How to Make a Terrarium!

Plants are so good for you, the environment, your soul, and your wellbeing. This may just be me being an avid plant mother, or it’s the spores slowly taking over my brain… Anyway, why have just plants in pots when you can trap them in a jar and watch them create their own ecosystem?


What is a terrarium?

a terrarium is a collection of plants growing in a transparent, usually glass sealed container. Normally, a terrarium is a closed-off environment. It can be used to illustrate how an ecosystem works, as many different natural processes may be observed:. such as photosynthesis, respiration, and the water cycle.

How does it work?

As a terrarium is technically just an indoor garden in a sealed container, the plants and soil act the same as they would outside. However, due to the enclosed space, the released water vapor condenses on the glass and filters back down. Essentially when the plants respire, the water is recycled from vapor to condensation, to being absorbed by the plants and soil again. It’s a cycle that allows the plants to thrive.

How can I make one?

You will need:

  • A glass jar or container that can be sealed
  • Gravel, small stones or glass fragments
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Activated Charcoal ( Or you can get interior plant soil with this mixed in)
  • Terrarium friendly plants (mosses, small ferns, peperomia, spiderwort, etc.)
  • decorative things (shiny stones, small furniture?)

Note: The larger the container you have, the larger the plants you can have. You can also use soil and detritus from the area you take moss and plants from!

You can use any glass container from jam jars to sweet jars, I managed to get these two jars from thrifting around. However, if you really like jam you can use their jars too!

Constructing your terrarium:

1. Make sure your container is nice and clean!

2. Drainage layers. This is your rock/gravel and soil layers.
Place your stones in first, make sure they cover the bottom a good inch (2.5cm) from the bottom. You may add woodchip mulch or natural leaf detritus too, depending on the size of your container.
On top of this, place your soil (and charcoal). I put about 2 inches (4-5cm) deep to give a good base layer from the plants and moss.

3. You can arrange your plants and moss now! It’s helpful to have a pencil or a stick to make holes and poke the plants in carefully, or else you can invest in some specific tools, but a pencil works just as well!

4. Add your decoration, spritz some water mist and enjoy!!


Caring for your new Terrarium!

Unlike other houseplants, you will not need to water your sealed friends. As they are their own little eco bubble, you just need to keep them sealed. Too much moisture and your plants will go moldy and rot.

Be aware of heat and direct sunlight as both can do more harm than good! Too much heat will cause your plants to wilt. Direct sunlight can lead your plants to get too hot, especially if you have a curvy glass container!


I hope you enjoy your new plant friend as much as I do, feel free to leave a comment on what you do differently, your favourite plant and what you’d like to see next on my blog!


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Published by Briony-Molly

Photographer & Designer. Horse Owner, Book Fanatic

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