DIY Terrariums~ Miniature Plant Worlds


Terrariums are low maintenance, miniature, magical plant worlds. They are a great solution for people who want to grow plants but don’t have a lot of light, space or time. It is important to group plants together that have the same watering requirements. A really low maintenance planter consists of cactus or succulents which don’t need a lot of water.

Flowering succulent Terrarium fishbowl

Top view Terrarium

Terrarium with Unicorn close-up

Items You Will Need:

1. A clear glass/plastic container, such as a fish bowl, a vase or whatever you can find, but it needs to be colourless. It can have a lid or it can be left open like the one I made for larger plants that stick out over the top. Use a lid to put on top of the terrarium to keep in moisture when you go away for long periods of time. The planter is self watering through the process of condensation.

2. Rocks, for the bottom of the bowl. You can use river rocks, pebbles, polished decorative stones, coloured gravel or even make sand pictures with coloured sand.

3. Charcoal or sphagnum moss, to help absorb bad smells and prevent rot.

4. Soil. Use specific soil for different plant types. For instance use African violet soil for African violets, and use cactus soil for cactus and succulents. The soil should be sandy for good drainage.

5. Small plants that fit inside the vessel without touching the sides. When plants touch the sides during condensation it can lead to rot.

6. Add fun elements, like a wooden toothpick bridge, pebble path or miniature animals. Do not put in things that are going to rust. Create whatever themes or ideas you want and let your imagination run wild.

The pebble path at the back that leads to…

Jade Buddha with chunk of rose quartz

Assembling a Terrarium

Fill the container with rocks or pebbles.

Then layer the charcoal or moss and then put the soil on top.

I use chopsticks and a long-handled spoon to help to put the plants inside the glass container.

After planting make sure that the plants don’t touch the sides of the container to avoid rot.

Water each plant by measuring a shot glass of water for each plant.

Add fun elements or go au natural.


When you travel or are away for long periods place a lid or plate over the top of planter so that the process of condensation will keep watering the plants.

Do not over water or you will cause rot and mould to form, especially when you leave the top on.

Do not place in direct full sun, especially with the lid on.

Mist the plants occasionally to help them to get established. Water the plants about once a month or according to plant type. You can see for yourself through the clear glass if there is water in the bottom of the container. Do not over water!

Glass Terrarium

The beauty of terrariums is that they need little maintenance in the long haul and can be left for long periods of time because they are self-sustaining. I enjoy succulent terrariums which are more kid-friendly than the prickly cactus terrariums.  My favourite combo is baby hen and chick succulents, which look great with stones, and a Jade plant in the centre. I separated the baby jades from my larger Jade plant. I like to add crystals and gemstones.

Jade with baby hen and chicks

Jade and assorted succulents Top View

Jade and assorted succulents with hen and chicks

 Enjoy creating your own green magical worlds!

2 Comments to “DIY Terrariums~ Miniature Plant Worlds”

  1. The tiger’s eye is a nice touch.

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