Learn how to make a terrarium with just a few easy steps. Perfect for plant lovers and beginner gardeners as they will last for a long time.
Indoor gardening can be just as fun as digging in the dirt. So when the weather outside is too hot or too cold creating a closed container terrarium may just be what the doctor ordered.
Here's the best part. They are really easy to make and they last a long time with little or hardly any effort.
Did you ever hear of a Wardian Case? They are precursors to terrariums named after the inventor, Dr. Nathaniel Ward a 19-century physician and plant lover. Today they are more like mini-greenhouses with their own ecosystem and make a beautiful addition to your home decor. They also make a great gift.
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What goes in a terrarium?
- Large glass jar with a lid
- Gravel or pebbles (enough to line the bottom of the jar)
- Potting soil (make sure that it is a nice soilless mix)
- 2-3 small plants (I got mine at Lowes, button fern, begonia, baby tears)
Steps to Make a Terrarium
- Give your jar a good washing and dry it well.
- Add a thin layer of pebbles to the bottom. If you want you could mix in some horticultural charcoal to help with toxins but I don't think it's essential.
3. Next, spoon in your potting soil. Just enough to plant in.
4. Then carefully add your plants. You may need to trim some of the roots to make them fit properly.
Also, you may only want to put a portion of the plant in, which makes this the perfect project to do with a friend or even your kids, making each plant a two for one, or even three for one deal.
Here's a tip: use the eraser end of a pencil to help move things around inside and tamp in the soil.
5. Finally, give your new garden a small drink of water and close the lid.
The moisture will condense and re-water itself, meaning you will hardly ever have to water again.
What types of plants grow best in a closed terrarium?
Most plants that love humidity grow well in this type of terrarium. Typically these are foliage plants but they are still beautiful and vary in color and texture.
Terrarium Plants to try:
- baby tears
- polka dot plant
- aluminum plant
Succulents, cacti, or air plants are not a good idea for a closed terrarium as they do not need the extra moisture and will start to eventually rot. You can try growing succulents in an open-air terrarium. Just make sure you use a succulent potting mix, add plenty of gravel for drainage, and be very careful with watering.
Finally, you could add some interesting miniature figurines, rocks, or driftwood depending on the size of the glass containers.
Go to town, make it yours and watch it thrive.
More Indoor Garden Ideas
- Jar glass jar with a lid
- Gravel or small pebbles
- Potting soil (soilless mix)
- Small plants
- A pencil with an eraser.
- Wash and dry your jar.
- Add a layer of pebbles, small stones, or gravel to the bottom.
- Add enough soil to plant in approximately 1-2 inches.
- Carefully plant the plants trimming plant roots if necessary,
- Use a chopstick to move the soil and plants around.
- Use the eraser end of a pencil to tamp down the soil.
- Water the plants and close the lid.
- Place the terrarium in an area with indirect sunlight.
Make sure you choose plants that like humidity such as ferns. Succulents will not grow well in this atmosphere. They require open containers with airflow.