Gallery of Terrarium Pictures

  • 01 of 15

    Tillandsia Terrarium

    container gardening picture of of tillandsias in a martini glass
    Tipsy Tilllandsias. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Not your grandmother's terrarium

    Terrariums have come a long way recently. You can make them stunningly modern, or use traditional techniques and terrarium jars and cloches.

    I love tillandsias, also known as air plants. It amazes me that tillandsia thrives on just air, water and filtered light, though they also like warmth. I hang some in my shower and have also put them in glass jars. They prefer air circulation, but I just think the look amazing framed by glass.

    I took this martini glass and filled it with decorative sand. Then I just lay the tillandsias on top of the sand. Every couple of days, I'll fill a bowl with warm water and give them a good soak.

    Continue to 2 of 15 below.
  • 02 of 15

    African Violet Terrarium

    container gardening picture of African Violet Terrarium
    African Violet Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I bought this tiny African violet in my local nursery. I just couldn't resist its charms. When I got it home, I found I had the perfect small blue pot for it so potted it up. Once in it's perfect little pot, it looked lonely and insignificant on it's own. I then thought of an old cake plate I had that I sometimes use to showcase plants. I was delighted when the African violet, in it's pot, fit perfectly.

    Continue to 3 of 15 below.
  • 03 of 15

    Coffee Cup Terrarium

    container gardening picture of terrarium with coffee cup
    Coffee Cup Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    This terrarium is simply a large coffee cup planted with variegated ficus pumila, corn plant and maranta. The cup, simply placed on black gravel packaged for aquariums, in an open glass tube vase, from a discount store, makes an economical and attractive terrarium.

    Because the cup has no drainage, it is a little tricky to keep the plants watered properly. Because of this, I chose very forgiving plants.

    Continue to 4 of 15 below.
  • 04 of 15

    Mini Pear Terrarium

    container gardening picture of mini pear shaped terrarium with hanging tillandsia or air plant
    Mini Pear Terrarium with Hanging Tillandsia. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I found this mini pear terrarium at the discount store, Tuesday Morning. I sometimes find great deals on containers and terrariums there. This terrarium cost $3.99, and would look great planted with tiny plants or even just some moss with decorative elements.

    I wanted to try to make this tillandsia look like it was floating, so I hung this small air plant using clear beading string. I threaded the string through the pear's hollow stem and tied off.

    Tillandsias prefer to be out in circulating air, so I won't keep it in here long term.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Cake Plate Terrarium

    container gardening picture of terrarium on a cake plate
    Cake Plate Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    This is an example of a terrarium that looks equally good with the cover on or off. Easy to make, this terrarium is also easy to take care of and makes a great gift.

    Terrarium Plants

    • Hypoestes also known polka dot plant
    • Dracaena, also known as corn plant or ribbon plant
    Continue to 6 of 15 below.
  • 06 of 15

    Terrarium with China Figurines

    container gardening picture of terrarium with china figurines
    Terrarium with China Figurines. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Adding decorative elements can really transform your terrarium design. Just make sure to use items that won't rust or disintegrate from being in a wet environment. Shells and sea glass make great additions to terrariums. A friend of mine even collects things on her vacations and makes a terrarium to house them when she gets home.

    My grandmother brought back these Beatrix Potter china, figurines from London, when I was a child. I love looking at them surrounded by plants.

    Terrarium plants:
    • Polka dot plant
    • Prayer plant
    • Dieffenbachia or dumb cane
    • Club moss
    Continue to 7 of 15 below.
  • 07 of 15

    Mini Greenhouse with African Violets

    container gardening picture of African violets in Ikea Mini Greenhouse
    Ikea Miniature Greenhouse with African Violets. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I filled this mini greenhouse with African violets. I used three tiny plants and put them in in small rustic terra cotta pots. Since there was no drainage in the terracotta pots, I placed a Potriser at the bottom of the terra cotta pots. I then put the African violets, in their nursery pots, on top of the Potriser to keep the bottom of the nursery pot out of any water that might pool.

    Continue to 8 of 15 below.
  • 08 of 15

    Pear Terrarium with Air Plants

    container gardening picture of recycled glass terrarium pears from VivaTerra
    Recycled Glass Terrariums from VivaTerra . Photograph © VivaTerra

    This recycled glass terrarium from VivaTerra is elegant and fun.

    You can buy a kit, complete with tillandsias (aka air plants) and sand, or you can buy the glass pear terrarium on it's own and fill it with your own terrarium plants.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Terrarium Cheat

    container gardening picture of terrarium with ponytail palm
    Ponytail Palm on a Cake Plate. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I'm not sure if this really qualifies as a terrarium, but thought I would throw it out there and see if it sticks, because it's one of my favorites.

    I found this tea cup for 99 cents in a second hand store and planted this ponytail palm in it. I put black gravel on top of the potting soil to give it a finished look. I then took brown gravel and put it on this glass cake plate to tie the whole thing together.

    Continue to 10 of 15 below.
  • 10 of 15

    Cloche Terrarium from terrain

    container gardening picture of terrarium from terrain
    Terrarium by terrain. Photograph © terrain

    This large cloche on a glass plate, from terrain makes a lovely, simple terrarium. Inside are elements, which can be bought or collected. Moss, twigs, a paper butterfly and a piece of an old wasp's nest make this design lovely and low to no maintenance.

    Continue to 11 of 15 below.
  • 11 of 15

    Tillandsia Terrarium

    container gardening picture of tillandsia or air plant terrarium
    Tillandsia or Air Plant Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Tillandsias, also called air plants, are not perfect long-term terrarium plants. They prefer to be out in circulating air. That said, these tillandsias lasted a good long time in these glass jars and I loved the way they looked.

    This display was an easy and inexpensive way to display these exotic look plants. Each glass tube cost about $3.00 in the candle department of a big box store, and the small bud vases cost $4.00 for all three. Each tillandsia cost $1.50 at a plant fair. The best part was that it took about 10 minutes to put the whole thing together.

    Be careful, when cleaning terrariums, to use a mild cleanser. If you use a glass cleaner, make sure to wash off your terrarium and really let it air out before you put plants in it. The fumes from glass cleaner or ammonia can make your plants really unhappy.

    Continue to 12 of 15 below.
  • 12 of 15

    Teeny Tiny Terrarium

    container gardening picture of mini terrarium by Janit Calvo
    Teeny Tiny Terrarium. Photograph © Janit Calvo

    This terrarium is so small it will comfortably sit on a dime. This little green gem was designed by Janit Calvo, owner of Two Green Thumbs, Miniature Garden Center, who calls it, "extreme miniature gardening."

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15


    container gardening picture of three terrariums
    Grouping of Terrariums. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    A group of terrariums can add a lot to a room. Try to vary the sizes and shapes of your jars. When choosing terrarium plants for your grouping, it can work well to have some plants that are the same in all of the jars and some that are different. This gives you a flow and continuity, while making each terrarium unique.

    Continue to 14 of 15 below.
  • 14 of 15

    Snake Plant Terrarium in a Cocoa Tin

    container gardening picture of snake plant terrarium
    Snake Plant Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I have always thought of sansevieria, also known as snake plants or mother in law's tongue, as a fusty, dusty old houseplant, often found at the dentist's office. I have now changed my opinion. I bought one on a whim (ok, the real reason was because it was cheap), to try out in a terrarium. I fooled around with it and just couldn't make it look good. Then I had a mini brainstorm and put it in a pretty, old Droste's cocoa tin. I also put gravel on top of the soil. Then I took this tall glass jar, put some of the same black, aquarium gravel in the bottom and put the tin in the jar. Suddenly the plant transformed into something really cool - so cool that I have the terrarium now sitting on my desk.

    The fastest way to kill a snake plant is to give it too much water. In the winter particularly, it needs very little watering. Give your snake plant a fast draining potting soil, and make sure your pot has drainage holes.

    Continue to 15 of 15 below.
  • 15 of 15

    Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs in a Terrarium

    container gardening picture of a terrarium with paperwhite narcissus bulbs
    Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs in a Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I love forcing paperwhite narcissus bulbs, and I like to plant them in tall narrow jars. By putting them in tall terrarium jars, you minimize their tendency to flop over just as soon as they bloom. I also like the way the terrarium frames the stalks.

    For information on forcing paperwhite narcissus bulbs.