How to make a terrarium

Read on for our step-by-step guide to making a terrarium from what you need to how to do it!

Updated 12 September 2019

Plants and foliage with a garden spade for a DIY terrarium

Key steps

  • Gather your DIY terrarium supplies including a glass container, pebbles, activated charcoal, soil, plants and tools.
  • Layer your terrarium with pebbles, activated charcoal, soil, plants and a final layer of pebbles.
  • Consider adding personal touches with trinkets or miniature gnomes.

Created using a variety of clear containers, terrariums are enclosed environments for small plants such as succulents. Making a terrarium is a low-maintenance, clean option for bringing plants into your home.

Learning how to make a succulent terrarium, or any other plant terrarium, has all sorts of benefits. It’s a fun and relaxing weekend activity, and you end up with a beautiful living ornament to decorate your rooms or give away as a present. Find out how to build a terrarium easily with our step-by step guide!

Once you’ve finished making a terrarium, ensure it gets plenty of sunlight to keep it alive and looking its best. Only water every two weeks or when the soil’s dry.

What do you need to make your own terrarium?

Before we move on to show you how to build a terrarium, first you need to gather your supplies. These include:

  • A glass jar or unique containers. Make sure it is see-through to allow you to enjoy your plants.
  • Pebbles or small stones to use as a base and add drainage to your terrarium.
  • Activated charcoal to keeps water fresh and prevent bacterial growth.
  • Potting soil.
  • Plants. A few good choices for a DIY terrarium include:
    • Air plants
    • Moon Valley
    • Starfish plant
    • Nerve plant
    • Assorted succulents
    • Assorted cacti
  • Gardening tools that can reach in the container, to help create your DIY terrarium.

How to make a terrarium

With these five easy steps, you can make your own terrarium in no time.

  1. First, add a layer of small stones or pebbles to the bottom of your glass terrarium jar.
  2. Add a very light layer of activated charcoal.
  3. The next layer is potting soil. If you’re making a terrarium with succulents or cacti, you’ll need a specialised mix. Ensure you've got potting soil for your plants' roots.
  4. Add your chosen plants. Make a little well in the soil for the roots of your plants to fit into, starting by planting your largest plant first. Nestle the plants into the soil one by one.
  5. Complete the look of your DIY terrarium by adding a layer of pebbles once you’ve installed your plants.

Now we’ve shown you how to make a succulent terrarium in five easy steps, you can add life and personal touches to your home with these little plant containers.

Originally published 5 August 2019