Making a Terrarium-A Snow Day Project

I have had a few containers that I bought at the local thrift shop to use as terrariums. As a matter of fact, I got kind of carried away and bought nine large glass containers. Some are like fish bowls and some are tall with straight sides. I love miniature gardening and this was just a natural step in the same direction really. A miniature garden can be made in almost anything. Outside I use wooden boxes and clay pots. Indoors anything goes from a large trifle dish to a vase. 

Terrarium project

Since it was a snow day, it was perfect for creating an indoor garden. Yesterday I stopped at Art’s Nursery in Surrey and purchased the last of my supplies. I found a small bag of white gravel, some moss, two really cute rocks, tiny plants, charcoal and indoor soil. I was ready to begin. I wasn’t sure if I would use all of this stuff as this was my first terrarium. 


It’s really important to find small indoor plants as they are the easiest to use in your planter. I have a collection of Kitchen Fairies that I thought I would add to the garden. The kitchen fairies are so adorable. They are just waiting for a home.


To begin, I washed the glass container with soap and water and dried it thoroughly. The first step was to add some small stones to the bottom of the glass container. This will provide drainage in case of overwatering. Of course, no one overwaters, do they? I also added some charcoal to help sweeten the container in case it gets overwatered. I used about 1/4 cup and sprinkled it over the stones. 


Around the edges of the containers I placed some sheet moss. The next step was to add the indoor potting soil. 


Here is a the view from the top. My first soil is in! 


When adding soil to your terrarium, its best to use a small measuring cup or a spoon. As I added each little bit of soil, I used my fingers to settle it a bit. Do this part slowly to minimize the residue that may get on the glass. Think miniature when it comes to tools for this garden. 


I had three tropical plants to choose from. I believe this one is a Peperomia but correct me if I am wrong. I am not an expert on houseplants, that’s for sure and they didn’t come labelled. It’s a low to medium light houseplant and will eventually grow too big for this terrarium. Mind you, I could easily replace it with a number of different plants including succulents. Make sure to have a couple of inches of soil for your plants. The plants roots need room to spread. After making sure the soil was nice and level I added a thin layer of white gravel to one side of the container. I also added a bit more moss for decor. I was then able to place one of the Kitchen Fairies in the garden. I decided the baby in a pea pod was the perfect fit. The other kitchen fairy I had out will go in a larger garden. 


This terrarium project took less than an hour. When I heard Chris Janko from Gardenworks speak on terrariums he told us a good way to remember how to water. If you are watering a regular houseplant, a vente size cup of water will do. If you are watering a terrarium, a shot glass of water is all it needs. Terrariums can be misted as well but this could create a bit of mess on the glass. Be sure to feel the soil before watering any of your plants. Don’t just water every Monday like clockwork. Each plant is different and has individual requirements. Know your plants and they will live for a very long time. 


2 thoughts on “Making a Terrarium-A Snow Day Project

  1. That is adorable, and I’m pretty sure you are right on the Peperomia. I love the little pea pod to go with the fairy.

    And you are so right about not just watering house plants once a week. My mom is an awesome gardener outside, but she waters plants once a week, the same amount, regardless of if they are wet or not. Let’s just say that she may be better at gardening outside, but I’m better at gardening inside! I rescue plenty of plants for her and she’s killed I don’t know how many cactus!

  2. That is darling! Here on the coast of Washington I have all the moss and dirt but that little fairy in the pea pod is precious! I would love that terrarium in my home!

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