How to Make a Terrarium?


If you have a green thumb but minimal garden space, there is no need to worry you can make your own mini world full of lush and beautiful plants by making your own terrarium. A terrarium is miniature indoor garden inside a glass container. The plants are low in maintenance and are perfect for the people who don’t have a garden space. You can put a variety of plants inside glass containers. A terrarium adds a bit of outdoor beauty and peace to desks, night tables or nay place where space is limited. Plants also help to improve your indoor air quality. So you need to add a terrarium in your life it is easy to make and low maintenance garden and can even last most indefinitely with minimal water. Tip to make a terrarium.

Make a terrarium

Tips to Make a Terrarium:

1.) Decide Plant to Use

You can use any low maintenance plant to make a terrarium. Choose the plant which will grow well together.classic plants for the terrarium include ferns, succulents, mosses, and cacti.

  • Pick a plant that will stay small. You can even make a terrarium big enough to house a bushy lavender but is easy to go with mini plants. Choose a plant that will not outgrow the terrarium container.
  • Plants that prefer shade are one of the best options to make a terrarium. Plants inside a terrarium have to be tolerant of low levels of light. If you will keep the sun lover plant in the dark the plant will be stressed and will die soon.
  • Choose plants which are tolerant of high humidity. As humidity levels in terrarium rise quickly so choose plants, like from the woodlands or rain forests that will grow well in such an environment.
  • If you are a beginner then pick something cheap and easy to grow. Choose a plant which is inexpensive and easy to grow.

2.) Container to Make a Terrarium

You will need a glass container which would be deep enough for your plant’s roots. The container which you are choosing can be an old fish bowl or one which is specially made for growing plants.

  • Clothes- You can buy clothes as these have high levels of humidity and the cloche will need to be raised occasionally to give plants inside a breath of fresh air.
  • Wardian Cases- They are available on both closed and not airtight.
  • Lantern Cloches-  you can buy a lantern cloches to make a terrarium as these have high levels of humidity and they are easier to ventilate.
  • Bell Jars- You can also buy bell jars or apothecary as they a good option for a taller terrarium.
  • Aquariums- Aquarium works well as terrariums and can be left open or fitted with a piece of glass.
  • Vases,Compotes or Tureens- Terrarium still can work their magic with an open top. You will need to water the plants inside any container that is not airtight.
  • Glass- Glass bowl is also a good option which is used for pet goldfish.

3.) Decide where to Keep the Terrarium

As they are very low maintenance but in order to remain so they must be placed in an ideal location.

  • Light- All plants need light and the plants in the terrarium are not so different. As the glass magnifies so choosing direct light is not a good option. You need to choose a location where your plant will receive a plenty of indirect light. Or you can go for the option of fluorescent lights, but always follow safety rules when you are going to buy a gardening specific lights.
  • Temperature- Terrarium should be kept inside the warm room. Cold porches, mudroom and other such types of not a good option unless you are ready to risk the terrarium. Keeping a terrarium next to AC or heater is also not a good option. Avoid extreme temperature or sudden changes in temperature.

4.) Purchase the Supplies

To make a terrarium you will need to buy these things.

  • Potting soil- Go for the light soil with lots of drainages and preferably peat moss/ sphagnum include. If you want to check the drainage, then lightly wet the soil and hold in in your fist, when you will open your hand heavy soil will clump whereas the light soil will fall apart.
  • Pebbles or gravel- They both provide the drainage when they are placed at the bottom of the terrarium and a neat appearance when placed at the top of a terrarium. Choose stones ¼ of an inch or which are smaller for drainage, but choose whatever you want for topdressing.
  • Activated Charcoal- Unless the container has a drainage hole, you can use activated charcoal pieces which you can purchase from the garden centers or aquarium supply stores. This help to keep the soil fresh.
  • Sheet Moss- Sheet moss is useful when you are lining the bottom of the terrarium. It provides sponge for absorbing excess water.
  • Gloves- Always wear gloves whenever you are handling sheet moss. You should also wear a long sleeved shirt to prevent fungal infection. They are also useful when handling charcoal.
  • Decoration- pick any decoration you want to add to your terrarium, as long as it won’t is damaged by the exposure to water. For example, shells, rocks, miniature garden gnomes, small stature or aquarium decorations.
  • Don’t add critter to your terrarium as they can damage plants and spread disease.

5.) Clean the Glass Container 

If the container is previously used the first wash it thoroughly with soapy water and rinse it well to remove all the residue. As the dirty terrarium grows the bacteria over time, you prefer to use an antibacterial soap if you can.

6.) Add rocks and moss to Make a Terrarium

Mix the pebbles/ gravel with a generous handful of charcoal as they will work for the drainage. Then put a layer about an inch high of this mixture inside the terrarium container. Then add a layer of moss as it will prevent the soil from filtering down into the gravel.

7.) Put in the Soil

It depends on the size of the of terrarium and the length of the plant’s root. You should add about two to three inches of soil. Then gently pack it down to remove air pockets and level the surface. When you will put the soil in the terrarium, the next thing you will need to dig small holes into the soil where you can put the plants.

8.) Add the Plants to Make a Terrarium

Remove the plant from its container where the plant is right now. Gently tease the root apart to remove the excess soil. Then put the plant in the hole you made carefully and add more soil around it, and pat it down gently. Repeat this process with the rest of the plants.

9.) Add the Decoration to Make a Terrarium

You can also add pebbles or moss to neaten the top of the terrarium or you can choose another thing for the decoration. It depends on you and your preferences. If you don’t want to add decoration then there is no need because terrain also looks good simple.

10.) Maintenance of Terrarium

  • Water your plants- if your terrarium is open then water it occasionally. This will not be necessary for the airtight terrariums, but plants in open terrariums will need to be watered once a week. Cacti and succulents only need to be watered once a month.
  • Keep your plants healthy- if you see weeds, mold or sick plants in your terrarium then remove the affected area immediately. Also remove the witting parts of the plants, such as old flowers.
  • Let some fresh air in- if your terrarium is airtight then air it out. generally, it is not necessary, if your plants are witting or there is condensation on the sides of the terrarium, air it out


  • Many plants will start from a cutting of leaves. If you know someone who grows these plants, so you can ask to take a small start.
  • Tropical plants are the best option because they like humidity and also look very colorful.
  • Don’t put a terrarium in a dark corner as terrarium require lots of indirect light.
  • You can buy terrarium plants from the plant stores as they have a small section of terrarium plants.
  • Don’t give over water to plant. Only water them if the soil and the sides of the glass are dry.

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