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How to make a Terrarium

The latest craze in indoor plantings is Terrariums and they are the perfect low-maintenance option, requiring almost the same attention as a cactus; next to nothing! But Terrariums are much more than a simple houseplant; they are a creative and beautiful addition to desks, dining room tables or any communal living space.

Any container will do, from mason jars, fish bowls, hanging orbs, to all the uniquely shaped glass vessels in between, terrariums can host a range of indoor plants, ferns, succulents and moss, as well as pebbles, stones, crystals and imaginative embellishments.


  • Glass container
  • Suitable soil mix
  • Peat moss
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Gravel (for below and above the soil – 5-10mm is recommended)
  • Chopsticks (for access to tight spaces and decorating)
  • Scissors

Soil mix:

  • 2 parts soil
  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1/2 part perlite

Our Platinum Potting Mix is perfect, but for very small terrariums, we recommend it is passed through a coarse sieve like a kitchen colander to remove larger particles.

Start with a clean dry glass container. Add a layer of gravel, quantity will depend on the height of your container and the look you are after. Sprinkle a layer of charcoal. Charcoal keeps the odours away and terrarium “clean”. Soak a handful of Sphagnum Moss in fresh water. Squeeze well and add a layer to you Terrarium, this will create a barrier between your soil and the gravel and act like a wick or reservoir for water. Now is the time to add your soil and your moss (optional). Moss should be inspected for insects and diseases.

Gently add your plants by making small holes in the soil mix, utilise chopsticks or similar to aid in the placement and backfilling of the holes. Decorate your Terrarium with pebbles, bark and other pretty things you may like. 


Terrariums are perfect for offices and desks because they require very little natural light. Be sure to keep your Terrarium away from direct sunlight as the light shining through the glass bowl will act like a magnifying glass and cook your plants. If you find your plant needs a little more light, move it to a brighter location filled with natural light like an open plan office, kitchen or family room.


Most plants in a Terrarium will eventually outgrow their space and a little trimming will quickly bring them into bounds. Plus, trimming often promotes denser foliage and side shoots that fill out the plants. Be sure to remove any and all trimmed vegetation from the container, using chopsticks allows for easy access to the tight spaces. Trim the tips of branches if they start to touch the glass, as this can cause unnecessary rotting of the plant. If any plants, leaves or branches begin to rot, remove them quickly. Rot is often a sign of over-watering so be sure to review your regime. You want to keep the soil moist, but not wet. Imagine being at the beach in the soft sand and digging down around 30cm to the sand below. It is moist but not saturated. A light spritzing with a mister or small watering can once or twice a week is usually fine, but it will depend on your macro-climate. Things like office air conditioning or heating will dry your soil out much faster, especially in open bowls. Only use demineralised water to reduce calcium build-up and staining on the glass enclosure.

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