How to Create a Stunning Closed Plant Terrarium: A DIY Step-by-Step Guide

How to Create a Stunning Closed Plant Terrarium: A DIY Step-by-Step Guide



plant terrarium is a delightful indoor garden that adds a touch of nature to your living space. Creating one can be a rewarding and creative experience, and with the right materials and knowledge, you can build a thriving mini ecosystem. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of making a beautiful closed terrarium using clay LECA balls, sphagnum moss, activated carbon, specialised soil mix, live plants, live moss, and rocks. Additionally, we'll cover essential watering instructions, troubleshooting for ailing plants, and tips and suggestions for plants that thrive in a terrarium environment.

Materials Needed:

  1. Glass container or terrarium kit
  2. Clay LECA balls
  3. Sphagnum moss
  4. Activated carbon
  5. Specialised soil mix (preferably well-draining)
  6. Live plants suitable for terrariums
  7. Live moss
  8. Decorative rocks or pebbles
Terrarium Kit with soil, clay LECA, rocks, activated charcoal/ carbon, sphagnum moss and mini tools

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare the Base: Start by creating a drainage layer at the bottom of the glass container using clay LECA balls. This layer will prevent water from pooling at the roots of your plants, preventing root rot. Add a generous layer of LECA balls to the container.

  2. Add Sphagnum Moss: Place a layer of sphagnum moss over the LECA balls. Sphagnum moss helps retain moisture while allowing excess water to pass through. It acts as a barrier, preventing soil from seeping into the LECA layer.

  3. Activate Carbon Layer: Next, add a thin layer of activated carbon. Activated carbon helps to purify the air inside the terrarium and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.

  4. Specialised Soil Mix: Gently add the specialised soil mix on top of the activated carbon layer. This mix is essential for proper root development and plant nutrition. Ensure that the soil is slightly damp but not soggy.

  5. Planting the Greenery: Now comes the fun part! Plant your selected live plants in the soil. Choose plants that thrive in a humid and low-light environment, as terrariums usually have limited ventilation and light exposure.

  6. Moss It Up: Add live moss around the plants and over the soil to enhance the terrarium's natural appeal. Moss helps in moisture retention and creates a lush landscape.

  7. Decorate with Rocks: Complete your terrarium design by placing decorative rocks or pebbles on top. This not only adds an aesthetic touch but also helps keep the moss and soil in place.

 Watering Instructions: Watering   your terrarium requires careful   attention. Since terrariums are   mostly enclosed, they create their   own micro-climate, and excess   moisture can lead to problems.   Only water when the soil feels dry   to the touch. Use a spray bottle to   mist the plants and soil lightly.   Avoid overwatering, as it may   cause root rot and other issues.


  Troubleshooting a Dying Plant: If   you notice any signs of wilting or   yellowing leaves, act promptly.   Check if you are overwatering, as   this is a common issue. If the soil   is soggy, remove the plant, change   the soil, and let it dry for a day   before replanting. Also, assess the   plant's sunlight requirements;   some plants may need more light than others.

Cleaning the Glass: Over time, dust and dirt may accumulate on the glass walls, hindering visibility. Gently wipe the glass with a soft, lint-free cloth or use a small paintbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaning agents.

Plants Suitable for Closed Terrariums: Several plants thrive in terrarium environments, including but not limited to:

  • Ferns (e.g., Maidenhair fern, Boston fern, Asparagus fern)
  • Mosses (e.g., Cushion moss, Sheet moss)
  • Fittonia (Nerve Plant)
  • Peperomia (Watermelon Peperomia, Baby Rubber Plant)
  • Pilea (Chinese Money Plant)
  • Maranta (Prayer Plant)
Plants suitable for closed terrariums
Pictured: A stunning collection of some of our terrarium plants that we sell at 503 Boutique. These are always fresh and amazing quality plants.

Conclusion: Building a plant terrarium is a wonderful way to bring nature into your home or workspace. With the right materials and care, you can create a captivating mini-ecosystem that will delight you for years to come. Remember to choose suitable plants, water sparingly, and maintain a clean environment for your terrarium to flourish. For a convenient and comprehensive terrarium kit, consider checking out the Terrarium Kit with 4 Plants in our store.

Check out our online store for other plant lover products including succulent, cactus terrariums, and air plant terrariums.

Happy terrarium gardening!


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