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How to Make a Terrarium In a Few Easy Steps

5 min read
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Terrariums are a great way to perk up your indoor space. Terrariums are generally a collective of small decorative house plants growing in an enclosed environment. They aren’t only low maintenance, inexpensive and a great oxygen booster but are also easy to create in different sizes as a great addition to your décor, plus they make delightful gifts.

If you’re interested in testing out your green thumb, but don’t have the space to do so, a DIY terrarium is just what you need, and it’s great for if you’re time-poor too as it doesn’t take long at all! We’ve got you covered with just a few easy steps on how to make a terrarium.

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Before You Begin

Make sure to select a transparent terrarium container through which light can pass like glass, heavy plastic, reused jars, or even goldfish bowls will do. It should have a wide mouth opening for two reasons: first, to allow access to the plants inside and second so that the terrarium isn’t cramped and touching the sides of the jar.

Choosing practical terrarium plants that fit your choice of container is equally important. Moreover, consider terrarium plants that have similar environmental needs such as preferring low to medium light or those that thrive under humid conditions. Among this, choose an assortment of sizes, textures and colours to your liking.

Before you roll up your sleeves, let’s make sure you have all the supplies you need to get started:

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STEP 1: Building the Base

Cover the bottom of your terrarium with a layer of clay gravel or pebbles, approximately 2-3 cms-thick. This is the first and most crucial step as the small stones’ acts aiding in drainage and aeration creating a place for extra water to go, keeping it away from the roots of the plants. Additionally, you could also put a layer of sheet moss at the bottom of the jar to soak up extra water. Remember, layer depending on the size of the vessel.

STEP 2: Lay the Foundation

Next, add a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the stones, about 1–2 cm deep. Charcoal helps to remove toxins, odours, keep water fresh, controls with drainage and keeps away any bacterial growth in your terrarium.

STEP 3: Top Dress

This step is optional but definitely worth your while as it can add to the visual aspects of your DIY terrarium giving it a very lush, finished look. You can add a layer of moss on top of the stones and charcoal as a layer between the potting soil and stone to keep it from mixing with the charcoal and stones. 

STEP 4: Mix it Up

Use a trowel to add the last layer of potting mix as much as you can with approximately 5-6 cm thick, smooth it out and contour your soil so that it mounds and sinks to create interest. At this point, also think how and where you’d place your plants and make sure they measure up as you add the soil mix. 

STEP 5: Placement & Pre-work

Before placing the plants, prune the roots and make a dent in the soil to fit the plants roots. Now it's time to think design! Plan planting your larger plant first followed by the tallest plants at the back or middle and while you do that, ensure sufficient space between the plants. There’s no rhyme or reason to do this, get creative and have fun with it. 

STEP 6: Nestle the Greens

Using gloves, take your chosen plants and firmly anchor them down into the potting mix securely to squash air pockets. Tuck the plants deep enough and pack the soil in and around the plants, covering all the roots and keeping it from reaching too far above the top of the container. 

Step 7: Complete the Look

After all of your plants are arranged, you can add some personality to your terrarium with miniature showpieces or maybe scatter a few shiny pebbles around. Position your terrarium somewhere you can enjoy it and keep it within sight, so you don’t forget to take care of it. Although maintenance is minimal for terrariums, it does occasionally need to be lightly watered and get indirect sunlight.

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Have a go and show us how you went! Show us on Facebook or on Instagram using the hashtag #InterfloraAU and #AlwaysInterflora.

Don’t forget to take a look at our range of succulent plants and get yours delivered today as the first step to creating your DIY terrarium.

Interflora Australia has been operating across our country since 1954. Originally based in Adelaide, South Australia, we now operate out of Interflora House in Melbourne, Victoria. Interflora Australia is 100% Australian owned - via a licensing agreement, issued to us from Interflora in the United Kingdom...