Choosing a Container:

Virtually any type of clear plastic or glass container will work just fine. Bottles, fish bowls, jars…you name it! There are even special containers built just for terrariums. Your choices are endless. Just make sure that you choose a clear leak-proof container that’s been cleaned with hot, soapy water. Tinted or cloudy glass or plastic will interfere with plant growth by reducing light.


The next step is to begin building your terrarium. First, place a layer of pea gravel or aquarium rocks in the bottom of your container for drainage. Next, put about ½’’ layer of horticultural charcoal to keep the soil from developing a rotten smell. Over the charcoal, you have the option of placing Sphagnum moss to keep soil from getting into the drainage area. Last you will add about ½’’ of relatively dry soil to your terrarium, dry enough so that it won’t stick to the sides. You might want to add hills or slopes to add interest to your terrarium. The easiest way to add these materials is with a large kitchen spoon.


After the soil, add decorative pieces such as rocks, wood, seashells, or any other small item that won’t be harmful to your plants. Remember to arrange these in the terrarium so that you still have plenty of room for your plants. Now start scooping out the potting holes for your plants. When you insert your plants into the holes, don’t plant them too deep or too shallow. They should sit no lower or higher above the soil line than how they were planted in their original pots. Be sure that you pack the soil firmly around the base of your plants. If you’ve got a fairly deep container, you can use tongs to place your plants into the terrarium. If you’d like, you can add moss and more decorative items to enhance the beauty of your terrarium.

Please do not Disturb:

When you build a terrarium, remember that they really do thrive on neglect. There’s no heavy watering necessary at this time, and all you’ll need to do is spray the leaves down with a water bottle, as this is plenty of moisture to settle the soil. Let your terrarium sit until the next day, and check the water at the bottom, making sure that it doesn’t exceed ¼ inch. Spray again and wait until the leaves are completely dry, then place the cover on your terrarium. All that’s left is to sit back and watch your plants flourish in your beautiful, homemade terrarium.