How to Create a Terrarium

Learn how to create a tabletop terrarium with these simple step-by-step instructions.
Tiny Terrarium in Mason Jar

Tiny Terrarium in Mason Jar

Terrariums are a wonderful way to display plants indoors. They differ from conservatories in that the plants are inserted directly into the soil layered in the terrarium rather than placing small pots of plants under glass. Like a conservatory, a terrarium creates a beneficial humid environment for plants.

Gardening expert Colleen Mullaney demonstrates how to create your own terrarium, using any clear glass or plastic container that admits light.

Steps

1. Since the terrarium is sealed, it is important to keep the base and the soil sterile. Either run a glass container through the dishwasher, or wipe down all surfaces with rubbing alcohol and water.

2. Build your terrarium by starting with a base level of gravel for drainage.

3. Next, add a layer of chipped charcoal, which keeps the soil clean and helps with any odors. It is available at gardening stores.

4. A layer of potting soil goes next. It should be damp, but not wet. If it is too wet, it will promote disease.

5. Create an interesting landscape with plants by choosing a variety of colors and textures for your terrarium.

Terrarium Plants to Try

Friendship Plant

Watermelon Peperomia

Artillery Plant

Mother Spleenwort

Emerald Ripple Pepper

African Violet

Pearlwort

Silver Nerve Plant

Dwarf Sweet Flag

Strawberry Begonia

Rattlesnake Plantain

Aluminum Plant

Bird's Nest Fern

Polka Dot Plant

Spider Plant

6. Arrange plants still in their pots in a pleasing display before putting them into the soil. Take into account any height variations of the cover. Fill in around the plants with more soil.

7. Place the terrarium near a window but not in direct light, since that will produce too much heat and humidity, which promote disease.

8. Instead of watering plants, mist them. This cleans the foliage off and starts the moisture process. The water will recycle itself. Wait about 12 hours before covering the plants so the water dries off the foliage completely.

9. If plants need pruning, simply lift the cover and snip.

Next Up

How to Grow a Watercress Container Garden

Garnish your food with tasty, shiny watercress leaves — or make a yummy salad with watercress as the main attraction.

How to Paint Confetti-Dotted Glass Vases

Bring color to your tablescape with these easy-to-make confetti-dotted vases.

How to Plant an Herb Container Garden

Herbs have been grown all over the world for centuries for their flavor and healthful benefits. Learn how to plant an herb container garden.

Make an Easy-to-Sew Lined Tote Bag

Custom tote bags can add to a fun personal fashion statement. Learn how to make a lined fabric tote bag that's perfect for work and play in this straightforward home sewing project for tweens, teens or anyone new to sewing.

Easy-to-Craft Handmade Jewelry Box

Turn inexpensive fence-post caps into a pretty jewelry or gift box. By itself, the box makes a thoughtful birthday, Mother's Day or holiday gift. Fill it with sweet treats or a small trinket for a handmade gift they won't soon forget.

How to Dip Dye Porcelain Dinnerware

Add a modern touch to your vintage china with color blocking to add a fun element to any tablescape.

How to Make a Garden-Inspired Napkin Ring

Bring the outdoors in with a garden-inspired miniature bouquet that you can tie around a napkin or wear around your wrist.

Printable Flower Garden Mother's Day Card

Moms everywhere will love this 3-D cut-out card featuring patterned spring flowers. The inside is blank, so you can add your own personal Mother's Day note.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Fingerprint Frames

The kids will have a great time making these one-of-a-kind keepsake frames that Mom will love, especially when a favorite photo is included.

Make Pressed-Flower Coasters

Skip the bouquet this Mother's Day, and give Mom a set of pressed-flower coasters instead.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

6:30am | 5:30c
7am | 6c
7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
Tonight
Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.