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

No budget for a new planter? You can turn a basic mason jar into an adorable indoor green space.

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

See All Photos

Shop This Look

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Paint Confetti-Dotted Glass Vases

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

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.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Fingerprint Table Runner

This darling, colorful table runner is so easy to create. Get the kids involved and let them personalize a plain white table runner with colorful fingerprints.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Hand-Painted Wooden Bracelets

These stylish bracelets are super easy to create and will make any mom smile. From fingerprints to polka dots and stripes, the kids can get creative making these especially for Mom.

Choosing Terrarium Plants

Making a terrarium is even easier with this helpful guide to choosing terrarium plants.

Hot Stuff: Grow an Indoor Tea Garden

HGTV offers tips for creating an indoor herbal tea garden.

How to Grow Organic Herbs

Consider the health benefits of growing herbs organically.

Bring the Garden Indoors by Forcing Tree Branches

Find out how to trick those naked branches into blooming.

How to Create Bonsai Gardens Indoors

Bonsai expert Richard W. Bender explains how to use bonsai techniques for an indoor harvest of fruits, herbs and flowers.

How to Force Daffodil Bulbs

Tuck these spring-flowering bulbs into containers while the weather's chilly for an early touch of spring.

1,000+ Photos

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

On TV

Desert Flippers

7:30am | 6:30c

Desert Flippers

8:30am | 7:30c

Desert Flippers

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop

10am | 9c

Flip or Flop

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop

11am | 10c

Flip or Flop

11:30am | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c
2pm | 1c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Love It or List It

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Follow Us Everywhere

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