Creating a terrarium is a fun way to add a touch of greenery to your indoor living space. Today I’m showing you how I put together a simple terrarium for my home.
A couple of weeks ago I was at HomeGoods and came across this large glass jar that I thought would make an excellent terrarium. I assumed it would be $30+, but to my surprise. it was only $14.99 so, of course, into my cart it went.
After sourcing other materials and plants and spending a little time planting, this is how my terrarium turned out:
Isn’t it pretty?
With thoughts of spring and all-things-green, this little terrarium is just what I need to get me through these last few weeks of winter.
Let me show you how I put it together!
What do you need to make a terrarium?
Surprisingly, you don’t much to put together a beautiful terrarium. Here’s the breakdown:
- Glass container (with or without a lid)
- horticultural charcoal
- Stone and moss (optional)
How do you make a terrarium?
It all starts with a glass container. The container can have a lid, but that’s not a must.
Just an F.Y.I.: If you do find or choose a lidded container, once your mini-garden is planted and placed in the proper location, very little attention will be needed since it will water itself.
I actually had one of these last year (See image below.), and it did well on its own. In fact, because of my lack of attention, one of the plants in it sort of took over. The terrarium still looked great, but I decided to empty it when I moved because I wanted to start afresh in my new home.
A disadvantage with a lidded container is that the inside will often fill with condensation, making it harder to see your plants.
For my new terrarium, obviously, I went with the glass container I scored at HomeGoods. Since it doesn’t have a lid, I’ll have to be vigilant about watering. However, if I want the terrarium to be self-sufficient, I can always place a dish or plate on top of the jar occasionally.
Once you’ve selected your container, you’ll want to add a layer of pebbles for drainage. (I found mine here.)That means the pebbles should be pretty small in diameter.
Next, comes a layer of horticultural charcoal. About 1/2 inch will do. The charcoal pulls toxins and bacteria from the soil in the terrarium and helps keep the environment in the container fresh and mold free.
Now you’re ready for put in the soil. I used Miracle-Gro potting mix I had on hand. I found that 3 inches of soil was the right amount in the glass container I bought.
At this point, it’s time for plants!
What plants are good for a terrarium?
Since my knowledge of plants is limited, I went to my local plant shop – City Grows in Pittsburgh – and asked them for advice.
Their helpful staff helped me choose plants that would work for my particular terrarium based on its size and the light in my home.
Over the years I’ve found that it’s smart to consult experts when investing in house plants. They know the lighting needs, watering requirements, etc. of any plant you’re considering.
The plants I selected were ones that work well in terrariums. I don’t recall the names of the plants, but if you are interested in the specifics, I could contact the plant shop I visited. Please let me know in the comments, and I will update this post.
In doing research for this post, I discovered this Etsy shop which sells a set of 6 mini plants designed for terrariums. If you don’t have a local plant shop, this might be another option.
You can also create terrariums with cactuses and succulents, but they will require a drier setting. If you’re a long-time IBC follower, you might remember my tabletop cactus garden. It thrived for years with hardly any attention or water. Sadly, I had to get rid of it when I sold my former house last year, but it was still thriving at the time.
Anywho, back to this new terrarium. With the soil in place, I tucked in my plants to fill the space.
To finish things off, I added larger stones and reindeer moss. These elements are optional and mostly serve as decor. However, depending on how the rocks are placed, they can encourage your plants to grow (or not grow) in certain spots.
And with that, my new terrarium is complete.
The plant store staff told me that to keep the container moist I should add enough water to reach about halfway up the pebbles at the bottom of the container.
Misting the plants with a sprayer from time to time is likewise recommended.
So cute, right? All inspired by a $15 glass jar. I’m loving it!
If you liked this terrarium project, you might love these too:
- Kitchen Herb Garden
- Succulent Garden Bowl
- Tabletop Cactus Garden
- DIY Vertical Herb Garden
- Mounted Staghorn Fern Tutorial
I haven’t figured out exactly where this DIY terrarium is going to live, but I’m thinking my family room might be an ideal location.
I hope this post inspires you to add a little green to your home. Happy plant parenting!