one-third of your container should be filled. Your soil should be the thickest layer.
  5. Add your plants to your terrarium.Generally, it’s easiest to add the largest first and work your way to the smallest so that you are able to manage the space in your tiny garden.
  6. Cover the roots with soil and lightly pack down.
  7. Add any decorative elements you’d like.

Congratulations! You have your own terrarium.

How to choose plants for your terrarium

Terrariums are a great way to integrate green into your home. But, some plants fare better than others in this environment. Which types of plant should you choose for your terrarium? Here are some tips:

  • Choose a plant that fits into your terrarium. You want the leaves to have room and not be touching the container.
  • Slow-growing plants are usually desirable for terrariums. This keeps you from having to perform constant upkeep.
  • Consider plants that can handle humidity. The enclosed nature of a terrarium usually means that there will be humidity. However, you can combat this by choosing your container wisely and considering a closed or open container when researching your plant options.
  • Succulents and cacti are good choices since these plants thrive in harsh, dry environments. Check here for tips on growing and caring for succulents.
  • Typically, hardy plants are a good option given that terrariums may receive little light and water.

Check out Better Homes and Gardens for their selection of top terrarium plants.

Maintenance tips for your terrarium

Most terrarium plants require little maintenance. For most terrarium owners, this is ideal. Bringing a hint of green into your home doesn’t have to be difficult.

  • Prune away dead or rotting leaves with snips.
  • Trim leaves when they begin to encroach on other plants or begin to touch the inside of the terrarium.
  • Rotate or turn your terrarium occasionally to even the sunlight exposure.
  • Examine your plants for any mold or fungus. Remove if necessary.
  • Clean the glass so sunlight isn’t inhibited from reaching plants. Use a damp paper towel without chemicals or cleaning solutions.
  • Water when soil near the glass appears to be dry. You want a consistently moist soil. The need for water will vary depending on your choice of terrarium plants.

Although notorious for easy maintenance, terrariums can die if not properly cared for. Check out these common terrarium mistakes to avoid facing a terrarium failure.