A Definitive Guide for Terrariums

Lately, a new trend has all the rage in the urban decor section. People are fascinated with the aspect of placing their plants and succulents in a glass bowl! Yes, you read it right in a glass bowl. Want to learn more about this, I suggest you read this article in full.

The art of growing a green ecosystem in a container is called terrarium. Think of it as a mini greenhouse or an aquarium without fishes and water but hosting plants instead and a lot prettier. Normally, the containers are transparent and made with glass mostly but sometimes artists also use plastic containers. These are mostly self-sustaining and very easy to maintain, contrasting their fragile look.

Why are terrariums so hot and trending?

Terrariums are a wholesome package for the current urban environment lifestyle. Being low maintenance and taking up little space, terrariums are perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a green thumb or do not have the time to care for a garden, yet would still like some greenery in the home or office. And having terrariums just lights up your home decor by a million times. Don’t take my word, you can look at it yourself!

What are Terrariums made of?

As said earlier a terrarium is a green ecosystem in full bloom, you can create a garden terrarium which is inspired from the view of the park from your balcony or you can make a beach terrarium which is reminiscent of your favorite vacation or you can make a terrarium of the society you are living right now too.


There are no boundaries to the extent of imagination in case of making a terrarium. All you need is the vision and accessories to pull it off. But in case you want to start with a basic one, you might find the below list helpful.

Terrarium DIY List:

  • Clear glass or plastic container
  • Small stones  
  • Sphagnum moss (optional) 
  • Potting soil 
  • Plants 
  • Decorative objects (optional)

This is a great place to start or you have a lot of ready made DIY Terrariums kits available in many online stores.

Types of terrariums

 Terrariums are generally two types, Open terrariums and Sealed/Closed terrariums. Let us learn about them in depth.

Open terrariums

Open Terrariums do not have a lid on their top and are suitable for hosting plants which prefer a drier condition rather than a moist environment. We normally associate open terrariums with succulents, although they can host most of the house plants.

Closed terrariums

Closed terrariums, on the other hand, have a lid enclosed on the top of the glass container. It helps to contain the moisture in the container which in turn creates a great environment for plants like moss, ivy, and fern to grow and thrive.

Closed terrariums are mostly self-sufficient as they have created their own watering cycle with the moisture generated from the greenhouse effect and then again cooling down on the plant itself. However, we strictly recommend you to not keep your closed terrarium under direct sunlight, it would raise the temperature in the container and create hostile conditions to your plants.

Building your first terrarium:

The first step is to visualize the final product you want to create and then start assembling the accessories for it, just remember your imagination is your limit! So once you have a design in your mind, start gathering accessories for the same.

As mentioned earlier in the article, you will need a container, plants, soil, and pebbles for sure, the rest of the items depend on your design. Let’s see in brief how to select the right accessory for your design.

Choosing your Terrariums container:

As mentioned earlier, Terrarium containers are mostly made of glass or plastic. They come in different sizes and creative shapes. It is very vital that you choose a container which has a wide mouth so that it will be easier for you to place plants and other accessories in it. We normally choose a glass container over plastic any day of the year because of the rich look, well again it is up to your requirement and design. Make sure you take at least a 2-L volume terrarium container so that you have enough space to improvise if you feel like in the future. But again, if you are going for a small design like this, feel free to bypass my advice!


Choosing your Terrarium plant:

Open terrariums are normally suitable for drier plants, whereas closed terrariums are chosen for plants which need moisture to grow like ferns. In open terrariums, we can use a variety of plants and succulents. Succulent and Cacti terrariums are very popular and are extremely easy to maintain as they are arid plants.They don’t demand a lot of care and if you are a forgetful person like me and forget to water your plant, don’t worry, nothing will happen to them for a while! Apart from succulents, Spider plant, Jade plant, Sempervivum, Bromeliads are popularly used.

#Cost Saving Tip: You don’t have to buy plants for your terrarium, you can just collect them from your yard or neighborhood.

Choosing your Terrarium stones:

Stones bring a unique dynamic and texture to your terrarium. They play an important role in enhancing the natural landscape look of your terrarium design. Find small pebbles that have a smooth finishing so they reflect the light falling on the terrarium and give out a glistening look. It is not mandatory to choose pebbles like that, again it depends on your design. If you are going for a polished and minimalistic design you would go with more accessories than stones. On the other hand, if you are attempting a rustic design, a variety of stones make more sense. Adding colored stones to your design will definitely add a lot of flavors and enhance the look.

Potting soil for a terrarium:

Soil is a major component for a terrarium, it not only acts as a medium for plant survival but also can be an accessory to beautify your design. Normally regular pot soil is more than enough but you have to make sure that the soil is not pre-fertilized. We don’t want the plant to grow fast with all the nutrition, or we have to keep changing it.

Decorative accessories for a terrarium:

The decoratives are optional but highly recommended as it adds a WOW factor to your design. They can be anything from a miniature plastic toy to a twig you find on the road. Here are a few terrarium decorative accessories we have on our site for sale.

DIY Terrarium:

Now you’ve got a brief idea of how to source your materials for your terrariums, now let’s see a step by step approach for making your terrarium.

  • Step 1: Place a thin layer (approximately 1 inch) of small stones in the bottom of the terrarium to help drainage.
  • Step 2: Place a thin layer (approximately 1/2 inch) of activated charcoal over the stones. This acts as a filtration substrate and keeps the water cleaner.
  • Step 3: Place a thin layer of sphagnum moss or a fine screen over the charcoal to act as a barrier to prevent settling of the soil. (Optional)
  • Step 4: Place a layer of potting soil approximately 2” deep
  • Step 5: Make small holes for roots and carefully plant your plants in the soil.
  • Step 6: Finishing touches – add ornaments or decorations to give your terrarium a special theme. (Optional) 
  • Step 7: Lightly mist with water, approximately 10 sprays to the soil and sides of the jars.

And Voila! Your first terrarium is ready. Share your design with us, and we will showcase your artwork to the entire world! 

Care and Maintenance of a Terrarium

Open terrariums are very popular in the market, and that is for a reason, they are very low maintenance. Normally, open terrariums have either succulents or tropical plants in their ecosystem, and we can maintain them with almost minimal care.

With terrariums over-care, leads to trouble. Let us just take it one step at a time and go in detail

Watering a Terrarium:  

You’ll want to water your succulent terrarium very sparingly when the soil has gone almost completely dry. Succulents are drought-tolerant plants and are highly susceptible to root-rot and as terrariums do not have drainage holes water clogging may happen when you over water. We recommend you to use a spray bottle and water the root area of the succulent. You shouldn’t water your terrarium often, once in 3-5 weeks is more than fine. You can follow our litmus test of checking the soil to determine whether the succulent needs water.

Exposure to sunlight 

Most open terrarium plants prefer bright, if not direct, light. Place your terrarium in a bright spot, but don’t forget to strike a balance, because overexposure to sunlight through the glass which magnifies light might burn your plants.

If you follow the above instructions closely, you won’t have any issues maintaining a terrarium. 

To conclude, Terrariums are your best friend if you want to gift a friend or revamp your house as they are lovely natural plant arts which will instantly light up your living space.

Fascinated by terrariums? Want one? You can find plenty in our nursery and get them delivered to your doorstep anywhere in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Buy some beautiful ready-made terrariums and get them home delivered.

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