Plant and grow a tabletop terrarium this winter to keep the wintertime blues at bay and the green thumb active. This is a great project for kids too, to help them learn about plant life during the long winter months they’re cooped up indoors.
Materials Needed to Make a Tabletop Terrarium
*A closed glass container (cake stand, apothecary jar, cloche and shallow pan, etc.)
*Small, slow-growing plants (ferns, mosses or violets)
*Pebbles or gravel
*Decorative stones or moss
Create Base Planting Layer for Terrarium Plants
Create the base layer of the terrarium planter by spreading a one inch layer of pebbles or gravel in the bottom. The planter can be any shallow container such as a Pyrex pie dish or base from a broken terra cotta planter or a small, shallow bowl. The planter does not need a drainage hole and if the planter choice has a drainage hole, cover the hole with aluminum foil before adding the pebbles or gravel.
Top the pebbles or gravel with a layer of aquarium charcoal to help filter water and prevent mold and fungi from forming after the terrarium is closed. Top aquarium charcoal with two inches of potting soil, making a small mound of potting soil in the center.
How to Plant Tabletop Terrarium Plants
Use hands to create a small hole in the center mound of potting soil and plant the largest terrarium plant in the hole. Make sure all of the plant’s roots are buried so they won’t dry out, and pat soil down gently after planting. If more than one plant will be planted in the tabletop terrarium, repeat this planting process, allowing space between each plant to prevent overcrowding.
Trim, Top and Water
If the terrarium plant(s) has leaves that extend past the parameter of the planting base, trim off the tips with small pruning shears or scissors.
Place the decorative stones or moss on top of the potting soil, then use a spray bottle to lightly mist the soil with water.
Air it Out, Then Close the Tabletop Terrarium
Before putting the glass covering on the tabletop terrarium, it will need to air out for a few days so excessive moisture won’t be trapped inside. Once the tabletop terrarium is closed with it’s glass cover, a self-sustaining ecosystem will be created inside the terrarium. Once a month, open the terrarium and feel the soil, it the soil is dry, lightly mist the soil with water, let it air out for a few days, the re-close the terrarium.
Place the tabletop terrarium out of direct sunlight in a location where temperatures stay consistently above freezing.