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Terrariums—Yes You Can!

Terrariums are surprisingly simple to make and even easier to maintain. Gardens in miniature are fun to build, are appealing to Fairy Garden enthusiasts and are well suited for the not-so-attentive indoor gardeners. The first thing you will learn, unless you are building a particularly large terrarium, is that you will have extra pebbles, charcoal, screening and soil. So plan on making a few terrariums!

Terrariums Horticulture

Open or closed glass containers
Window screening
Activated charcoal
Potting soil
Plants: Select plants that have the same light, soil, humidity and water requirements. Moss, ferns and other smooth-leaf plants can grow in a closed terrarium—one you seldom, if ever, open. Fuzzy plants cannot handle such humid environments and require open terrariums.

Terrariums Horticulture


  1. Wash containers.
  2. Add pebbles a ½ to 2 inches deep, depending on the height of your container. The pebbles act as a drainage reservoir for the container.
  3. Cut a piece of window screen to the diameter of your container, and place over the pebbles to prevent soil from filtering into them.
  4. Add soil, leaving space for plants.
  5. Add plants. Consider from which direction you will be viewing the terrarium. Gently shake off excess soil, trim extra roots and thin out the plant if it appears too full for the container.
  6. Gently fill in around plants with soil.
  7. Water lightly.
  8. Cover soil with moss, or small stones (optional).
  9. Place in a bright area with indirect light.

To maintain your terrarium, do not over water it. Remove dead or wilted leaves regularly, and fertilize sparingly, because you do not want your plants to outgrow the container.