How to make your own terrarium wood at home

Can I Make Some Terrarium Wood? How To Do This Yourself

Lately I have planted a few terrarium in my Basement Garden Shop and I am very interested in adding some branches of wood for decorative purposes inside those terrariums. But you know me. I want to make them myself. Or at least see if that is possible.

I see a lot of examples of soaking branches for use in Aquariums and also the enclosurers for Reptiles. But I cannot find anything online that tells me how to create or treat a branch for use in a regular plant-filled terrarium.

How to Make Terrarium Wood Branches. #terrarium #terrariumdecor

So I will just wing it and do it myself. Now this may work or may not. Only time will tell. I will treat the branches I find and put them in my terrariums and later when I complain about the fact that I am drowning in Rolly Pollys or Centipedes, feel free to say, ” I knew that would happen.”

But this is what I have done to make my own terrarium wood.

How To Make Terrarium Wood

During this later winter period, I gathered interesting pieces of branches in my yard and along walks down the streets. I was even investigating parking lot islands, much to the embarrassment of my husband. I am certain that he has enough evidence now that I have completely lost what little mind I had.

I need to be sure to get rid of these when I make my own wood for terrariums

I knew that I needed to remove all insects, both live and eggs, from the wood before I could put it into my terrarium, but I was not sure how to do that. Using bleach would probably kill insects, but that residue might hurt any plants. Something would be needed that could get into the inner layers of a branch to get rid of eggs and larvae.  Not anxious to meet any Asian Long-horned Beetles face to face.

How to make terrarium wood branches yourself

Deciding that perhaps heat would be the best treatment, I wondered if it would smell if I heated it in the oven?  How could I contain anything coming from the wood and trying to escape? I decided that I would try it on a small batch and see what happened.

Gather Some Branches & Make Wood For Your Terrarium! DIY Terrarium Wood


My supplies and method:

  • Large turkey roasting bag
  • The zip tie strip that comes with it
  • Large cookie sheet
  • My oven
  • Pack branches cut to appropriate sizes and place in bag. Put zip closure on. Bake in 250°F (or 120°C) oven for approx 3 hours. Turn oven off and allow to cool. Ready to place in terrarium.

My branches have been in place for several weeks and I have had no problem at all. I plan to make a succulent terrarium and may “bake” a large slab of wood cross cut just to make a little something different.

Let me know if you have tried this. How did it work for you?

Some of the lichen bark in the Baby's Tears


  1. The turkey bag is such a great idea! I would not have thought of that.

    I had a bad experience several years ago with some grape wood I bought from a nursery. It had some sort of wood beetle eggs or larvae in it. They ended up infecting one of my trees and killing it. What an ordeal…but I think your idea is a great solution for those who might buy this sort of thing at a nursery too. Better safe than sorry. =)

    1. That’s true, isn’t it. I never thought of that. Disinfecting anything like that you’d buy would be great. Sorry you lost a tree. That would be such a horrible experience.

  2. Vicki Zwiebel says:

    Love your terrariums!

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