How to Create a Terrarium

Terrariums are as varied as your imagination and the type of glass you choose to use.


Your plants can be fully contained within the glass, partially or completely open to the air.  Use clear glass to get the best results – plants need the full spectrum of sunlight so we recommend against colored glass because of its filtering effects.

Step 1 – Prepare your glass vessel by washing thoroughly in soap and water and wiping dry. It is critical that you begin your terrarium in a clean vessel.

Step 2 – Open your package of small River Stones and completely line the bottom and up the sides with stones. Make a “bowl” of stones a much as possible. The bowl will serve as the underside of the “envelope” you will create to hold the charcoal.

 Step 3 – Open the package of Charcoal and pile it carefully in the center of the pebble bowl you just created. It’s okay to mound the charcoal a little bit. The Charcoal is your terrarium’s filter and is absolutely critical for a long lasting, healthy terrarium. The charcoal absorbs contaminants, odors, will prevent the growth of harmful molds and keeps your soil healthy. The charcoal layer should be about ½ inch thick.

Step 4 – put a thin layer of pebbles over the charcoal layer to complete the charcoal filtering “envelope.”

Step 5 – Now you are ready to lay down a layer of potting soil. Hold back on some of it – just put down between ½ and ¾ of an inch to start with.

Step 6 – You should now decide on the plants that you want to place in your terrarium. For this example we are using an Asparagus Fern and an interesting Coleus. Don’t over plant your terrarium or it will be too crowded and the details of your terrarium environment will be difficult to see. Take each plant and wrap moist soil around the roots, making a ball that fits in your hand comfortably.  Gently place the “root balls” on top of the layer of soil laid down in step 5. They can lay a little bit on the sides initially and then be straightened to their final position as you work the remainder of your potting soil, moss and decorative touches.

Step 7 – Review your moss cushions, rocks, and quartz crystal and think about how you want to lay out your materials to create a miniature natural world. First lay out your moss and lichen on a paper towel. Pictured here are cushion moss which is the most elegant (in our opinion) of all the mosses. Thick and velvety, cushion moss is a bright rich green when kept moist with bright filtered light.

The kit includes a large section of sheet moss which can be easily torn and shaped around your plants. You’ll also find a clump of juniper moss with its tall stalks with feather caps. The clump can easily and successfully be broken into smaller groups of juniper moss which you can place around in a few places. Use the lichen by tucking in cracks, wrapped around sticks or lying on rocks.

Step 8 – Form the surface of the terrarium by “carpeting” the small hills and depressions formed around your root balls. Place the last of your potting soil to fill in around your plants to provide support and then press the moss cushions around the plants.

You can use the rocks around the base of your plants to provide support and create natural landscaping effects. Placement of your quartz crystal should be in a place that can catch the light and add a little dazzle to your glass garden.

When you finish laying your landscape, mist liberally and press the cushions in gently but securely.


If you are using a covered terrarium, let it breath and mist every other day. Never soak the terrarium or let it dry out. Think of the rich moisture of a shady forest glen.



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