Terrarium Redux: Pictorial Tutorial

Last year I decided to make a terrarium and was quite pleased with myself…..

apothecary jars terrariums

And they grew….and grew…and grew……then promptly died.

As I have said before and I will say again, I have not met a plant, living or fake, that I cannot kill.  I am the Terminator when it comes to flora.  With that said, I decided to venture into the world of terrariums one more time but this time with help.

I recently finished a contributing post to Centsational Girl about modern terrariums (which is live today – so click over and check it out).  As part of the post, I interviewed two fantastic ladies who are terrarium experts and from our conversations received some fantastic assistance on how to make my new terrarium better, faster, stronger — sorta like a Bionic Terrarium (insert Six Million Dollar Man and/or Bionic Woman joke here…).

The Supplies: Glass Container/Vessel, Soil, Charcoal, Rocks, Moss & Plants

The Steps:

Select vessel & add rocks for drainage

Add a layer of charcoal over rocks to combat mold, smell & bacteria

Add a layer of moss to help with soil erosion

Dry fit plants to determine placement

Add a layer of soil on top of moss

Add plants and fill in with additional soil, rocks and decorations

Plant Selection:


Fancy tool I used to fill in soil around plants

To fill soil around the cacti I made a simple funnel out of a piece of paper.  It allowed me to get soil exactly where I wanted without getting it all over the plants.

Final Product:

I still need to add a layer of decorative rocks/sand and a small memento , but I am quite happy with how it turned out.  I love the shape of the vessel and it was a steal from Marshall’s for only $9.99.  Fingers crossed that this one survives!

Special thanks to Monica Schaefer of Paxton Gates and Bianca D’Amico of Terri Planty for all their insight and assistance!

11 thoughts on “Terrarium Redux: Pictorial Tutorial

  1. This is GREAT. I have wanted a to have a terrarium forever. I had one and like you, I kill EVERYTHING. So, it didn’t make it. Maybe these instructions by experts will help me. Well done!

    • I was a total steal. I bought it about 3 months ago with the intention of using it for another project for a client that never materialized. It sat in my garage until recently. If you are looking for a vessel, I strongly suggest seeing if you have a bottle factory in your area — their “cast offs” are normally really interesting!

    • Great name yourself. If you click over the article I wrote for Centsational Girl you will see a list of things that they think may have gone awry. However, I think I may have suffocated it.

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