Unfortunately, not everyone has the space to express themselves when it comes to their green thumb. While we would all love acres of garden space to grow all kinds of beautiful things, many of us have to make do with what we’ve got. This is where DIY terrariums come into play, a mini garden for your tabletop to create a fun and eye-catching decorative piece.
Not only are they real space saver and rather quirky, but terrariums are also very easy to maintain. Whether the idea is to brighten up your office desk, bring some nature from outside to in, or provide a fun gift for a loved one, terrariums are great DIY options.
However, some of you may still be wondering exactly what a terrarium is…
What is a Terrarium?
In its simplest form, a terrarium is a collection of small plants within an enclosed space. The plants are often grown within clear containers, with openings at the front or top that are large enough to grant you access. The best part is that, like gardens, a terrarium can be completely unique and individual to you.
What’s best, with this handy guide, we will provide you with absolutely everything you need to know about terrarium, including how to create them and how to care for them. First up, you have to make sure you have all the supplies needed to get started…
How to build a terrarium – DIY Terrarium Supplies
- Glass container – This will be your terrarium’s home. The exact type and dimension of glass vessel is up to you, as long as it is transparent to ensure that you can see the plants from outside. Our guide teaches you how to make a terrarium in a jar, glass box, or any other manner of container.
- Stones/pebbles – The base of a terrarium is usually fashioned from small stones and pebbles, which not only look pretty but also act as water drainage to ensure that excess moisture doesn’t hang around and cause rot.
- Activated charcoal – You only need a thin layer to keep your water fresh from bacteria.
- Potting soil – Any type of soil is fine for a terrarium, although special mixes are available from shops for certain plants such as cacti or succulents. This soil acts as a vital layer to your terrarium base.
- Plants – The main feature of your terrarium. This is what makes your display eye-catching and beautiful. What’s best is that you can pick all of your favourite plants and flowers to add to your terrarium. However, there are some standout plants that perform best in terrariums.
- Tools – A small garden needs small tools, so anything that can help you create and plant your items will be handy.
The best plants for a terrarium
When choosing which plants you want to add to your DIY terrarium, it is important to remember a few key things:
- The plants have to be small enough to fit into your chosen glass container.
- You do not want any of the plants, leaves included, actually touching the container.
- Plants that thrive in humid conditions do well in a terrarium.
- A container with a slight opening can be used to accommodate certain non-humidity friendly plants.
So, which plants do we recommend for your DIY terrarium?
When building a terrarium, you can select anything you want, if you are looking for a tried and tested plant that thrives within a terrarium, choose a few from the below list.
- Succulents (For a DIY succulent terrarium)
- Air plant
- Nerve plant
- Starfish plant
- Moon Valley
Once you have chosen your perfect array of plants, it is time to get underway! All you have to do is follow our simple step-by-step guide and you’ll be gazing upon the perfect DIY terrarium in no time!
Step-by-step guide – How to make a terrarium
Note – All in all, this mini project should take you around half an hour on average.
Making your terrarium should begin by placing between one and two inches worth of stones/pebbles into the base of your terrarium, covering the entire surface area of the bottom.
Add a thin layer of activate charcoal on top of the pebbles/stones.
Add a layer of potting soil on top of the charcoal. This needs to be deep enough for the plants to root, so between two and three inches should do.
Add your plants to the soil. Start with the largest plant, remove it from the original container and prune the roots. Make a hole in the soil, just deep enough to cover the roots, and place the plant into that hole. Working your way from the back to the front of the terrarium is often best. Repeat this process for your remaining plants and play around with the arrangement until you are happy.
Add another layer of pebbles to the top for aesthetics. You can also add any extra decorations such as mini gnomes, moss, coloured sand, etc.
Now that the terrarium is finished, you must learn how to care for it. As with any plants, regular sunlight and water are needed to keep them healthy. Make sure you lightly water the base of your terrarium every 14 days, or before if the soil is starting to look dry. Place your glass container somewhere that gets direct sunlight, like a window ledge.
Watch Our DIY Terrarium Tutorial Video: