A Terrarium How-To

I really hope Terrariums don’t go the way of pegged jeans and snap bracelets because I’ve fallen madly in love with them. I was all too happy to give up ’90s garb, but not these little guys. I know they’re oh-so trendy right now so consider me a sucker. I’ve fallen for their charm and they didn’t even have to buy me dinner first. I’m such a floozie.

My friend Sarah told me about this adorable garden shop on the north side of Indy. She told me it was her favorite and that I would probably go nuts in there. That doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about that place. The owner is nice as can be, they were so helpful and friendly, and you could just tell they had a passion for plants.

I told them I wanted to make a terrarium (with my $16 apothecary jar from Homegoods!) so she showed me exactly what I needed and gave me a little “cheat sheet” to take home, too.

Here are my supplies:

And no. I don’t always keep a lace curtain on my table. I covered the table with a white tablecloth so you guys could see this project easier, but it was wrinkled. So I took the lazy man’s way out and just covered it with lace to mask the wrinkles. There. Now you know all my secrets. I hope you’re happy.

Seems easy enough, right? Well, it actually was! This would be a great project to do with kids. The only skill terrarium building requires is a love of playing in dirt.

First step was to fill my jar with pebbles. This creates drainage for my little baby plants.

However much or not-so-much you want is totally up to you. I filled the little bubble on the bottom full of these little rocks. I just liked the way it looked.

Now, dump in your charcoal. This keeps the plants fresh, and it prevents any sort of rotting and stinkyness due to an abundance of moisture.

Picture me snapping a photo with one hand, and pouring this charcoal with another. I should probably join Circ De Soleil because of how impressive this is. You are probably blown away at my skill.

MOSS! I don’t know why I had to shout that. Probably because this was my favorite step of the project. It’s soooo pretty. I just love the color of moss.

I love it so much that instead of JUST putting dirt on and calling it a day, I decided to layer on another layer of moss, and then another layer of dirt. Because I apparently thought I was making a trifle.

Mmm doesn’t that look delicious? (Disclaimer: Please Do Not Eat)

Then it was already time for the final step: PLANTING THE PLANTS! This is so exciting you guys. I was literally doing little dances as I put this terrarium together. Hear that? That right there was the sound of my friends not even being a little bit surprised.

After all the plants were in place I added a few more pebbles for funnzies. Or ambiance. Whichever word you like more.

ISN’T THAT PURPLE PLANT KNOCK-YOU-OVER OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD INCREDIBLE? And that little mini palm tree? And the delicate white stripes on the other guy? I have to repeatedly fight the urge the snuggle up with these plants every night. Steve just shakes his head when I grab the jar before bedtime, and then I discouragingly place it back on the table with a defeated look on my face.

I mean, how could anyone not just love this thing?

I will rarely have to water this guy because of the lid that covers the whole thing; it gets pretty steamy in there (bare chicka bare bare) during the day. Sometimes I’ll take the lid off just to air everything out a bit — if it feels like it’s too damp. There are no scientific terms, though. I just judge based on how I feel. Remember? I already told you I’m a crazy plant lady so this should come as no surprise.

I feel obligated to tell you that although I love plants, I’m definitely not anywhere close to being super knowledgeable about them. I’m not some plant miracle worker (although that would be awesome) and sometimes my plants struggle and I can’t figure out why. I just try really hard and I do honestly love them.

So, even if you feel like you don’t have a green thumb but you want to give house plants a spin, I say GO FOR IT! (Disclaimer: Don’t Actually Spin Them) I think you’ll be surprised how easy many of them are to take care of. A great place to start is at a local nursery; they can help pair you with the perfect plants to suit your needs.

Good luck! I hope you will all give this a try. It adds such a lovely touch a fun to your home and is just so stinkin’ cute. Let me know if you have any questions. I will probably redirect you to my friend, Google, but I will sure as hell try to help!

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8 thoughts on “A Terrarium How-To

  1. Being far from a “crazy plant lady,” I’ve never seen anything like this. I absolutely LOVE it, though. And I love that it’s a way that I can actually have plants in the home, since my cats can’t be trusted not to try to eat regular houseplants. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Pingback: Same Name, Different Game | The Harpster Home

  3. Amazing!! I needed an Rx for gloomy Columbus weather so lucky for me (but not my wallet) I live about a mile away from Oakland nursery. The Pup and I wandered thru the green house till I found just the right residents of my new terrarium and I even found a home for a mini frog I bought yrs ago. I did forget to do the charcoal, but so far so good.
    Blues chased away!

  4. I LOVE your enthusiasm! And I think it turned out bee-yew-tea-muss. Been wanting to try a terrarium project for years, but I am “plant-shy”…I think you just boosted my confidence level enough to give it a shot. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: A Terrarium How-To | My Blog

  6. Thank you for sharing. I love the way you arranged this. I love the purple plant. I’ve made several myself and gave one to my sis last mother’s day and she loved it. I will have to look for the purple plant for my next project.

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