Learn how to build a terrarium using easy to find materials.
Terrariums are miniature, low-maintenance, indoor gardens made from transparent glass or plastic containers that can bring beautiful greenery and whimsy into any space. By using the simplest of materials, or a more fancy approach, this hobby is great for all ages. Richland Library Makerspace Coordinator Jordan Morris will show you how to get started.
An open or closed glass or plastic jar, such as a: vase, mason jar, fish bowl, water bottle, spice jar, or salt shaker
The larger the container, the easier it will be to maneuver all your materials into it, but terrariums can be made in any size.
Lidded containers make it easier to control moisture levels, and therefore keep it low maintenance and healthy.
Clear glass containers work best. Some colored glass containers may work, but definitely don't use green glass as that color filters out the light your plants will need to survive.
Pea gravel or other small rocks
Activated charcoal (prevents mold and bacteria build-up)
Potting soil or regular dirt
You want rich dirt with lots of organic material in it, since that will feed the plants you use.
If you are using moss or plants that you find in your yard, you may want to use some of the dirt they are naturally growing in, since you know they are happy in it.
Low-maintenance plants such as succulents, moss, or ferns (keep the size of your container in mind when selecting plants)
Small toys or other treasures if you are going for a "fairy garden" look or want to make another small world scene
Cover the bottom of your chosen (clean) container with a layer of pea gravel or small rocks to help with drainage
Add a thin layer of activated charcoal (about 1")
Add a thicker layer of dirt or potting soil, taking into consideration how much room your chosen plants will need for their root systems to grow and establish.
Add your plants and any additional decorations
Water slightly (just a mist will probably do)
Put on the lid (or not) and place in an area with lots of nice indirect sunlight
Check the soil to see if it is dry before adding more water, and consider the unique needs of the plants that you've chosen. Containers without lids will need to be watered more frequently than those with lids.
“A terrarium has its own mini-climate. The container has just a small opening or sometimes even a lid to completely enclose the container. That makes a terrarium like a greenhouse. Sunlight enters through the glass and warms the air, soil and plants the same way that sunlight coming through the atmosphere warms Earth’s surface. The glass holds in some of the warmth, just as Earth’s atmosphere does.”