Making terrariums - Both open and closed

Making Some Open and Closed Terrariums

I have been thinking for a long time about making terrariums. With such lush green foliage and all the colors of foliage plants available, I felt I could really have some pretty ones to set among my other potted succulents and small hypertufa, though I am planning to have large hypertufa inside soon. Why not?

Having recently gone out and bought a lot more plants, I really need to pot them up. I have many glass terrariums that I have used at different times through the years and they are crying out to have something planted in them. So I am getting started with that.

Making open terrariums - Arrowhead plant

Experimenting with different variations on making terrariums, I am starting this first one as a “false bottom” terrarium. I understand from reading different sources that indoor gardeners vary on their methods, so I will plant some up and use difference variations on each and see how they perform.

Now I realize that this won’t be any controlled scientific experiment since it will be different plants, sizes, conditions etc but I am curious whether I can have a healthier plant one way or another.

In this post,  I will deal with a my tall terrarium planted as a full false bottom and on the second round closed terrarium, I will use just a decorative fake false bottom. If you have read my post about the myth of gravel in the bottom of containers, you probably know which way I am leaning.

In a new post yet to come, I have planted another large terrarium with the soil directly on the bottom of the planter, no layer of stones or charcoal layer, just soil with charcoal mixed in the glass bottom. I will see if I end up with a sludge tank or not. What do you think? But that one will be a different post.

Making Terrariums - A Do-It-Yourself Indoor Garden Planting

Making terrariums with Arrowhead Plant

In this tall square glass vase, I have put a tall plant inside. I think that is exactly what this one needed. The Arrowhead plant (Syngonium podophyllum ‘Cream Allusion’) will grow taller but I envision that it will look like a large floral arrangement in a tall vase. It will be less like a terrarium, but just a container as it gets larger. Here’s hoping it will be pretty!

Syngonium podophyllum 'Cream Allusion'

Making terrariums that are closed.

Deciding on a plant for a closed terrarium, I have purchased and planted  a Maidenhair fern (Adiantum).  I have heard they are such divas and very tempermental, so enclosing it seemed the way to go for her. These ferns do not tolerate dry soil so using a closed terrarium seems the best idea. I have a large lidded glass jar which I’ve used for this and she is getting the “fake” false bottom.  I want her roots to be able to have a lot of soil to explore and nourish the plant.

After all, a Diva wants to hog the whole spotlight, right?

False layered bottom for making terrariums

Hopefully she will not outgrow the jar too quickly. But we shall see, right?  I explain the method of how I planted her in the video. Using just a ring of stones, these will just show from the outside for decorative purposes. The soil will go directly into the top of the stones and against the bottom of the jar.

Making terrariums with nerve plants

A third terrarium I planted with a Nerve Plant or Fittonia. I planted it directly into soil with no layer of stones at all nor any along the bottom. They all looked awesome when I was done and I hope they do well.

Some of the plants I have grown before but don’t have now. I really don’t remember if they died previously or I gave them away. I guess the memory is first to go at my age.

If you have any advice, please leave me a comment here or on the video please.

I am using a maidenhair fern for making a terrarium

I will be making another large terrarium too. This one will have several plants, so watch for that post and that video coming shortly.

Seriously, I have not had this many plants inside my house in years. This can really get out of control, can’t it? But when I go shopping, I just see a pretty plant and say “You’re going home with me.”

Well, I will say it again, I could sure have a lot worse vices!


  1. How fun. Keep us posted. I generally have a decent green thumb with house plants but haven’t had a lot of luck with terrariums…I might even tend not to water enough because of fear I’ll drown the little guys. I love all of your choices. At this time of year it’s so not cent have plants inside. 🙂

    1. Thanks and I will sure keep you posted. I hope these terrariums work out since I have a lot a glass containers to put to use. (Or is it an excuse to buy more plants?) So anxious for spring.

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