Growing Stunning Terrarium Layers | bioadvanced (2023)

While the terrarium has been around since the 18th century (invented by a frustrated doctor whose houseplants kept dying), these lush mini landscaping solutions are particularly all the rage now, and for good reason. With the right plants and the right light, your little ecosystem can thrive for a long time, bringing beauty, nature, and an otherworldly decor feel to your home. Here's how to make beautiful terrariums in two ways. with tropical shade-loving ferns and mosses and the ever-popular desert landscape of succulents.

general description

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Your terrarium home starts with a glass vase, bowl or jar. It could be an apothecary jar, fish tank, mason jar, or hurricane vase. A container with a wide opening is easier to work with, allowing you to reach in and maneuver the plants, plus you have more room for a larger terrarium landscape. Since the vase does not have a drainage hole, the key to a terrarium is to create artificial drainage with layers of material unique to the type of terrarium you are building. Another key is the land you use.


design strategy

Before you go out and buy your plants and supplies, take a minute to think about what you want your terrarium to look like and where it could be in your home. A tropical terrarium usually prefers bright light, but never direct. The design possibilities are endless, so it's important to have fun and create something that expresses your personality and enhances the design of your home. A terrarium can also be a vacation in a jar or vase, reminding you of your favorite vacation or future getaway. Things can get whimsical with plastic dinosaurs and other small figures like a little Buddha or even an action figure. They also look amazing by keeping it simple and elegant using only natural plants and materials.

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Accessories for terrariums with tropical plants:

  • hurricane vase
  • Decorative stones found in craft stores or garden centers.
  • activated carbon
  • moving
  • potting soil
  • Tropical houseplants, at least 3-5
  • Pebbles, recycled glass, shells, stones with sayings
  • Miniature landscape accents like fairies, gnomes, and little animals.

Steps for a terrarium with tropical plants

  • Depending on the size of your vase, fill it with an inch or two of decorative stones. Keep in mind that the total area of ​​the drainage layer should be at least three inches high and may be more depending on the size of your terrarium.
  • Add activated charcoal on top of the stones. Be careful, this is a very dirty product so you may choose to wear gloves and be careful as the charcoal will release a black powder. The charcoal helps absorb sedentary water and prevents the buildup of odors and bacteria.
  • Next, add moss, which you can buy in bags at garden centers and craft stores. This not only gives your terrarium a real forest look, but also prevents and prevents soil from dripping onto the ground when watering.
  • The potting soil is still in its stratification process. Add about an inch to start, as the plants will have some soil that you'll want to use. Then fill with more soil.
  • It's time to stage your design. We use Bird's Nest and Baby's Tears along with Purple Passion Plant with velvety looking leaves. Lay out your planting plan while they are still in their containers and see where they look best. One designer trick is to have a focal point plant that is a little taller along with a few others that are a bit wide and droop over your vase like a vine. There are a number of tropical houseplants that will thrive in your terrarium and also flourish, such as violets and bromeliads.
  • Take the plants you have chosen and, one by one, remove a little of the soil that was in the container. You may even need to trim the roots a bit with pruning shears. Your terrarium may be shallower than the container the plant came in and that's fine, it will grow just fine.
  • Once you've filled your terrarium with the plants, it's time to move on to the top dressing and any decorative accents you'd like to add. We use some polished stones that have sayings likeAmar, along with a miniature fairy and frog.


While succulents come in so many amazing colors, textures, and varieties, blue, pink, orange, and yellow succulents won't survive long indoors unless you're willing to bring your terrarium outside to bright indirect light once a week. Otherwise, choose mostly green succulents like the jade plant or Haworthia (see above), which can tolerate being indoors longer.

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Air plants that only live in water and air and don't want to be planted in the ground can also thrive as an accent in your succulent terrarium and flourish in bright, indirect light.

Accessories for succulent terrariums:

  • A vase, bowl, or vessel of any kind.
  • Pebble
  • Choose
  • Land of succulents or cactus
  • succulents and air plants
  • Decorative stones, sand, shells.

Steps for a succulent terrarium

  • Fill your about 1-inch-thick vase with decorative stones.
  • Add gravel or sand. Note that you can use activated charcoal instead, but it's tricky. Pea gravel is preferred and will look the best with your succulents while helping with drainage and preventing rot and odor. You can also get colored aquarium pebbles for more decorative layering.
  • Now is a good time to determine where to plant your succulents. While they're still in their container, place them around and see what looks best, keeping in mind the color, contrasting texture, height, and width of the plants.
  • Next, scoop up succulent or cactus soil about 1 to 2 inches thick, depending on the size of your terrarium container.
  • Before planting, remove some of the soil into store-bought containers and trim the roots to length. Some could be several inches longer than the assigned floor. Don't worry, they'll be fine.
  • Now make a small hole in the ground and let the fun begin. If you don't like your design, don't be afraid to take the succulent out and reposition it. It's also a good idea to keep a small brush handy to remove any dirt or debris that may get caught in the crevices of the plants.
  • Once all of your plants are in their new homes, it's time to give them some shine! We love adding sand, tiny pebbles, recycled glass, or pieces of seashells; all are available at craft stores and garden centers. For this project, we chose the jade bean pebble that looks like semi-precious stone.
  • For the final touch, we've added a tillandsia or air plant that simply sits on top of the terrarium pebbles for an extra decorative touch.

Light and irrigation of the terrarium

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The tropical terrariumI never want to stand under the scorching sun. The ideal location is in a bright room with a touch of indirect morning sun. A tropical terrarium should be watered once or twice a week to keep the soil moist but not overwatered. He also likes to be sprayed weekly with a spray bottle of water. Think of the rain forest.

the succulent terrariumTolerates some direct morning light followed by bright indirect afternoon light. Remember that your succulent terrarium will reward you if you leave it outside in indirect light for a few hours once a week (not freezing cold). Unlike cacti, the terrarium succulent likes to drink but not a downpour. During the warmer months of the year, use a spray bottle and mist each succulent once a week or two weeks. You can lightly mist every 10 days during the cooler months. Let yourself be carried away by your instincts. You will see when your terrarium is thirsty as the plants will respond and look dry.

No matter what type of terrarium you build, count on becoming addicted to this quick, easy, and satisfying way to improve your home, air quality, and life.


1. Satisfying & Relaxing Terrarium Art
2. Planting a Succulent Terrarium & an Update on One That’s Nearly 3 Years Old! 🌵🥰💚 // Garden Answer
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3. Terrarium Design Tips || 12 Tips for creating beautiful and natural looking terrariums
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5. How to make a terrarium | Indoor plants | Gardening Australia
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6. CLOSED TERRARIUM DIY : SEALED BOTTLE GARDENS 🌱 Closed Terrarium Plants 🌿Shirley Bovshow
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