30 Modern Terrariums to Inspire You

These sleek and sculptural terrariums can add a modern and natural element to your outdoor or indoor decor.

Photo By: Jeffrey Schneider

Photo By: Jeffrey Schneider

Photo By: Jeffrey Schneider

Photo By: Sarah Brueck Williams

Photo By: Sarah Brueck Williams

Photo By: Sarah Brueck WIlliams

Photo By: Sarah Brueck Williams

Photo By: Sarah Brueck Williams

Photo By: Sarah Brueck Williams

Photo By: Paul Ponn

Photo By: Paul Ponn

Photo By: Laurel LeMaistre

Photo By: Terrain

Photo By: Wil Gonzalez

Photo By: Dodo Kit Yee Fung, American Institute of Floral Designers

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Co.

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Co.

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Co.

Photo By: Joyce Mason-Monheim, Accent Decor

Photo By: Joyce Mason-Monheim, Accent Decor

Photo By: Joyce Mason-Monheim, Accent Decor

Photo By: Joyce Mason-Monheim, Accent Decor

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Co.

Photo By: HomArt

Photo By: HomArt

Photo By: HomArt

Photo By: HomArt

Photo By: Joe Guggia

Photo By: Wil Gonzalez

Contemporary Cube

A cube-shaped terrarium has clean lines that lend themselves to modern design. When Jeffrey Schneider of Jeffrey's Terrariums creates his displays, the plants are sized proportionally to the vessels. "I like to think of the layouts as miniature landscapes," he says. This air plant terrarium holds Tillandsia streptophylla, filifolia, Bulbosa Guatemala, Ionantha Victoriana, Aeranthos and Funkiana, along with horn wood and river stone.

Woodland Theme

Three components of modern terrariums are simplicity, scale and minimalism, says Jeffrey Schneider of Jeffrey Terrariums, who creates terrariums of hand-blown glass. In this woodland-themed terrarium, he used pincushion moss (Leucobryum albidum), rabbit's foot fern (Phlebodium aureum), reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina), Selaginella kraussiana and succulents such as Peperomia prostrata. Acorns, twigs and leaves are sterilized to prevent pests and diseases.

Artistic Inspiration

Jeffrey Schneider is inspired by artists such as Dale Chihuly and Anish Kapoor and their work with organic shapes in creating his own hand-blown shapes for terrariums. A legume-shaped terrarium holds a variety of mosses: pincushion moss (Leucobryum albidum), peacock moss (Selaginella uncinata) and succulents such as Peperomia hirta. Plants include Acorus gramineus 'Minimus Aureus' (a perennial) and Ficus pumila 'Quercifolia' (a vining plant).

Organic Approach

Hand-blown terrariums are organic and sculptural, says Jeffrey Schneider of Jeffrey Terrariums, based in New York. The bean-shaped terrarium he created holds Selaginella emmeliana, maidenhair fern and perennials such as Peperomia urocarpa. He used Yamaya stone for the base and placed sterilized twigs into the display.

Recycled Creations

These terrariums, made of recycled and repurposed glass, include found items, feathers, coral, moss, twigs, seashells and stones. Stained glass artist Sarah Brueck Williams placed those items with "my nursery of plants that need help," such as Aloe juvenna and a variety of echeveria.

Mixed Materials

A tiny alocasia plant in displayed a metal and glass terrarium with quartz crystals and feathers, plus skull and antler decor. The display was arranged by stained glass artist Sarah Brueck Williams.

Sculptural Quality

A Hindu rope plant curls over the rim of a terrarium made of recycled glass. Stained glass artist Sarah Brueck Williams also placed succulent Mesembryanthemum lehmanni in the octahedron-shaped terrarium.

Triangular Treat

A pyramid-shaped terrarium holds Sedum acre 'Aureum.' Artist Sarah Brueck Williams took a cutting from her yard, which now overflows out of the glass terrarium.

Lovely Assortment

This clever collection of recycled glass terrariums in different shapes displays sedums (such as Sedum spurium and Sedum acre 'Aureum') and succulents such as variegated Candle Plant, String of Pearls, Propeller Plant and Silver Squill. At the top right, begonia 'Fireworks' brings in a punch of ruby red. A Hindu rope plant and Mesembryanthemum lehmanni are in the same container in front, near a tiny hen and chicks succulent. They were assembled and arranged by Sarah Brueck Williams, a stained glass artist.

Stacked Succulents

A low-maintenance succulent, String of Pearls, fills a dodecahedron-shaped terrarium. The triangular terrarium below includes Sedum acre 'Aureum.'

Deliberate Design

A modern terrarium incorporates clean lines, use of space, layers and grouping. Floral designer Paul Ponn used a large white figurehead to create an imposed asymmetrical line to bring the eye to the soil line. If you play close attention to the soil line, you will notice clear layers between the different types of soil, says Ponn, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and owner of Bella Floral Boutique in St. Cloud, Fla.

Perfect Placement

Using miniature Mammillaria cacti, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' and Mother of Pearl succulents gives this terrarium design a clean and modern look, says Paul Ponn, owner of Bella Floral Boutique in St. Cloud, Fla., and a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. He used the concept of "negative space" in each grouping of plant species.

Orchid Adoration

In this modern terrarium, floral designer Laurel LeMaistre used a combination of natural found material, such as birch bark and swirled branches along with petite orchid plants, and polished river stones. Orchids are a staple flower for all modern design, and their simplicity and longevity make them a perfect choice for terrarium work, says LeMaistre, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers.

Open-Ended Vessel

This sleek oval terrarium displays air plants and succulents. The glass terrarium, which is open at both sides, is sold by Terrain.

Going Vertical

A large vase set on the vertical and a mini cube, both holding tillandsia, can be sleek and elegant terrariums, says Wil Gonzalez, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. Tillandsia and succulents are ideal for home decor because they are low-maintenance, says Gonzalez, owner of W/E Flowers in Ukiah, Calif.

Natural Landscape

This glass tube is a mini modern terrarium packed with plants and layers of various colors and textures. Dry twigs, timbers, sand and stones are used by Dodo Kit Yee Fung, education director for Instituut de Creatif, a flower school in Hong Kong, and a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. Natural timbers are used for the inner groundcover and outer stand.

Tabletop Terrariums

Terrariums can make a striking statement in modern decor. These gazebo-, cube- and teardrop-shaped terrariums are made of faceted glass and copper-hued metal. Inside a terrarium, there's the fun opportunity to bring in plants, found objects, pebbles, sea glass and other interesting details. These terrariums are sold by Gardener's Supply Co.

Take on a Teardrop

Faceted glass and copper-finished metal can add warmth to modern decor in a home or outdoor living space. The 9 1/2-inch tall terrarium is sold by Gardener's Supply Co. and could be the focal point of a tabletop or mantle.

Air Plant Pendant

Air plants, also known as tillandsias, have a unique, sculptural appeal, which fit into modern design. This DIY terrarium kit sold by Gardener's Supply Co., includes a hanging glass terrarium and planting supplies such as preserved moss and lichen, and decorative stones.

Orchid Orb

This glass container is filled with “unearthed” ivy, which means the dirt has been removed with the roots exposed, says Joyce Mason-Monheim, floral director for Accent Decor. "Ivy and many other plants will last for a lengthy time without soil and survive with just a water source," says Mason-Monheim, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. The ivy is shown with a purple Phalaenopsis orchid bloom for color and detail.

In Bloom

A Phalaenopsis orchid bloom and unearthed ivy are displayed in the Ovid Vase, a glass vessel by Accent Decor.

Setting for a Succulent

The rocks below the succulents provide a decorative element and serve as water drainage, says Joyce Mason-Monheim, floral director for Accent Decor and a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. The glass is the same material that is used to make test tubes and can withstand high heat.

Mini Display

When planting a hanging terrarium, it is vital to create a mini environment where all the plants flourish equally, says Joyce Mason-Monheim, floral director for Accent Decor and a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. The orb-shaped hanging vase shows how you should use all succulents because they require the same amount of light and water. 

Copper-Hued Cube

A cube terrarium has the straight lines that sometimes define modern decor. This terrarium, sold by Gardener's Supply Co., is made of glass and metal finished in copper.

Geometric Accents

The various shapes and multiple sides of terrariums, such as tetrahedrons, are a way to bring modern accents into interior or outdoor spaces. These mini Pierre terrariums by HomArt are made of zinc and glass.

Oval Enclosure

A hanging oval terrarium mimics the look of some mid-century modern accessories. This terrarium by HomArt can hold greenery or small tealight candles.

Industrial Edge

The hexagon Pierre Terrariums can fit into modern, industrial decor inside a home or in an outdoor living area. The terrariums, which have a pyramid-shaped top, are made of leaded glass and zinc. The terrariums, sold by HomArt, come in three sizes.

Many Shapes

Terrariums can hold succulents, sedums and other plants, as well as candles and mini sculptures. These Pierre terrariums from HomArt are made of leaded glass. The one on the bottom right is a dodecahedron-shaped terrarium.

Sedum Art

Everyday glass containers can become wonderful terrarium art, says Joe Guggia, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and owner of JP Designs Floral in Santa Maria, Calif. These glass vessels are home to two varieties of sculptural sedum. The cylinder vase is planted with jelly bean plant (Sedum rubrotinctum) while the lower container nestles stonecrop, a lovely groundcover sedum.

Tillandsia Terrarium

Large cylinder aquarium scenes with tillandsia "sea creatures" are a hit with adults and kids, says Wil Gonzalez, owner of W/E Flowers in Uriah, Calif., and a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers. In this one, he's used sedum and the "sea creatures" with stones.

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