Make a moss terrarium

How To Create A Moss Terrarium On The Cheap

Terrariums are having their biggest moment since Queen Victoria was in power. A popular way to exhibit plants in the late 1800s, terrariums, called “Wardian Cases” in the Victorian era, were elaborate affairs that could take up an entire side table. These days, the smaller, simpler iterations line the windows of trendy shops and office desks. Here’s how to build your own for a fraction of the cost of those fancy kits.

A tiny green universe enclosed neatly in glass, easy to care for and often populated by delightful miniatures, it is easy to see why terrariums, especially the easier-to-keep-alive moss variety, are back in vogue. They make a great alternative to a sad desk cactus at work, requiring little light and care. And if you should neglect them completely, the dried moss looks just as lovely as fresh.

While there are any number of places to buy a ready-made terrarium, they tend to be overpriced for a product you can easily make yourself. So make like it’s 1899 and host a craft night with a few friends (constricting corsets and tight cravats not required.)

A few household containers that would make for great terrariums. From left, a classic Ball jar, a small jam jar and an inexpensive candle holder. Photo by Olga Oksman/Lifehacker.

#1 Find a home for your new mossy world

First you will need a glass container. Any clear glass container you can fit your hand into will work. Good old generic Mason jars look surprisingly spiffy as terrariums, as do clear glass candle holders from your local dollar store. But no need to spend any money; you probably have a perfect container in your fridge right now. Pickle jars are great, and a little dish soap will get rid of the dill smell in no time. Fancy jam you bought on a whim? Perfect for housing a smaller terrarium.

#2 Populating the universe

Once you have the glass container ready, think about what theme you want for your terrarium. Just because it is a mossy woodland scene does not mean you have to go the fairies or garden gnome route. Gently sloping mossy hills are perfect for a cemetery, complete with tiny gravestones. Or jazz it up with mythical creatures like unicorns, do your best Themyscira in honour of Wonder Woman, or kill time before Game of Thrones starts up again by rendering any of the Seven Kingdoms.

A gnome and his trusted mushroom. Photo by Olga Oksman/Lifehacker

You can buy simple miniatures at any craft store or on Etsy for relatively little money, but the real fun is in making your own.

Oven bake clay, which you can get in any colour imaginable at craft stores or online, is perfect for rendering anything your imagination can dream up, plus it will make your terrarium completely one-of-a-kind. Using oven bake clay is really simple. Since it comes already dyed in any colour you may need, there is no need to paint it afterwards. Simply sculpt what you want like you’re back in the Play-Doh days of childhood. Then bake in the oven according to instructions until it hardens. After your elaborate oven bake clay Iron Throne — or in my case, awkward gnome and mushroom — is completely cooled, simply paint with clear nail polish to varnish your figurine and keep moisture from seeping in.

#3 Topography

Now that you have your glass container, one-of-a-kind fauna and a theme, you need the flora. Bonus points if you happen to live near a swamp and can gather your own locally grown moss. For the rest of us, moss can be purchased for a couple of dollars per bag at gardening or craft stores.

You have two choices: You can purchase moss that is living, and continue to grow it as you would any plant, or you can purchase dried moss, which is often dyed a cheerful colour, and looks remarkably like the living stuff. If you have the husk of many a dead desk plant in your wake and don’t want to be bothered watering your terrarium, dried moss is a great way to go.

If you are going to be using live moss and plan to keep it that way by watering it, you will want a drainage layer at the bottom of your glass container, which can be made with pebbles. That layer is there so that if you overwater, there is a place for the water to go so the soil does not remain constantly moist, causing roots to rot.

A lot of terrarium kits include activated charcoal, which is layered on top of the pebble drainage layer, as a way to keep the soil from smelling. You can buy activated charcoal in a pet store, in the aquarium section. Activated charcoal is useful in a closed terrarium, but for an open one like the one we’re making which is similar to a potted plant, it’s not really necessary, so just pile your soil layer on top of the pebbles.

Soil and pebbles are also used to sculpt the topography of your world, so they’re great for dried moss terrariums too, but you don’t have to worry about creating a drainage layer. Hills, mountains, plains or deep cavernous sinkholes swallowing the world can all be sculpted using a little soil, a few pebbles and imagination.

After you’ve configured the topography of your terrarium, simply add the moss where you want lush rolling hills, great sweeping plains or overgrown forests. You are now ready for the best part: popping in your miniatures to populate their new world. If you are using living moss, give it a generous spritz of water once a week or so and keep it out of hot, direct sunlight.

My moss is on its way to drying out. Photo credit: Olga Oksman/Lifehacker

And there you have it: a custom-made, totally original, moss terrarium for about the same price as a sandwich.

If you want some greenery in your home or office but you’re not too keen on, or skilled at, tending a high-maintenance plant, a moss terrarium is a hassle-free bit of greenery you practically have to try to kill.

Unlike some of the previous plants we’ve suggested, moss isn’t going to improve your air quality. It will, however, add a touch to your counter or desktop that only something living and green can provide. It also requires very, very little maintenance in the process.

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Inspired by a tutorial we shared with you about making a moss terrarium in a wine bottle, I kept the basic idea in the back of my head and on my craft list. I wasn’t 100 percent sold on using a wine bottle—it seemed like it would be really difficult to place the moss—but the end effect was very novel. Still, I wanted a little bit more control over how I placed the moss into the container. Moss is a pretty forgiving medium, and you have a wide range of latitude in how you go about creating your moss terrarium. You’ll need the following basic components:

Moss: Obviously you’re going to need some moss. You can buy moss online—and if you want moss that grows outside of your climate, you’ll have to do so—but moss is readily available around you, and at extremely little risk of every being classified as an endangered organism. If you decide to gather moss from your environment, which is the route I took, please do so responsibly.

I hiked deep into some public woodland, well off any hiking trails, and into a thicket of briers before collecting my moss samples. I only took small portions of large carpets of moss in order to allow it to regenerate. Don’t go down to your local park and start ripping the moss up from the scenic walkway and other public areas where people are actually enjoying its presence.

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Bring a small and flat tool like a butter knife or putty knife to help with removing the moss. Moss is attached to forest surfaces by thousands of tiny little tendrils. You can very gently slide a flat tool under a carpet of moss and slowly work a piece free by cutting through the tendrils. Done slowly and carefully, it is easy to lift up an entire piece of moss as though you’d just gently pried the top crust off a pie. It’s ideal to remove the moss, if possible, by taking some of the substance that it is attached to along with it instead of damaging the tendrils. If you look for moss on fallen trees that are fairly decomposed, it is easy to put your tool under the soft bark and take the top layer with you.

Bring some gallon-sized zipper-locked bags for collecting the moss. Your moss samples will keep for quite a long time in a plastic bag, so you don’t have to rush to replant them when you get home.

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Glass Container: I took a trip to the local World Market and poked around for some interesting containers. You can easily use any glass container you want as long as you can place your hand inside—or for the more industrious, that you can fit some chop sticks inside to move things around with. I found two containers I liked, one open-air and the other with a closed lid. I wanted to see which would yield better results and would require less work to maintain. The photo featured above, the rock resting on the moss, is the closed container, and is shaped like a common floral vase with a simple lid on top. The second container I experimented with is more like a glass serving bowl:

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A week or so into the experiment, both the open and closed containers seem to be still lush and green. The one in the closed container has stayed a little bit better moisturized, but there is occasionally condensation on the inside of the container that is quickly remedied by opening it for a few minutes.

Substrate: Moss doesn’t need dirt—you can grow it on a brick if you want. I used a layer of peat-moss potting soil in both of my containers because it created a nice sense of depth and solidity to the bed of moss. You could easily use gravel or any other substrate that the moss could attach itself to. If you are going to use soil, peat-moss potting soil is a great choice because it’s highly acidic and when moss isn’t growing on the bark of a tree or rocks it thrives on acidic soil.

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Placement: Because I opted to—and I recommend you do too—use a container I could reach my hand into, it was fairly easy to place the moss. In the case of the round container I took a piece of moss and trimmed it with a pair of scissors into a suitable circle and with the square container I took two large pieces and squared them up on three sides and then overlapped the middle. In both containers I added a small stone from my garden for some visual interest. Whatever left over pieces you have can be used for another terrarium or you can go place them back out in a suitable outdoor location to continue growing—my leftovers ended up in a corner of my garden that is moist and shady.

Maintenance: Once you have your substrate and moss in the container the only thing left to do is keep the moss moist. That’s it. As long as the moss isn’t in harsh sunlight or left to dry out you’ll have great difficult killing it off.

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Have experience with terrariums, moss-filled or otherwise? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

Terrarium Projects

So what I did was went for a walk in the local cemetaries, wooded areas and parks looking for moss. It’s kind of ironic because when I got home I noticed I had a fair amount of moss right in my own yard. I didn’t even realize it. Anyhoo, here is some tips and information that I gleaned during my walk and I will keep you posted as to the status of my moss terrariums.

An initial thought on Moss Terrariums

To me it seems to be a bit plain to have a terrarium with just moss in it. But we will see how it goes. I do think that moss would be an absolutely outstanding addition to a regular terrarium so whatever I learn will be put to good use.

I have also completed a second moss terrarium tutorial that is a little more complex and more attractive. It is located here: How to make a moss terrarium part 2

Special Note and Caution about using any kind of external plant, rock or wood piece in your terrariums: Moss, Rocks, Plants, Wood pieces from the outside world can carry insects with them. Or even insect eggs that you can’t see. You should not immediately add these outside things to any indoor plant or terrarium. You should first quarantine them in a sealed transparent container for up to a month. This way you can see if anything develops or any eggs hatch. In the case of the moss terrarium in this tutorial its rather harmless because there is just the moss and it is a sealed container. A reader, who has a bearded dragon, collects rocks and wood from outside then bakes it in the oven at 350 degree for an hour to kill all bugs and diseases. So his bearded dragon doesn’t get sick.

Hunting For Moss

I took a backpack, some plastic bags and a few digging tools with me on my hunt. If you are going to be hunting around for moss I have some suggestions for you.

First off you should really get a feel for the environment that the moss grows in. Notice where it seems to thrive and why? You want to try to replicate this environment in your terrarium. I noticed that moss in my area seemed to like a few things:

  • Shady Spots – the moss in sunny areas was often brown and unhealthy
  • Angled and slanted areas (they seemed to grow well on the sides of small hills) I am not sure if this is because they prefer it or because competing plants don’t like the sides of hills.
  • This could be a water preference. On a slanted location the moss will get water only for a short period of time which is rather interesting. And this leads me to believe the moss will do well with frequent but very light waterings. I got an email from a terrarium fan who recommended misting moss terrariums twice a day. This is a bit more work than I want to do but it may be necessary

This picture shows moss growing through the cracks of a slanted wall. It appears to be pretty healthy.

And this picture shows moss thriving in the shade of a tree. Again the soil has a slant to it.

I found some healthy and bright green moss hugging up against the roots of a tree so I dug it up and this is what I am using in my terrarium. I made sure I got a liberal amount of soil under the moss.

Making the First Moss Terrarium

This illustration shows how I have made this first terrarium.

I put a layer of potting sand on the bottom for drainage. Then I put a thin layer of spanish moss to keep the soil in place.

Then I put about half my intended soil in. And I placed a few thin slices of slate in there. I angled them. Then I filled in the rest of the soil. Finally I placed the moss right on top of the whole thing.

Because it seemed to me that moss likes angles I figured I would build an angle right into the terrarium. We will see how it goes! In the beginning I will mist it every day but hopefully I will be able to taper down on this and not do it so often. I am also going to make a couple more terrariums with just moss. One of them will have the moss in a flat position so I can monitor how well it does.

About sunlight – This is a bit of a concern for me and I am going to limit the amount of sunlight these terrariums get. Seems to me they don’t thrive too well in it but with daily mistings they might thrive in more sunlight – I will let you know.

A Note from Will: If you are looking for living moss to make a terrarium or to add to your bonsai this is the perfect stuff. Living Terrarium Moss for Bonsai and terrarium making. Hirts Gardens now sells The perfect moss and it is available on Amazon.com I have ordered two of these and will fill you in on how they are.

Scottish Moss – Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’ – Very Hardy

Twig Terrariums Le Petit Singularite DIY Terrarium Kit

Looking for a little green gift to keep that someone fascinated? Look at this one! Le Petit Singularite is a small, well-made, cork-topped jar, made from 40% post-consumer recycled glass. Its design is simple and it looks good everywhere (we’ve checked around our homes). Kit comes attractively packaged and with one figure – please specify male or female.

Live Moss Assortment for Terrariums – Frog, Haircap, Cushions, Rocks, Lichen

Will has bought this exact terrarium moss product and he loves it. It comes nice and misty in plastic bags. There is a nice variety of interesting moss.

Terrarium Moss Kit

Will has bought this exact moss kit too!

Pictures of more moss Terrariums!

Moss terrariums are wonderful in their simplicity and beauty. And you can often make one without spending a penny. Just collect up the moss from the outdoors. Add some small accents and they become a beautiful little world. I have some pictures here:Moss terrariums.

Growing Moss Like A Boss

Few images scream ‘jungle’ like a scene full of tropical plants. Undoubtedly, this includes large swaths of lush, green moss. Although moss, a bryophyte (non vascular plant), occurs in tropical climes, it’s not an integral part of the typical dart frog environment. Moss makes a nice accent, but it should never be the focus of a dart frog vivarium. There are four important factors to consider when incorporating moss into a naturalistic vivarium: lighting, water, substrate, and the inhabitants.

A lush vivarium full of moss is possible, if a few key concepts are understood.

Lighting

Most of the literature will classify moss as needing low or moderate lighting. Keep in mind that this refers to moss outside, under the sun, and not moss grown indoors. It’s much brighter outside in the shade than it is in a typical vivarium. As a general rule, moss in the vivarium will appreciate all the light it can get. I have had success growing it under HOT5 bulbs, as well as LEDs. In the past, when I used T8s to light my vivarium, most moss would not grow. With upgraded lighting, it’s not difficult to have lush moss growth in most vivaria.

Note the compact, lush growth of this moss under bright LED lighting.

There are 2 primary ways to insure that your moss gets the lighting it needs – using brighter lighting, or reducing the distance between the moss and the light. Depending what your current light setup is, it may be possible just to get a new bulb, or add a reflector (which can greatly increase the light output on many bulbs). Additionally, placing the moss in the upper reaches of a vivarium can greatly increase the amount of light it gets. Utilizing shorter vivaria to begin with will also go quite a ways in increasing light exposure.

Know what loves tropical moss? Dart Frogs! These beautiful anurans are completely nontoxic in captivity, and easier to keep than ever before! Check out our blog on some great frogs to start out with, or check out the frogs we have available now!

Light intensity is important to moss growth. Generally the brighter the light, the more compact the moss growth. Notice the three different growth habits of the same moss in this vivarium, a result from differing light intensity due to distance from the bulb.

Water

With moss, heavy mineral or chemical content in water spells doom. Generally, if the water is safe to use with darts frogs, it’ll be fine for moss. Spring, distilled, or reverse osmosis water is safe. Some mosses, especially those traditionally used in aquariums such as java or riccia (technically a liverwort), need wet, almost saturated conditions. Most other mosses, such as sheet moss or mood moss, actually prefer a bit of air movement, and a chance to air out between misting. If you’re not sure what the moss prefers, it’s a good idea to split the moss into several sections and try keeping it in different conditions in the vivarium.

Java moss, typically grown in an aquarium, requires more water than many other mosses.

Substrate

Some mosses will happily grow over almost any surface, while many mosses are are more particular of their growing substrate. As a general rule, if the moss does not appear to have ‘roots’ (moss does not have true roots), the moss will happily grow on almost anything, such as cork or wood. If the moss appears to have ‘roots’, and grows in a mat-like fashion, such as mood moss, it generally prefers a soil-like substrate, such as ABG mix or sphagnum. Once again, if you’re not sure what your moss likes, split it up and spread it around.

Some mosses are perfectly fine growing directly on wood, and do not require special substrates.

Vivarium Inhabitants

Before purchasing moss, consider what animals will be living in the vivarium. Many animals, such as dart frogs, do not truly benefit from moss. Although it looks great, moss should not be the main ground cover in a vivarium. Most species of dart frogs kept in captivity appreciate a good layer of leaf litter and all the benefits it entails (hiding places, visual barriers, increased microfauna levels), and moss does nothing for them. Moss should be used as an accent – something that looks nice, but should not ‘take away’ from the needs of the frogs.

Remember, although moss looks great, it really does not benefit the frogs much. A good layer of leaf litter is far more practical.

Common Vivarium Mosses


Java Moss.

Riccia, actually a liverwort.

Josh’s Frogs Sheet Moss – the best vivarium moss we sell!

Josh’s Frogs Mood/Frog Moss.

Spikemosses in the Vivarium

Spikemosses can grow quickly in vivaria.

Spikemosses, plants of the genus Selaginella, are commonly grouped in with traditional mosses and are sometimes called club mosses. In truth, they are very different plants. Spikemosses do prefer similar conditions, and do quite well in the humid confines of a vivarium. Spikemosses make great ground cover, and generally grow very well from clippings. In fact, Josh’s Frogs recommends dividing up any spikemosses before putting them in the vivarium, and planting them in different areas. Spikemosses can be tricky to grow in improper conditions, but grow quickly once established.

Conclusion

Mosses will always have a special place in the vivarium. Few other plants can complete with it’s lush growth habit and intense green coloration. Even though moss is widely available, keep in mind that not all mosses thrive in any condition. Considerations must be made to truly be able to grow moss like a boss.

Ready to purchase some great moss for your terrarium or vivarium? Wanting that lush, green carpet look? Josh’s Frogs Fresh Moss is for you! Try it – you’ll love it, and be growing moss like a boss in no time!

Outside Links

Tropical Bryology (tropical mosses): http://tropical-bryology.org/Articles/open/VOL23/TB23.pdf

For the purposes of keeping things simple, I’m going to share some research I’ve been doing this morning about four different types of moss that just came in the mail here at Storm The Castle. We’ve been toying around with the idea of making terrarium necklaces as a product and therefore need to determine the best possible moss specimen(s) to work with. In order to get the most out of our moss we need to figure out what type it is, where it comes from, where and how it grows, how much or little moisture it requires, the ideal type of environment for it to grow in (not all moss actually enjoys soil), and what type of lighting suits it best.

So, without further ado, here are some details about Rock Cap Moss, Fern Moss, Feather Moss and Cushion Moss.

GENERAL MOSS FACTS:

  • Has no root system it anchors itself to the ground using rhizoids
  • Has no vascular tissue for transporting nutrients and water throughout the plant
  • Acquires nourishment from air, photosynthesis, and water
  • Able to become dormant during drought, will revive when rehydrated in proper conditions
  • Reproduces by means of spores which requires ample moisture
  • Prefers rain or misting to drenching the soil because it has no roots
  • Prefers cooler places
  • Does not like to sit in very wet soil- mud is NOT GOOD for moss
  • No direct sun, indirect light is best
  • Needs a good drainage system (layered tiers)
  • You can actually store moss in the fridge or freezer to preserve its life when you have no immediate use for it- this really works!
  • Generally appears to favor poor quality soils with low nutrient levels

CUSHION MOSS

(AKA White Moss, Pillow Moss)

  • Grows in moist woods or marshes/swampy areas
  • Typically found on the forest floor
  • Looks like small puffs, usually greenish to pale green in color
  • Some portions may appear white due to lack of chlorophyll
  • Can absorb and retain water very well therefore is especially at risk for death by drowning if overwatered
  • May lie on the soil surface
  • Prefers acidic soil (check your local home & garden store for African Violet potting soil)
  • Needs adequate shade (indirect light is beneficial), yet can tolerate partial sun
  • When it is first planted, it needs to be pressed firmly into the soil and watered regularly for 2-3 weeks

FEATHER MOSS

(AKA Splendid Feather Moss, Mountain-fern Moss, Stair-Step Moss, Step Moss)

  • Perennial
  • Considered a variety of sheet moss
  • Occurs in wide, loose patches
  • Average lifespan of eight years
  • Abundant and often dominant in coniferous forests on water-shedding and receiving sites
  • Requires shade, moderate water levels and high nutrient levels
  • Quickly dries up when canopy cover does not prevent high evaporation
  • Really thrives in environments with high humidity and consistent cloud cover
  • The less light the better
  • Likes to climb rocks and trees
  • Does fine in both open and closed containers

FERN MOSS

(AKA Delicate Fern-Moss, Tiny Fern Moss)

  • Considered a variety of sheet moss
  • Strictly terrestrial
  • Can grow in soil, humus, on rocks, logs, or stumps
  • Requires consistently moist soil-DO NOT LET IT DRY OUT BETWEEN WATERINGS
  • Needs partial to full shade to thrive
  • Needs high nutrient levels
  • Will replace shade-tolerant lichens and often becomes dominant groundcover
  • *For more information, refer to Feather Moss, as they are from the same family

ROCK CAP MOSS

(AKA Mood Moss, Frog Moss, Broom Moss)

  • Identifiable by its leaves which strongly curve to one side (similar to a well-worn broom)
  • Latin word for this particular genus is Dicranum , or Wind-Blown/Forked Mosses.
  • Forms in densely packed clumps
  • Extremely hardy and survives harsh conditions
  • Grows on boulders, rocks, humic soil, bases of trees, decaying wood/logs
  • Can survive in areas that are dry to moist
  • Will burn within minutes if planted or left in the sun
  • NEEDS shade, but not necessarily humidity so would work in both open and closed terrariums
  • Prospers in the shadiest recesses of mesic (well-watered) areas of the forest
  • Must be kept moist (mist it, do not drench it)

Other tidbits of information:

Sheet Moss refers to a growth pattern of mosses, ones which typically dwell on the bottom of the forest floor and spread in large patches or sheets. They usually carpet or blanket humus soil and rocks/bases of trees.

It can generally be assumed all mosses need to be kept moist- not wet or dry- and away from direct sunlight otherwise they will burn.

There are about 1,000 different types of moss indigenous to the United States.

Live Moss Assortment for Terrariums – Frog, Haircap, Cushions, Rocks, Lichen

Will has bought this exact terrarium moss product and he loves it. It comes nice and misty in plastic bags. There is a nice variety of interesting moss.

Terrarium Moss

Terrarium Moss is made for the use of tropical plants and homes for pets such as reptiles. Moss Terrariums can be found outdoors, in homes or offices. There are over 12,000 different types of moss that can be used in Moss Terrariums. Moss for terrariums is generally known for being slow growing and found in wooded areas or growing from rocky crevasses such as patio tiles. If grown indoors, it can be hard at times to become due to not having enough humidity to continue growing. Soil for moss needs to be very dense and moist. Thick enough to make a solid ball. Most mosses have felt like touch and can be a bright green color or a very dark green color. One of the most common moss for terrariums is the Pillow moss. Pillow moss is known for being green and lush and thrives in very moist environments with lots of light. Pillow moss is excellent for outdoor terrariums. A couple of others are New England moss, which is a favorite selling moss. New England moss holds a lot of water and stays moist longer than any other type of moss which can be excellent for terrariums made outdoors as well. And the New Zealand Sphagnum Moss which is perfect for a Moss terrarium due to its softness. New Zealand moss can be ideal for indoor or outdoor terrariums.

Buy Fast Growing Terrarium

Broom Fork Moss: Dicranum scoparium, is a species that can be naturally found in the Great Lakes Region. Its coarse leaves identify it with woolly stems 2–8 cm high. It often forms mats in forests with both dry or moist soil. Broom moss grows in clumps and can grow alongside other species making it ideal for a terrarium with many types of plant life.

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Terrariums have invaded Pinterest, magazines, and all sorts of sites. They are everywhere! And, for good reason. They are little jars of happiness that take care of themselves, are easy to make, and don’t have to cost a lot. How could you NOT love them?? That would just be silly. So, if you are ready to jump on the terrarium bandwagon and don’t know how to make a one… we have the easy terrarium diy, today. This one is for a terrarium in a jar, an easy and inexpensive way to pretty up a corner of the bookcase!

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These terrariums are made in jars from my recycling (I made mini terrarium necklaces once…so cute!). They aren’t expensive and anyone can make them. And the best part is that you don’t need a green thumb to care for them. If you follow the instructions for making one it is virtually a self-care garden. They are perfect for children, your kitchen counter, and adding a bit of life to your coffee table.

Don’t miss out on adding some whimsy to your terrariums! Head to your local garden center and look through the fairy garden supplies for accessories to add to your terrarium. For ours, I used a mini bike, a gnome, and mini pots. They are so crazy cute!

Terrarium DIY instructions:

  1. Start with a medium, clear glass jar. Your recycling bin most likely has a good option.
  2. Fill the bottom of the jar with a small layer of activated charcoal. This isn’t a necessity for your terrarium to live but it is super fantastic for keeping the jar constantly humid and long-lasting. Your local garden center will probably have it or even most home improvement centers.
  3. Add a 1-inch layer of gravel or small rocks for drainage.
  4. Add a thick layer of potting soil. It is a good idea to get potting soil made for indoor plants if you can.
  5. Plant small ferns, succulents, or even cacti in your soil. You want to keep about 1 plant per 1-inch diameter, if possible. A good resource for small plants for your terrarium is your local garden store’s fairy garden section. Generally, plant your largest plant first so you leave enough space.
  6. Once you have your plants planted add a small layer of decorative rocks, moss, or sand.
  7. Finish with your small extras, if you decide to use them.

To care for your terrarium in a jar:

Try to keep a bit of humidity in the jar. If there is a bit of moisture on the side of the jar, it’s fine. If not, give the jar a gentle spray of water or drip a bit of water along the side of the jar. It is generally not best to simply pour water in the jar. And, overwatering can happen very quickly! A little bit is all you need.

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