How to Make a Moss Terrarium




Introduction: How to Make a Moss Terrarium

About: New York based designer and maker.


- Glass container

- Gravels

- Activated carbon / charcoal

- Spanish moss

- Cactus potting soil

- Moss

Step 1: Step 1: Choose Your Container

Choose a clear glass container or vase. For a beginner terrarium, I suggest to use containers with wide opening so you can easily stick your hand in to arrange things. You can also use containers with lids; however, a closed terrarium may have condensation and algae buildup over time.

Rinse your container throughly.

I got my container at a local T.J.Maxx for $9.99.

Step 2: Step 2: Add Gravels

Rinse the gravels. Layer 1-2 inches of gravels inside your container. It can collect the excess water in order to prevent root rot

Gravels can be purchased at garden shops or home improvement centers as well as pet stores. I got a 5 lbs bag at Petco for $5.49. I used half of a 5 lbs bag for this terrarium.

Step 3: Step 3: Add Activated Carbons

Add a thin layer of activated carbon / charcoal. Activated carbon / charcoal can purify excess water and absorb odor.

You can purchase it at garden stores and pet stores. I got a 11oz box at Petco for $6.49. I used 2/3 of it for this terrarium.

Step 4: Step 4: Add Spanish Moss

Wet the moss and add a thin layer into your container. For an alternative, you can use a sheet of landscape fabric or window screen. The function of this layer is to prevent soil runs into the carbon and gravel layers.

I got a bag of Mosser Lee Spanish moss at Home Depot for $3.79. I only used 1/8 of this bag.

Step 5: Step 5: Prepare Soil

Mix a decent amount of activate carbons into the cactus potting mix. Add water into the mix. Cactus potting mix can be purchased at garden shops or home improvement centers.

I got a bag of Miracle Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix at Home Depot for $4.24. I used around 1/16 of this 8-quart bag.

Step 6: Step 6: Add Soil

Add 2 - 3 inches of soil into the container.

Step 7: Step 7: Add Moss

Finally, add your moss into the container. You can also use other moisture-loving plants, such as fern, fittonia, and peperomia.

I got the moss at Union Sqaure's Green Market in NYC for $4.

Maintenance is fairly simple - water once every two weeks or a month. Mist every couple of days. That's it! Enjoy!

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6 years ago

great instructable! definitely doing this.


7 years ago

Great instructable! I want to make my husband a Star Wars terrarium...this will help tons!


8 years ago on Introduction

I have done a couple of similar terrariums. I just wanted to mention that you should mist/water with bottled or thoroughly filtered water. Straight tap water will leave a mineral buildup on the glass and the moss. It's unsightly on the glass and will slowly kill the moss. Once the minerals build up on the moss, they make it hydrophobic and dry it out.

Great instructable, thanks for sharing!


8 years ago on Introduction

This is an excellent Instructable. Thank you for doing this. I also love the layered look you created. Very calming.


8 years ago on Introduction

Nice! I love seeing the layers through the clear container. I need something like this to add a little life to my office!