Getting Started With Terrariums

Anyone can make and keep a terrarium alive

Terrariums are a great way to try your hand at indoor container gardening. Even if you are a confirmed plant serial killer, you can still grow a terrarium successfully. Terrariums can fit in any decor and can be as modern or traditional as you want. They can be the size of a thimble or take up a whole room - it's up to you and your imagination.

  • 01 of 07
    Terrarium photograph
    Terrariums Look Great in Multiples. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Making a terrarium is incredibly easy. You can make a beautiful one in very little time and for very little money. One way to save on your terrarium is to look for glass containers at yard sales, flea markets or thrift stores. Almost anything can be used for a terrarium - from martini glasses to clear Christmas ornaments to glass cylinders.

    The wider the mouth of your terrarium, the easier it will be to fill it. That said, you can always use tongs, chopsticks or tools especially designed to fill...MORE tight spaces.

    A terrarium can be closed or open, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. 

    How to Make a Terrarium

  • 02 of 07
    Terrarium picture of an artillery fern
    Artillery Fern. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Not all plants will thrive in terrariums. When you are looking to buy terrarium plants you'll want to look for small plants that will fit through the opening in your terrarium. Also, if you're making a closed terrarium, you won't want to put it in the sun, which would cook your plants, so look for low or medium light plants. Also look for plants that have a high humidity tolerance - most succulents or desert plants aren't good choices for closed terrariums.

    Terrariums provide a...MORE great opportunity to combine plants with a great variety of leaf shape and structures.

    Choosing Terrarium Plants

  • 03 of 07
    terrarium picture of a tillandsia in a martini glass
    Tillandsia Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Looking at pictures of terrariums can give you some great ideas. This photo gallery shows several different styles of terrariums.

    Terrarium Gallery

  • 04 of 07

    DIY Terrarium Video

    terrarium picture
    Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    This video gives a hands-on demonstration of how to make a large terrarium.


    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    terrarium Picture
    Simple Terrarium. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    While terrariums are incredibly easy to make and maintain, there are some mistakes that you will want to avoid. For example, if you put a terrarium in direct sunlight or too close to a radiator or fireplace, the chances are very high that you will roast your plants. Also, you will want to avoid over-watering and over fertilizing your terrariums.

    In this article you will find out what the common mistakes are and how to avoid them.

    10 Common Terrarium Mistakes>

  • 06 of 07

    Fabulous Terrarium Book

    Picture of the book jacket of The New Terrarium, by Tovah Martin
    "The New Terrarium," By Tovah Martin. Photograph © Kindra Clineff

    Tovah Martin's fabulous book, "The New Terrarium," is a great resource and will get you inspired. The photographs are stunning and it will give you lots of great and innovative ideas.

    Review of "The New Terrarium," by Tovah Martin

  • 07 of 07

    Terrariums in Mason Jars

    Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    These mason jar terrariums are incredibly easy to make and are inexpensive and they make great gifts. 

    How to Make a Terrarium in a Mason Jar