Assembling A Terrarium

Terrariums have come back into vogue in a big way. There are hanging terrariums, all shapes of terrariums.

Today I’m going to assemble one gifted to me from Gardener’s Supply Company. All opinions are of course my own.

If you wish to get your own, here’s where you can find this terrarium.

Everything I needed to complete this project was included, which was nice and handy. 

1. First you add charcoal. Charcoal provides filtration and purifies the water in your terrarium.

2. They say their secret recipe is to use orchid mix. So add half the orchid mix and save the other half for another step in this process. The orchid mix provides optimal drainage and aeration.

3. Add the terrarium soil. This soil is formulated to supply a nutrient-rich base for your plants.

4. Prepare and add the moss. 

First submerge the moss in water and drain slightly. Don’t ring it out. The moss will hold the plants in place.

5. Next spread gravel in your terrarium.

6. Add stones. These are medium-sized rocks. Place on top of the gravel.

7. Now it’s time to add the plants. Make a slit in the moss with your fingers and place your plants in the moss. 

The base of your plants should line up with the top of the moss. 

8. Add remaining half of orchid mix. Sprinkle the mix around your plants and avoid the rocks. 

9. Now it’s time for water. As you can see I’ve brought my terrarium indoors now. I took a water bottle and sprayed water down the sides of the glass to clean any dirt off the terrarium. 

The water retained in the moss is all your terrarium needs to sustain its ecosystem. Do not over water. 

10. Close the lid and you’re done!

Keep your terrarium in a well-lit area. Your terrarium functions as its own ecosystem, and will sustain itself as long as you keep the lid on.

If the terrarium is fogging up once a day, that’s a good sign. You don’t need to open it. The ecosystem is telling you that it doesn’t need additional air.

If your terrarium is not fogging up, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, being very careful not to over water, and close back up with the lid.

If you have continual fogging, leave the lid off for a day or two.

If your plants start rotting, it means that you’ve added too much water. Remove the rot and replace with new plants.

Mushrooms are a sign of a healthy terrarium.

If mold starts to develop, sprinkle cinnamon on the moldy area, avoiding plant leaves.

Now sit back and enjoy your terrarium. 

I really like this one because it came with absolutely everything I needed.


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  1. Although opinions vary, it has been our experience that the plants will prosper if they are kept covered during the day and the top is partially slid off at night. Super

  2. I really like the looks of this terrarium. I remember my MIL gifting me with one of those large plastic terrariums on a pedestal back in the 70s and I have to confess that I hated the thing. It was definitely not my style, too modern looking, but I did have pretty good luck with the plants I put in it. (You can google 70s plastic terrarium and there are several in the images that are exactly like mine.) I ended up selling it on a garage sale after a few years. This one you have would be a good thing to have because my kitties couldn't get to the plants!

  3. Beautiful job , Brenda! I had no idea how to create a terrarium properly. Love the way you can see the different soil layers. Very natural and artistic. It is a very clean way to have plants in the home and they're protected from marauding , munching kitties.

    1. You're so right! So many readers tell me they can't garden because of their kitties. Well, I've shown them that now they can!

  4. I'm so glad they have made a come back, I love them! I guess I'm a 70's girl at heart! Your terrarium is just beautiful!

  5. I love it, Brenda…it's gorgeous! I seem to kill every living thing in my path, so I will just fantasize about having a terrarium for now…haha.

  6. How beautiful! I love the tip about adding cinnamon. Who knew?! Thank you ever so much for linking up at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Your presence adds such a ray of sunshine!

  7. Brenda, when I was a kid my mom went through a terrarium making phase. I thought they were so cool and she had them for years. It seems like if you keep the lid closed, the water just cycles in the container and you don't have to add more. Am I remembering that right?

    So glad you stepped away from your kitchen job to join us at TOHOT. 🙂

  8. Brenda,
    This is just precious. You did a fantastic job.
    Your green thumb prevails!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Thoughts Of Home On Thursday!

  9. as much as I love gardening, I have never planted a terrarium.
    What great information.
    Thank you for sharing this with all of us at Thoughts of home on Thursday.

    1. Well it was fun to do. And now fun to watch it fog up as part of the ecosystem process that keeps the plants alive.

  10. I have so many containers that I could fill. I had a terrarium years ago…I need to make a few for my office window. Although soon the heat will fry them like an egg right thru the window. 😉 Ferns always make me smile- one of my favorites to have in the house.

    1. Don't put them close to the window. Indirect light. Yes, the glass they're inside would fry close to a window if it gets hot.

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