children and nature / IN THE GARDEN

Planting a terrarium garden

I feel like I could easily become a crazy plant lady. Maybe it was the doldrums of winter but I’m going through a new obsession where I want all.the.plants. So when I saw a friend’s terrarium garden several weeks ago, it immediately got bumped to the very top of my to-do list.  She even told me a site like which probably helped me gather some creative ways on how to do it. Guess what? Guys, it really worked!

I have definite memories of some type of terrarium-ish garden I had as a child. Planted in an oversized goldfish bowl it was also home to a collection of woolly bears and their subsequent chrysalis. 

Birdy was my sidekick in terrarium planting (surprise, I know.) and we decided if we were going to do it, we were going big. So we started with a 2-gallon Anchor Hocking glass canister. I was able to purchase all my supplies on Amazon and the whole process was simple + fun. A perfect kid project or a relaxing crazy plant lady project. You decide. 



And make sure you don’t miss the important step of making sure your head fits inside your glass jar. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

The  picture below shows your layers of materials in your terrarium. The gravel is key for drainage and the charcoal or carbon is important for odors and dampness. I used a general potting soil that we already had for house plants.

I found my plants on amazon because I was struggling to find anywhere local that was still carrying terrarium supplies. My local farm store had already moved on to garden plants and weren’t carrying terrarium-friendly plants. I purchased a mix of plants and ferns and also purchased some moss as well to fill in around the plants. 

how to plant a terrarium garden

Make sure you leave room for growth when planting. I used the moss pretty sparingly and had plenty left over. It’s amazing how quickly everything will begin to take off. As far as watering goes, I gave it a good spritzing on the day we planted it. And then I tried to keep a once/week watering schedule. After reading up about it on the Garden Seeker website, I discovered that I was over-watering since a few of the plants got a little brown and sickly looking. I took off the lid for a few hours and then cut back on my watering to about 1x every two weeks and that seems to have balanced things out. I’m sure as the weather changes and grows warmer and more humid, that might need to be adjusted again. 

But I’m telling you this was such a fun project. The terrarium has lived all over the house (in in-directly light, FYI.) from my kitchen island to the top of the piano to the centerpiece of the dining room table. It was tons of fun to do with Birdy and to watch it grow and sprout theses past few weeks. 

Outdoor garden season may be in full swing but I’m still totally smitten with terrarium gardening. 


6 comments on “Planting a terrarium garden”

  1. Yay! You’ve done a beautiful job!!! I also recommend to clients that they use a turkey baster when watering so you can focus on just the rootball and you don’t end up with extra fluid. If you are keeping a lid on, you might even be able to just water every 3 weeks or so. I love that you’ve got the bug!!!!

    1. Well, now I need to know what you do for a living?! Sounds fun if it involves recommendations for caring for terrariums. And thank you SO much for the turkey baster tip! My next idea is to figure out how to coordinate a house plant exchange–like a cookie exchange but for plants. Wouldn’t that be fun?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.