DIY Terrarium

Add a touch of quirky freshness to your home with a simple terrarium by following the below six steps.


28 Add a touch of quirky freshness to your home with a simple terrarium.

Step 1 Choose plants for your terrarium

Make sure you choose plants that will work in your space. Take into account the amount of natural sunlight you have or if the light will be low and indirect. Is your space humid or dry? In general, popular terrarium choices include succulents, mosses, African violets, Creeping Fig and Baby's Tears.

Choose the right kind of vessel Step 2

Your plants should fit well inside the vessel, grouped together by variety: succulents with cacti, ferns with tropical plants. Open vases or bowls are great for sun-loving varieties while those that thrive in high humidity will do better in closed containers. Go fancy or just use an old jam jar. That said, it's great fun to use unusual containers; we've seen lovely terrariums housed in salt shakers and cake stands!

Layer the soil base Step 3

Fill the bottom of the container with roughly an inch of rocks or pebbles to aid drainage so your plant doesn't flood or rot. Next, add a layer of activated charcoal, enough to cover the rocks. This inhibits bacteria and funghi growth and reduces odours, improving the quality of your terrarium life. Lastly, add soil specifical­ly catered to your plant type. Succulents need special soil, while most other plants should do well in regular potting soil that's high in organic matter. Add enough soil for the plant roots to fit, with extra space for growth.

Rehome your plant Step 4

Start with your largest plant. Take it out of the little pot it comes in and break up the soil until you reach the roots. Dig a hole to place the roots in, add more soil around the top then slightly compact it down around the plant base. Repeat for each plant, keeping them away from the edges of the container as much as possible. The point is to prevent overcrowdi­ng, so make sure your plants are slow growing and are small enough to all fit in the container without touching the sides.

Step 5 Decorate

Go crazy and deck out your terrarium with little figurines, shells, rocks or even old toys. You could also be traditiona­l and leave your terrarium looking organic with only natural elements; mosses, twigs or pebbles would be good decorative choices. Your terrarium is your little universe and you should decorate it as you see fit.

Terrarium maintenanc­e Step 6

A spritz or two of water will get your terrarium started. Remember that it never needs to be soaked, so monitor how wet or dry the soil is before subsequent watering. If your terrarium has a closed lid with condensati­on dripping down inside, open it up to let the excess water evaporate. Likewise, spritz in a little if things look parched. Remove dead or wilting leaves to maintain the health of the little ecosystem. Finally, don't forget that your terrarium is essentiall­y a miniature greenhouse that will trap heat, so don't place it in direct sunlight. Enjoy your own little slice of whimsical nature!

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