Terrarium Making Lesson

copyright Kindra Clineff from The New Terrarium

Okay, here comes the pep talk: You can do this. Your kid can do this. Your grandmother can do this. Your hamster probably can’t.

Why do this? Because this terrarium will rescue your life. You will find peace. The world will be a better place. Nature will seep into all the little nooks and crannies of your existence. Your family will thank you (but I make no promises about the kids ceasing to whine). Creativity will reign. Winter will be bearable. All this from a terrarium.

What do you need to make a terrarium? Just:

  • A glass container (okay, you can use plastic, but it won’t sparkle). Preferably find a container that you can fit your hand into.
  • Terrarium plants
  • 3/8 inch pebbles
  • Horticultural charcoal (acquire at a garden center or aquarium supply store)
  • Potting soil mix (light African violet mix works — I use an organic mix)
  • Watering can
  • Nature objects like seed pods, lichen-covered sticks, seashells, whatever grooves you
  • Gloves (Always wear gloves. Don’t argue with me)

Ready? Here’s how to do it:

  • Put on the gloves
  • Mix some water into the potting soil before you start
  • Pour (or scoop) 1-2 inches of pebbles into the bottom of the glass container
  • Add a small handful of horticultural charcoal
  • Mix it together with the pebbles
  • Add a separate layer of 2-3 inches of soil
  • Dig a hole in the soil to receive your first plant
  • Tuck that baby into the hole, firming it in. Really firm it in. Firm it in again.
  • Repeat for other plants
  • Add the nature objects
  • Water the terrarium lightly
  • Put the lid on
  • See, I told you = Peace
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