How To Create Your Own Terrarium

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Spring is a time when many people choose to clean up and refresh their homes, and a great way to spruce up a place is with some green. Terrariums are a great way for someone to bring a little life into an indoor space and fill up that empty area in the windowsill. The best part about it is that you can customize it any way you like!

What you need:

  • Decorative glass container
  • Gravel, sea glass or small stones
  • Activated charcoal (optional)
  • Plants (succulents, air plants, etc.)
  • Potting mix (specific to your plant type)
  • Moss (optional)
  • Other decoration (optional)

Getting started:

Finding your materials

Garden centers, markets, home improvement stores and even some small local shops, such as Clever Clover in East Lansing, have some containers for terrariums. Succulents and the other materials can be found at these locations as well. Some even sell terrarium kits for those who are worried they will forget something or who want to buy one thing rather than finding all of the necessary (and optional) items.Begin with a container

After gathering everything you need, take your glass container and make sure that it is clean and large enough to hold your plants.Setting the stones

Once you have your container ready to go, begin to add in gravel at the bottom. This allows excess water to drain away from the plants. You can also add in the activated charcoal on top of the stone. To prevent mixing, a thin layer of moss helps separate the two layers.Practice presentation

Decide how you want to arrange your plants. This lets you double check and make sure there is enough space for them to fit or change containers/redesign. If the plants will be sitting on top of the soil or moss, remove them and go on to the next step.GGGetting dirty

Next, add in your potting mix on top of the rocks. This doesn’t have to be a thick layer for all types of plants. However, for succulents that need to be held up and stabilized, you will want enough soil to support them and their root systems.Final touches

After you have put in the soil, you can add moss or the plants themselves (if you haven’t yet) and move the other decorations around until you like how they look. They don’t have to be perfect. It`s good to have a little character.  Finished product

Enjoy! Remember to check the watering instructions that came with the plant. Many of these plants don’t require more than a misting of water from a spray bottle or, if they are air plants, they can be removed from the terrarium and soaked 20 minutes, placed back in the container, and then last a couple of weeks before they should be soaked again.There is no right or wrong way to design your terrarium. It can be based on your favorite Pinterest inspiration board or done without consulting any images. You can even buy one that was premade if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Either way, as long as your plants get water and the recommended amount of sun, they won’t complain




Michelle Ried is a senior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and Spanish. When she’s not working, she is spending time with her friends, family, camera, or watching Netflix with her three favorite felines. She can be found on Instagram at @michelles_picture_stash.


Tags: DIY, plants, succulents, terrarium