Terrarium Tutorial

 Add a little green to your indoor space with an eye-catching terrarium! Living in apartments in Chicago for 4+ years really made me miss greenery and fresh air. These little guys were a great solution (along with a whole windowsill of herbs but that’s for another day..).

 Making your own terrarium is fun and easy! They should be equally as easy to maintain (however, if you run into issues with mold or growth – don’t feel bad! It’s happened to me before too!) No matter the climate in your home, when given a healthy dose of indirect light and a light spritz of water now and then, your terrarium will be happy as a clam. 

Before Beginning 
Choose if you’re going to create an opened or closed terrarium. When selecting your plants, keep in mind that it’s easiest when all plants have the same environmental needs (basically succulents v cacti).
For sun-loving plants, an open container will work just fine. Plants that thrive in high humidity should be planted in a closed container. Choosing slow-growing plants helps to avoid overcrowding. The staff at your local garden store will be super helpful when picking plants. 
Don’t spend a ton of money on your container! Check out the Salvation Army or Dollar Store (or your grandma’s basement) for cool, cheap, unique containers and decorations. 


  • Container (glass works best)
  • Small stones (gravel, pebbles, broken pottery or something similar)
  • Activated charcoal pieces
  • Potting soil (don’t bring in from outside because bugs)
  • Terrarium plants
  • Sheet moss 
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Decorating accessories (optional)
  • Trowel (optional, I just used my hands)


  1. Begin by placing drainage layer at the bottom of the container, enough so it covers the bottom plus a little. 
  2. Install approximately 1-2 inches of charcoal at base of container.
  3. Combine remaining charcoal with soil either by hand or with trowel.
  4. Fill your container 1/4 – 1/3 full with the charcoal/soil mixture. Gently pack every 2 inches to avoid large air pockets.
  5. Gently remove plants from their containers and position them on top of the soil to ensure proper spacing. Allow enough room between the plants for some growth and any decorations you may add.
  6. Use your hands to pack soil in and around plants. Put the plants deep enough into the soil to cover all plant roots and keep the plants from reaching too far above the top of the container.
  7. Place moss on top of the soil and between the plants.
  8. Water plants and place container in a well-lit area with indirect light. Future watering is dependent on the types of plants you have selected and the environment they’re growing in. 
  9. Maintenance is minimal once the plants are established. Test the soil for moisture before pulling out the watering can. 

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