Introduction: Find Plants and Make a Terrarium

Terrariums are things that are very nice to have in your home or office. Most of them are more compact than a simple flower pot, and normally they are more easy to care for, actually in some cases you don't need to care, not even water.

So, I really hope you enjoy this instructable, and if so, please Vote for the Contest Indoor Gardening.

Thanks in advance :)

Step 1: Materials That Not Plants

Here I put the most common material that we will use for this instructable. Most of them can be replaced. Between brackets are the average prices for those items. If you need in dollar, simple divide it by 3, I think it would give you the idea of the price.


  • Little rocks or gravels [R$ 1.0 / kg] - Fig. 1;
  • Activated carbon, charcoal [R$ 8.0 / 300g] - Fig. 2;
  • Dry moss [R$ 1.50 / bag (1L)] - Fig. 3;
  • Soil, humus [R$ 1.0 / kg] - Fig. 4;
  • Container - glass jar, can lid, tin [re-use] - Fig. 5;


  • Line or string - cotton preferable - Fig. 6;
  • Wood chips, sticks, pieaces of brick - Fig. 7, 8;

The little rocks with the activated carbon will drain the water and keep it without bad odor. Moss and soil will keep the humidity and the nutrients in place. Finally, the wood chips, sticks and strings are used to place the plants inside the terrarium if necessary. In the next step I will explain in more details each of those items.

Step 2: Preparing the Container

Clean properly you container. Glass ones work better - Fig. 1.

Place an amount of finger height of those little rocks - Fig. 2. If needed, clean the rocks and let them dry before you work, this should keep your container cleaned at the end. The rocks should keep the plants root away from the water excess.

Now, add a thin layer of activated carbon - this will help to filter the excess water and to remove some bad odors. See Fig. 3. This quantity is more or less a spoon.

Now, add the moss. A finger-height layer, Fig. 4. The function of this is to keep the soil over the rocks.

Before you put the soil, you should put some more activated carbons over the moss or mix them with the soil. Use the same quantity as before.

Finally, add the soil. We will one other type of terrarium that is not necessary all those steps. But I will call your attention for that.

Now, we need the plants, let's find them!

Step 3: Finding Some Plants

Bromeliads type

Most of those plants are Bromeliads. These ones (Fig. 1-5) are epiphytes, i.e. they remove nutrients from the air, rain, etc. So, you don't need soil, just some peace of wood or anything else that they could fix in it. However, I used some soil to provide humidity and nutrients for those plants inside the jar. I will explain how to put it in the soil.

Moss type

Fig. 6 and 7 is a type of moss that take place in your wall and on the floor in the rain season. They are very resisten and don't need to much light to survive, but in this case you need to keep the container always wet. Fig. 7 is also a nice type of moss - I call it 'zombie'. I will explain: I have the pots were they are more than a year, and even some time without water them, let's say a month, so long you keep them wet again they wake up like zombies.

Attention: You should not remove those plants from their habitat - like trees. You must collect those plants from the floor, near those trees or in broken branchs from the floor. The moss you could find in the floor also.

Wikipedia: "An epiphyte is a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant, and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it instead of the structure it is fastened to."

Step 4: First Type Plant Pot - Bromeliad

Here I used the strings to fix the plants to the wood chips or sticks (Fig. 1-2). After some time they will get some adherence by itself.

I placed the wood chips on the soil, so the plants gets the umidity and some nutrients from there (Fig. 3-6).

This plant I like most, its form is interesting.

Step 5: Second Type Plant Pot - Bromeliad

Like the previous one, I used the strings to fix them into the wood chips (Fig. 1). And them put it on the soil (Fig. 2-3). Also you can use some sticks like ornament inside the jar.

Step 6: Third Type Plant Pot - Bromeliad

In this one I created a uneven ground that it seems to contrast with the plant, and change a little bit from the others. Also in the same pot I put some moss. The plant here (Tillandsia) is a bromeliad type, so it is fixed in the wood chip then on the soil.

Remember that those types of plants may don't need even water. Keep your eye on it, if you feel thats is necessary drop some water inside just to keep it humid.

Some links:

Step 7: Fourth Type Plant Pot - Moss

In this case, I just put some moss inside. I really like how the moss look like, and in this special case, it smells good also.

You can create a infinity variety of pots with moss, they are very strong and as you keep it wet, you should not have problems.

Step 8: Fifth Type Plant Pot - Moss

In this case, I just use the soil and the activated cabon on a mixture inside a metal lid.

After that, just put the moss on the soil and tighten them very well. You can mold the 'landscape' when pressing the moss. Use some peaces of brick or wood to complete the scene.

Step 9: Sixth Type Plant Pot - Mixture

This is our final assembly.

I used a metal butter tin painted. In this one I used the same procedure of the first pots with rocks, activated carbon, moss and soil. Then I put the moss (live one) on the soil, a peace of wood and a bromeliad fixed in it.

Soo, thats all folks! Thank you for reading this instructable, I hope you enjoy. And just remembering, if you like, please vote for the contest.

Step 10: Acknowledgement

This Instructable was inspired by some other ones that I was amazed. So, here are the links for those ones. I thank all of the authors for the inspiration and instructions to do this. I also recommend you to read those Instructables, they have lots of information that I omit here.

And if you have a comment, suggestion or any other concern, please contact me. (Also misspelling problems)


animal lover (author)2017-01-16

Made one for big bro

dpizetta (author)animal lover2017-01-18

Nice and compact :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a Computational Physicist at University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. My hobbies vary among music, electronics and drawing. Black Lead (draw): www.wix ... More »
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