In this article, I’ll show you how to make a terrarium for a tabletop or for your indoor gardening in just 5 easy steps.
What is a terrarium?
Creating a terrarium is easy and inexpensive. There are many different types of containers you can use, the most popular being glass containers with lids. For plants, popular choices include small jars of dirt and miniature plants. Terrariums make wonderful gifts as well, even for people who don’t consider themselves to be plant-challenged!
Materials needed to make a terrarium
- Glass container (a glass fruit bowl, a jar with an opening that is wide enough for the plant to grow out of)
- Clay pellets or small pebbles (these are used as “dirt”) soil, plants, and other additions such as stones, figures, etc.
- Optional: decorative items; clean glass jars can also be placed in the bottom of your terrarium so they don’t show through the dirt pile at all times.
How to make a terrarium in 5 Steps
- – Step One: Choose Your Container
- – Step Two: Add Soil, Rocks, and Pebbles
- – Step Three: Place Plants in the Terrarium
- – Step Four: Set Up a Water Reservoir for Moisture
- – Step Five (optional): Seal It Closed to Let it Air Out. You Can Spray with Potent Plant Food Every Few Weeks. This will help them grow faster!
Step One: Choose your container
First, find a container that is the right size and shape for your project. A clear vase or glass will work well because it’ll show how beautiful plants can be when they are properly taken care of. However, you might want to consider whether the soil will affect its appearance before you start planting in it if this concerns you!
Step Two: Add soil, rocks, and pebbles
Next, fill the bottom of your vessel with rocks (to provide stability) and pebbles (for drainage). Then add good quality potting mix so there’s enough soil to support many plant roots but not too much where water can’t drain out quickly. Fill up about three-quarters of the way full with dirt.
Step Three: Place plants in the terrarium
Choose how many plants you want to include and place them where they’ll have enough room. If there’s not enough soil, don’t worry! Water will provide wiggle room for roots and it won’t hurt your plant if it stays a little bit moist without getting too wet (it might even help!).
You can also use moss or other ground covers instead of dirt like lichen or sphagnum peat moss which is especially good for succulents because it holds moisture really well.
Step Four: Set up a water reservoir for moisture
Add some rocks at the base of your terrarium that is big enough so water doesn’t leak out. Then add some pebbles and then one or two inches of water so the plants get enough moisture without drowning.
Step Five (optional): Seal it closed to let it air out
This is an optional step for how to make a terrarium that you might not need if your container has a lid but sometimes dirt can cause mold from trapped humidity. If this is something you want, cover up the finished project with plastic wrap and poke holes in it for air circulation before sealing shut until the next time you’re ready to plant again!
You can also spray potent plant food every few weeks which will help them grow faster!
Tips for making a terrarium
- Put all the soil into a pot
- Make sure there is enough space in between each layer for plants to grow and breathe, but not too much that it will cause gaps or voids.
- Mixing some sand with your topsoil adds aeration and drainage, as well as helps retain moisture.
- Add any decorations you want (rocks are good), make sure they’re clean first!
- Give the terrarium plenty of time to dry before planting anything, otherwise, everything could rot from excess water.
- Make sure you plant the plants in a specific order.
- Start with shorter, more succulent plants, they will survive for longer period without water and are easier to keep alive if you forget how long it’s been since your last watering session.
- Plant tall herbage types as well; these will provide shade that helps other plants thrive in drier conditions.
Remember: No matter how many pots of soil you put together, each layer needs room to breathe! Neither should be too deep or too wide.”
If I’m not adding dirt between layers, then how can my terrarium have air? If there is no space for the roots to grow into, there won’t be any air because when people add dirt, they usually put it in between the layers.