How To Build Your Own Terrarium
If you have green fingers but minimal garden space, or are wondering how better to store your Flowercard succulent that you may have received as a wonderful gift, then a DIY terrarium could be the way forward. Making your own terrarium is surprisingly easy, and a lot of fun – the activity can even be done with children for a great weekend or half term project.
Even searching for the materials you need will be an enjoyable experience, you can pick up terrarium vases in most high end high street shops, but going and finding a more frugal and unique alternative will be far more interesting – vintage shops and car boot sales are the most likely places to pick unusual pieces for a fraction of the cost.
Having plants in the house is a quick and easy way to make a space feel more bright and airy, not to mention improving air quality. They are easy to make and very low maintenance, so even if you’ve had a bad experience at looking after plants in the past (we’ve all been there!), these are low maintenance.
What You Will Need:
- A pretty clear vase, jar, bowl or any glass object that is deep enough to have layers in it.
-Pebbles, recycled glass, rocks: All will provide a pretty layered effect and give extra drainage.
-Soil (suited to the plants you have chosen): Choose soil with lots of drainage – heavy soil will clump when wetted and light soil will fall apart. Labels on your plants should provide a guide for you on how best to choose your soil.
-Activated charcoal (found in most garden centres or aqua supplies shops)
- Moss (optional): A sheet of moss at the bottom of your terrarium provides a useful sponge for absorbing excess water.
-Small succulents or rockery plants
-Decorative items; shells, rocks, statues, decorations – even cake decorations can be used.
Top Tips for Growing a Terrarium
-Typical plants to put in a terrarium are ferns, mosses, cacti and succulents
-Choose plants that are cheap and easy to grow if you’re a beginner
-Make sure your plant will stay small, you don’t want it to outgrow the terrarium
-The plants you choose need to be tolerant of high humidity
-Finally, choose plants that like some shade… keeping a sun loving plant in the dark will result in a plant that might die.
Step One: Choosing a Terrarium Container
-Find a container that is deep enough for your plants roots
-A bell jar, or apothecary style jar – even a large Kilner jar could all work brilliantly if it’s deep enough
-An old fish bowl is a pretty alternative to a jar
-Pretty vases are an option, although you will have to keep watering the terrarium if it doesn’t have a lid.
Step Two: Decide Where to Keep Your Terrarium
The Right Surface: Chose a place where it won’t be knocked over by boisterous pets or over enthusiastic children.
The Right Light: Terrariums do need a certain amount of light, check the amount of light your plant needs. They tend not to need direct light as the glass will magnify the heat.
The Right Temperature: Terrariums should be kept in a warm room indoors.
Making Your Terrarium:
1. If you have previously used the container that you’ll be using, make sure you wash it thoroughly with antibacterial soap. This will help prevent harmful bacteria growing in your terrarium and keep your plants safe.
2. Mix your pebbles/rocks with a handful of charcoal – add an inch-high layer of the mixture into the container.
3. If you’re going to use moss, place a layer over the pebbles – this will act as a sponge for water and stop soil filtering into the bottom of your terrarium
4. Add your soil – obviously how much you will use depends on the size and depth of your terrarium, but you should be adding at least two or three centimetres. Pat the soil gently to remove the air pockets, and smooth the surface. Poke small hole in the soil where you will be putting your plants.
5. Very softly remove one of your plants from its container and very careful tease the roots apart slightly to remove the excess soil. Place the plants into the hole you made and add more soil around it. Repeat with all of your plants.
6. If you’re adding decorations, now is the time to place them where they look best.
7. Lightly spritz your plants with water – a spray bottle is great for this, or very lightly water.
Remember that you can theme your terrariums, if you’re thinking of putting one in a kids bedroom, be sure to add their favourite little character dolls or toys – a truly inspiring way of igniting the imagination of a little one. If your room has an accent colour, add decorations in that match the colour and theme of the room as a way of carrying the aesthetic of the room through every aspect of your space. Make sure that when you follow our guide on how to make your own terrarium, to be sure to post photos on our Facebook page, which can be found here.