400 Moons

desert terrarium

emily2 Comments
I have been wanting to take a stab at making my own terrarium for a while now. This weekend I decided it was time to go ahead and try it. I also wanted to see if I could do it for less than $20! Here is what I came up—the glass container cost me $6, two bags of rocks were $5, each plant was about $2.5 each, and then I used some soil I already had. All of the trinkets—the marbles, the feather, etc., were things I already had around the house too. Bringing the final total to right about $20! The fun of it is being creative with what container you want to use, or which plants you like best. I love succulents, so I went with more of a desert style; but many others use ferns and moss, even orchids. Some are strictly focused on an artful arrangement of the plants, while others are built around figurines, making it a small little world. There is something intriguing about bringing a collection of plants indoors and placing them on display, often times literally under a glass globe or bell jar. It combines nature with art, and causes you to take a second glance.

I am no expert, but in my research on building and caring for a terrarium there seemed to be a bit of a formula. A glass container, a layer of rocks or gravel for drainage, a layer of soil, then the plants. Often another layer between the plants and the soil is added to regulate moisture, some use rocks, others moss. If you go with the style I choose, you will want to get a container that is open at the top. But, if you go the tropical route, you will need to have a lid of some sort to hold the moisture in. This will create a small ecosystem within the container that will maintain itself, with only the slightest bit of watering.

Below are the directions for what I made and a few links that I found helpful. It was a lot of fun to make, and I expect it will not be the last one I put together.

Desert Terrarium
- Glass container that is open at the top
- Place a layer of rocks 1-2 inches thick at the bottom
- Layer of soil. I laid the soil down unevenly to allow for a little more depth and dimension, basically created a small hill on one side.
- 3-5 succulent plants, varying in size. Number of plants is determined by the size of your container and how crowded you might want your terrarium. Shake the dirt from the root system and place in soil. Add any extra soil in order to secure the plants.
- Cover with a layer of small rocks. I went this route vs. sand because of the ease of watering and not having to deal with sand getting all over the plants while putting it together.
- Place any found objects around the plants to add color and make it uniquely yours!

Allow for sunlight and water every two weeks.

Terrarium links for inspiration:
DesignSponge feature
Martha Stewart
Etsy terrarium search