How to Make a Terrarium

Apothecary jar terrariumAn apothecary jar plant terrarium makes a beautiful gardening project that you can complete create in a half an hour but enjoy for years. Apothecary jar terrariums are low-maintenance gardens that also make beautiful decorations. The choice of jars and plants are seemingly limitless that plant terrariums can be addictive.


Because space is limited in an apothecary jar terrarium, the plants you choose need to stay small, so don’t buy any fast-growing or large plants. Pictured here is a small fern that was unlabeled at the store, as well as the polka-dot plant. The plants will need trimmed every once in a while, but most maintenance will be to mist or slightly water the plant terrarium once a month or so.

Once you have several small container plants in mind, hit the stores and ready yourself for some creativity! You will soon have a beautiful plant terrarium to display by a bright window in an indoor garden.

Shopping List

- Jar (pictured here is a 3-gallon cookie jar from Target)
- Pebbles or marbles from a craft store or pet store
- Aquarium carbon from a pet store
- Sphagnum moss from a pet store (aquatic or reptile section)
- Soil (cactus mix or potting soil)
- Several small container plants
- Optional: A small piece of driftwood, plastic figure, such as a dinosaur, etc., for a fun effect. (Do not place live animals in the apothecary terrarium.)


Steps to Planting the Terrarium

1. Put a layer of pebbles or marbles on the bottom of the jar. This allows for good drainage.
2. A layer of aquarium carbon goes next. This will keep the terrarium healthy by trapping any smells or decomposing bad stuff in its many tiny pores.
3. The sphagnum moss goes on top of the carbon. This just keeps the soil from mixing in with the carbon and the pebbles.
4. Add a layer of potting soil deep enough for planting your small container plants.
5. Add your plant selections.
6. Place in any extra decorations.
7. Add a little bit of water to the aquarium, but do not overwater, and set the jar in a sunny spot.

Tip: Never fertilize a terrarium plant. Growth is the last thing you want for a small jar garden.

Additional information