Plant a Lush Terrarium

Edited by Ana Garcia, Doug Collins, Eng, Maria and 1 other

Terrarium! View from above..jpg

Have you ever looked longingly at a lush mini-forest contained in a fish bowl or a glass jar and wished you could have one for your home? Here's a bit of good news for you. These precious bits of green are quite easy to make. What's more, if you choose the right plants, you will have this beautiful landscape looking just as lush and full for a long, long time.

Was this helpful? Yes | No


Gather your materials. You will need:

  • A glass container (Start with a big jar if you are new to this hobby.)
  • About 8 cups of activated charcoal pieces
  • Potting soil
  • Terrarium plants
  • Sheet moss
  • Watering can or a spritzer
  • Trowel
  • Chopsticks


Here are the steps you need to take in order to create a simple but truly refreshing terrarium.

  1. 1
    Prepare the base of your container by filling the bottom with 2 inches of charcoal pieces.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No
  2. 2
    Combine potting soil and charcoal bits to make 4 cups of the mixture
    Fill your container with this mixture until a third of it is full. Gently press the mixture as you do this.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No
  3. 3
    Place your plants on top of the medium, gently shifting their position until you find the right position for each piece
    Remember to leave space between plants for soil and some growth.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No
  4. 4
    Push the plants in gently, then pack the soil around them
    This is where a big wide mouthed container would be easy to work with, but if your container doesn't allow you to put your hands in use a pair of chopsticks.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No
  5. 5
    Lay the sheet moss on the potting mixture between the plant to simulate grass, and gently press the moss so that it is attached to the medium.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No
  6. 6
    Using a mister or a watering can with fine holes, water the plants and allow the potting mixture to settle.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No
  7. 7
    Put your terrarium in a well-lit place that does not get direct sunlight
    Water only as needed.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No


  • It is best to use hardy, slow growing plants for your terrarium that you don't need to trim or change the plants too often.
  • Some of the most popular plants for this type of gardening are the following:
    • The starfish plant, also known as Cryptanthus bivittatus. This grows to about 6 inches only, making it ideal for terrariums.
    • The low-growing nerve plant which reaches around 12 inches at full maturity, but is easy to snip off when a little trimming is in order.
    • Mini Peperomias, watermelon plants, Golden Club moss, and Black Mondo grass are all appropriate plants for terrariums.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.


VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Article Info

Categories : Gardening | Interior Decorating

Recent edits by: Maria, Eng, Doug Collins

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 17,065 times.