How to Build an Impressive Terrarium in 5 Simple Steps

If you’re new to the mini-garden game, building a terrarium can be a bit intimidating. From choosing the right materials and plants, to coming up with creative ideas for the display, there’s a lot to take into consideration. But don’t worry, flora fans! We got you covered with our simple 5-step guide to building a tremendous terrarium. You can also check out our Terrarium Starter Kits which are perfect for beginners.

So, what is a terrarium?

A terrarium is essentially a small, indoor garden, consisting of plants, rocks, soil, and other foliage. They can be created in any glass container at any size you like, so keep hold of your used bottles and jam jars; there’s life in them yet!

With the rise of people working from home, terrariums have increased in popularity as they provide a simple way to brighten up your workspace. Nature has a calming effect, so there’s nothing like having a bijou garden on your desk to keep you zen when Dave from accounts accidentally mutes himself again while trying to share his screen for the 15th time.

What do I need to build a terrarium?

The best thing about DIY terrariums is that the finished product looks super impressive, but the process itself couldn’t be easier (never admit this though, you’re a complex gardening God as far as anyone is concerned).

Here’s what you need to build a basic terrarium:

A glass container

Drainage pebbles

Activated charcoal

Potting soil

Plants of your choice

With the exception of a glass container, our Terrarium Starter Kits come with all of the above, plus you get decorative stones, sphagnum moss, a cleaning brush, and a wooden corked skewer to fix the plant in place without disturbing the other material (things can get a bit fiddly otherwise, especially with smaller terrariums).

Once you have all your materials, it’s time to get started!

Building a terrarium in 5 simple steps

Step 1: Drainage Pebbles

Make sure your glass container is clean and dry, then add a 1½ inch layer of drainage pebbles at the base. These pebbles will remove excess water and aerate the root system which prevents any rot or plant damage.

Step 2: Activated Charcoal

Add a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the pebbles; this will reduce any bacteria growth, especially in closed terrariums. If you have sphagnum moss, add it on top of the charcoal to create a fresh, nutrient-rich reservoir for your plants.

Step 3: Potting Soil

Next, add a layer of potting soil around 2½ inches thick. You can use standard potting soil, or there are a variety of soil mixes for specific plant types if you want to give them a bit of extra luxury.

Step 4: The Plants

Using a spoon, dig a little hole in the soil and place your largest plant in first. If you’re using our Terrarium Starter Kit, you can then use the wooden corked skewer to flatten the soil around it. Place your other plants where you like, making sure to avoid planting them too close to each other, or the glass.

Step 5: Accessories

Here’s where you get creative. If you want, you can use decorative stones and moss to cover up the remaining soil. You can also add small figurines, coloured glass pebbles, or anything that takes your fancy. The only limit is your imagination!

Build your terrarium with Rootbox

We hope our simple, 5-step guide to building a terrarium has inspired you to create you own. At Rootbox, we want to make homemade terrariums accessible to everyone, even the less green-fingered of us. By using our Terrarium Start Kit, all you need to bring to the party is a glass container, plants, and your unique personality; we take care of the rest.

Happy building, and don’t forget to tag us @myrootboxx with your creations!

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