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How to make a terrarium

Bring the outdoors in with your very own space-saving terrarium. With our own simple step-by-step guide, learn how to build a terrarium and make it beautiful. Let's flex those green fingers!


Pots of plants

Key steps

  • Gather a glass container, pebbles, activated charcoal, soil, and your preferred small plants. 

  • Get creative and add personal touches with decorative objects or even shells.

Do you often find yourself missing the outdoors? A terrarium is your answer! Made from a see-through container and small plants like succulents, it’s a great way of bringing a little piece of nature into your own home. 

Here, we’ll show you just how easy making a terrarium is. 

A terrarium is a fun, low-maintenance way of bringing the outdoors in. But remember, your plants will still need sunlight. Water every two weeks or whenever the soil is dry.

How to build a terrarium: What will you need?

Before we see you through our easy step-by-step guide on how to make your own terrarium, here’s a list of the things you’re going to need:

  • A glass jar or container. It needs to be see-through to allow you to view your plants – and for sunlight to get in! The containers can be of any shape and size.

  • Pebbles or small stones to use as a base and drainage.

  • Activated charcoal to keep water fresh and prevent bacteria from growing.

  • Potting soil.

  • Gardening tools.

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How to make a terrarium: What plants can I use?

There are a variety of plants suitable for use in a terrarium, and if you know how to make a succulent terrarium, you can simply apply the same method to other plants too. The only component that will vary, will be potting soil mix, as this needs to suit your plant’s specific needs. Here is a list with some of the plants you can use when you come to make your own terrarium:

  • Assorted succulent

  • Assorted cacti

  • Small ferns

  • Croton

  • Lucky bamboo

  • Air plants

  • Nerve plant

  • Starfish plant

  • Moon valley

How to make a terrarium in 5 steps

These 5 easy steps will show you how to make a terrarium in a jar or any other see-through container:

  1. Add a layer of small pebbles or stones to the bottom of your glass jar or glass container. 

  2. Add a thin layer of activated charcoal. This will ensure that the water is filtered and prevent bacteria from growing. 

  3. The third layer is the potting soil. Your soil will vary depending on the plant you choose to use. Succulents and cacti will require a specialized mix. You need to have enough soil to cover your plant’s roots.

  4. Place the plants of your choice. Do this by digging a little bit of the soil to make room for each of them. Add your largest plant first and gradually nestle the rest of them, one by one, into the soil.

  5. Add another layer of pebbles and decorate it with an adornment of your choosing, from seashells, miniature sculptures, to fairy lights.

Get creative with these 5 steps to making your own space-saving terrarium. For more inspiration on creating a space that's truly yours, take a look at these tips and tricks for making your house homier.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published