How To Make a Terrarium

Ready to learn How to Make a Terrarium? What is the first word associated with a Terrarium? AQUARIUM. Precisely. A terrarium is an “aquarium” made of earth and plants instead of water and fish.

How to Make a Terrarium

I’ve never done anything in the league of horticulture other than gardening a few cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs during the summer months. But when I saw terrariums pop up in stores like Terrain, they caught my eye for their beauty and romanticism. Each time I visited Terrain, I’d stare at them, admiring their purity and simplicity. Plants have a talent for peace that most people, including me, don’t.

Because I went to cooking school, at some point, I thought I needed to find a terrarium workshop. But after doing some online research and reading a few articles, I realized there is not much science in How to Make a Terrarium. All you need is gravel, charcoal, soil, a glass container, and plants. If you like some moss and/or rock decorations, that’s fine too.

Glass Bowl

This fresh appreciation of the bounty in my life should not be confined to food. Like cooking, getting your hands dirty to make something is very calming and another form of visual art. I made two trips: one to Home Depot and one to Michael’s, and the rest I found to be pretty similar to cooking. In fact, because of this similarity is how I approached it. In the world of cooking, all ingredients are placed in little bowls; in French vocabulary, it’s called mise en place.

Beyond the bounty of plants, I experience and refine a new ability to identify unknown plants and amplify peaceful moments that warrants a pause and are worth savoring, like creating a unique ecosystem, a new microcosmic forest inside a glass bowl.

Watch these videos in my YouTube Channel:

How to Make a Terrarium

How to Make a Terrarium with Succulents

How to Build a Terrarium

I have been finding excuses on How to Make a Terrarium. Dinner party at Maria and John’s? Let’s bring a terrarium. A thank you gesture? Terrarium.

Open or Closed?

There are terrariums, built-in open glass bowls, and closed ones. Open containers are great for sun-loving plants, while closed containers are better for plants that require high humidity. I have not yet built a closed terrarium.

The Containers

There are many possibilities, but don’t be deceived: glass containers for terrariums can be expensive. I bought mine at Michaels and Terrain (much more costly than Michaels).

how to make a terrarium

succulent plants

terrarium plants

The Tools:

A piece of plastic to protect the bottom of the glass



Charcoal or Wood chips (helps prevent bacteria from growing and keep the air cleaner)



Décor (moss, rocks, branches, etc)

Water spritz bottle

How to Take Care of a Terrarium:

The great news is taking care of a terrarium doesn’t get much more hands-off.

Spritz water every day in the morning, and that’s about it.

I assembled my terrarium over a year ago, and it has been healthy. Once a month, I add 3-4 tablespoons of water directly into the soil. Remember, succulent plants don’t need a lot of water.


Thanks for joining me on this terrarium journey. Be sure to watch the Terrarium videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

I write this post not as an expert but as someone who has discovered and enjoyed a new hobby. The advice provided in this blog post does not constitute or serve as a substitute for professional plant or horticulture knowledge. If you have concerns about your terrarium or any other plants in your home, consult an expert such as an experienced gardener or a horticulture expert, or a landscaping professional.

if you’re looking for additional resources on How to Make a Terrarium, try these:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden 

Greenwich Botanical Center

New York Botanical Garden


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