How to Make a Terrarium (and Celebrate Your Earthy Side)

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To celebrate the arrival of spring and all things turning green this month, we decided to bring a bit of the outdoors inside by creating our own terrariums.

First the basics: A terrarium is a mini indoor garden in a glass container. The plants require low maintenance and are perfect for people who don’t have the time to care for a garden or just don’t have a green thumb (like a few of us on our blog team). They are perfect for desks, night tables and other places where space is limited but you want to infuse a bit of outdoor beauty.

And the icing on the cake is you can create a really great one for anywhere from $5 to $25. Here’s how to get started.

1. Decide on which plants you want to use. Nearly any low maintenance plant will work great. Classic plants include (but are not limited to) ferns, mosses, succulents and cacti.

2. Choose your container. It should be made of glass and deep enough for your plants’ roots. You can buy a new container or simply clean out one you already have. We found several affordable glass containers at places like Michael’s, Target and even Home Depot.

Want to make a full garden? Scoop up a bevy of terrarium supplies using SPRINGHD and get $10 off $100 with this Home Depot coupon code.

3. Purchase your supplies. For making a terrarium you will need: Potting soil (choose light soil with lots of drainage), pebbles or gravel (these provide drainage when placed at the bottom of the terrarium and a neat appearance when placed at the top of the terrarium), moss, decorations and plants.

4. Now, create your terrarium. Here’s how we layered our terrarium contents:

  • Add layer of rocks.
  • Add layer of moss.
  • Optional: add mesh (you can use the mesh from the bags the rocks came in) to help keep the soil from falling.
  • Add the soil.
  • Add plants (tease the roots).
  • Add pebbles/decorations.

5. Maintain it. Once it’s built, your terrarium should be easy to maintain. For the plants that we used, we’re simply using spray bottles and spraying the plants periodically to add moisture. Cacti don’t need much water, obviously, and succulents hate wet roots, so spraying them lightly once in while is the perfect way to keep them happy.

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We love our terrariums! Any tips you’d like to share about your experience in creating your own?

Before you shop: Pick a plant that will stay small. You don’t want to choose a plant that will outgrow the terrarium container it’s placed in. Also, plants that prefer shade and are tolerant of high humidity will work best.