DIY Terrarium Ideas

Terrariums are a collection of small succulents and plants that are typically housed in glass or clear containers, layered with other objects like rocks and soil. They not only give your home a unique, modern look, but are easy to maintain, plus great for small spaces. 
Predesigned, preplanted terrariums can be bought at many craft and home goods stores, but you can easily create your own terrarium to feature your own style and preferences. Consider these simple steps and ideas to help you make the ideal DIY terrarium.

Choosing a Container

The first step in creating a DIY terrarium is to choose the right container - either closed or open. Depending on your personal preference, you can use a variety of container shapes and sizes - ranging from salt and pepper shakers to Mason jars to hanging bulbs - to house your creation. Keep in mind, though, that closed and open terrariums provide different environments that are suitable for different types of plants.

Selecting Plants

The next step is to choose which plants will live in your terrarium. It's best to select plants that start small and grow slowly to keep maintenance at a minimum. Closed containers are best for low-maintenance plants that are humidity tolerant - like moss and ferns; open containers are ideal for plants that thrive in a dry environment - like succulents and cacti.

Creating a Terrarium

After choosing the container and plants, you're ready to start assembling your DIY terrarium. Begin by adding 1 to 3 inches of pea or aquarium gravel to the container. This will act as the reservoir and hold any excess water. Adding charcoal to this layer will also help eliminate any odor the standing water may create; the charcoal should be added to make a ½-inch layer.
Next, add a layer of moss to serve as a barrier for the soil and prevent the soil from draining into the water reservoir. Then add soil and begin to place selected plants in soil. Trim the plants to size and remove any dead leaves before planting. 
After assembling the layers of the terrarium, personalize it by adding shells from your favorite vacation spot or with seasonal décor, etc.
When it comes to maintaining a terrarium, it's important to avoid overwatering, as this can cause fungal disease and rotting. In a closed container, you should only see a bit of condensation on the inside walls; if the walls are completely fogged, it has been overwatered.
A closed container should only be watered once or twice a year, but continue to watch for wilting plants to ensure healthy plant life. An open container must be watered more frequently - every two to three weeks. If the soil is dry or the plants begin to wilt, add extra misting to your routine. 
Lastly, terrariums thrive best in bright, indirect light; do not place in direct sunlight or the heat will burn the plants.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®
January 2017