Terrariums have become quite popular over the last few years. They are a fun and easy gardening project, and are extremely low maintenance.  They look great on an office desk, in your home, or to give as a unique gift.  Even if your thumb isn’t green, you will love how simple terrariums are to make and maintain.  Below you’ll find instructions that will get you on your way to creating your own terrarium.

There are a lot of unique choices for containers at the garden center, and as always, we are happy to assist you with your plant selection as well.

The Basics

  1. Layer the first inch on your terrarium with a mixture of ¼ horticultural charcoal mixed with ¾ small stones or pebbles for drainage.  The charcoal will help keep the air from getting soar and the stones will provide drainage.
  2. Add a layer of soil, about 2 inches deep.  A good potting soil works best; we recommend Espoma Potting Mix.  Soil should be slightly moist.
  3. Plant your plants by gently pulling them from their pots, loosening the roots, and burying them slightly in the soil.  Choose plants that all like the same light conditions, such as all succulents for a sunny terrarium, or fern and African Violets for a shady terrarium.
  4. Add a little more soil around the plants, mounding if necessary.
  5. Carefully place the moss on top of the soil around your plants.  This will help keep moisture in, and give the terrariumn a finished look.
  6. Finish by adding personal touches such as twigs or decorative stones if you wish


  • Unless you are planting with succulents (cacti, sedums, etc.) most terrariums like medium, filtered light
  • Mist regularly (every other day or so) to keep the soil moist but not soggy
  •  Allow the terrarium to “air out” when condensation builds on the sides of the glass.  Simply remove the lid for a day to provide air circulation.
  • Trim plants if they get too large