"How to Make a Terrarium" by Four Ferns Terrariums




Introduction: "How to Make a Terrarium" by Four Ferns Terrariums

Making a terrarium can be super fun and easy! There are several ways you can create one and make it unique! The first thing you should decide is if you want to do a "closed" or "open" terrarium.  Once you've decided on a "closed" or "open" terrarium choose a bottle or jar that you like. Www.specialtybottle.com has an amazing selection of bottles! Check them out! After you have your bottle or jar picked out, choose a plant that fits perfectly in your bottle or jar. It's fun to get a smaller tropical plant (about 2-4 inches, depending on your bottle/jar) because you can watch it grow! Bigger tropical plants end up taking up the entire terrarium once you plant it & it looks smushed in the bottle/jar. It all depends on what size of bottle or jar you choose for your terrarium. Once you have your bottle/jar & plant chosen, you are ready to gather supplies to make your terrarium! 

*Tips to help you choose between a "closed" or "open" terrarium*
If you are doing a "closed" terrarium make sure you choose a tropical plant (not a succulent or cactus because they could rot). The cool thing with "closed" terrarium is that you do not have to water it! Just place your terrarium somewhere that follows what the plant "care" tag states when you purchase your plant. With an "open" terrarium there is more freedom to what plant you want to use, however you need to water it according to what the plant "care" tag states. Either terrarium ends up looking amazing! 

Follow the steps to create your own. Have fun!! 

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Here are the supplies you will need: your choice of bottle or jar, plant charcoal, potting soil, a small flexible scooper to scoop the charcoal and/or soil into the bottle (when you buy your small tropical plant, the container that it comes in is perfect for this), your small 2-4 inch plant, a skinny stick or something with a flat end (a bamboo stick is shown in this picture; however you can use your hands or whatever works depending on the opening of your bottle or jar to lightly pack down the soil), & lastly a spray bottle (Ooops! Forgot to add it to this picture). 

In this tutorial, a "closed" terrarium is being demonstrated. 

Step 2: Pour Charcoal

Pour about 1/4 inch of plant charcoal into the bottom of your bottle or jar. Make sure it is evenly spread on the bottom. 

Step 3: Pour Soil

Using your scooper, pour about an inch or so of dry potting soil into the bottle or jar. 

Step 4: Pack It

After you have enough soil in your bottle or jar, pack the soil down LIGHTLY using a bamboo stick, your hand, or whatever else you have around the house that has a flat end and you can fit into the opening of the bottle or jar. 

Step 5: Dig a Hole

Using the bamboo stick or your finger, dig a hole wide enough to fit the roots of your plant in. If your plant ends up looking too big for your  bottle or jar, you can CAREFULLY try to break the plant roots apart if there are more than one plant/root. You will know if you can if the roots break apart easily. If they do not, either try to plant the entire plant or find a bigger bottle/jar. 

Step 6: Spray Plant & Soil

**The last step can be a little tricky, so pay careful attention to how much you water your terrarium**

To know how much to water your terrarium depends on the size of bottle or jar you have. Watering the soil after you "plant" your plant helps to settle the roots; however, if watered too much mold can build up or your plant could rot : ( You don't want to drench it, but just make sure it is evenly and lightly wet throughout the terrarium. 

To be safe, use a spray bottle to water your terrarium. Make sure your spray bottle is set on "stream". This way you have more control where the water goes. Also using the "stream" part of the spray bottle you can aim at any excess soil on the sides of the bottle or jar and wash it away.  Water your terrarium using 15-20 squirts. If you feel it needs more or less, go a head. Just use your best judgement by feeling the dampness of the soil. If you can't feel it because the opening of the bottle or jar is too small, use fewer squirts. Pay careful attention by looking through the glass at the soil. That is a good indicator on how wet the soil is. 

Step 7: Tadaa!

Nicely done!! You have finished your terrarium! If you have a lid, put it on and place your terrarium in a perfect spot. 

You can get as simple or creative as you want with terrariums. They are a fun and decorative piece to have around the house or workspace, or even give away as gifts! 

Check out Four Ferns Terrariums on Facebook & "like" my page! There are tons of unique terrariums! 


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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Dear four ferns, I live in Israel ,and can;t find any plants,even for a very large 1000 watt
    light bulb,where can I get on the NET? Please help. Have a good day. jimmy.

    Four Ferns
    Four Ferns

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a very simple & straightforward tutorial for making a "closed" terrarium. You can use these directions & expand on them pretty much however you like. Just remember the types of plants to use in an "open" or "closed" terrarium. You have much more freedom in an "open" terrarium. Have fun with it : ) I have a ton more creative terrariums for purchase posted on my Facebook & Instagram. I am in the process of building my website. Check out my Facebook...


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a good beginners guide to getting started - I hope you'll post some more advanced stuff for us. :D


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'll give this a try with my kids this spring!