Hanging glass ball terrariums, filled with sand and air plants in a brightly lit space

Fun with Plants: How to Make a Terrarium

Do you love indoor plants? Do you enjoy unique designs and creations? What about making your own terrarium? Terrariums are a creative way to host indoor plants and they look good just about anywhere.  

Keep reading for tips on how to make your own terrarium from Inhabitat.  

How to Make Your Own Terrarium  

What Do You Need?  

Before you get started, make sure you have these items on hand!  

  • A clear glass jar, vase, bowl, glass or whatever interesting glass container you have on hand
  • Rocks, pebbles or recycled glass chunks
  • Activated charcoal (sometimes called activated carbon)
  • Potting soil appropriate for your plants
  • Moss (optional)
  • Figurines, sticks or decorative items (optional)
  • Various small plants
  • A scoop, spoon or shovel
  • Scissors
  • Gloves



Are you ready to assemble your terrarium? Follow these steps to get started.  

  1. Prepare Your Containers

Take off any stickers or glue on your jars, vases or bowls and wash them well to ensure no residue remains. Having a clean container is important because you won’t want any distractions from what’s inside.  

  1. Add the Drainage Layers

Once the container is cleaned, fill the bottom with rocks or pebbles. This is to create a false drainage layer so water can settle and not flood the plant. The depth of the rocks depends on the size of your container, but aim for 1/2″ to 2″.

  1. Add the Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is exactly what you imagine it to be and it is messy. Add just enough to cover the rocks; the charcoal will improve the quality of your little world by reducing bacteria, fungi and odors.

  1. Add the Soil

Cacti and succulents need a special soil compared to other plants to keep their roots dry, so be sure to grab the correct soil for the plants you’re including in your terrarium, including one that contains perlite. Add enough soil so the plant roots will have plenty of room to fit and then grow. Aim for a depth slightly greater than the height of the plant’s pot.

  1. Time to Plant

Remove your plant from its pot and break up the hard soil; trim the roots if needed. Using a spoon, your fingers and the end of a brush (or even a pencil), dig a well to place your plant’s roots in. Continue placing your little plants in the container and try to keep them away from the edges. The leaves are likely to touch the sides, but aim to keep them away as much as possible.

  1. Clean and Water

Make sure to clean up any mess and dirt around your container. Next, give the terrarium a little bit of water. Unlike most of your house plants, a terrarium doesn’t need to be soaked: just a couple of shots of water should get it started.


Enjoying Your Terrarium

  Now that you’ve made your terrarium, it’s time to enjoy it! These can be excellent gifts or kept for yourself. Visit your local SummerWinds Nursery for the best type of soil for your plant.