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5 Simple Steps to Terrarium Success

Bringing Nature Indoors Updates Decor

Transform your home with simple DIY terrariums and dish gardens. You can create gardens in almost any kind of container. For enclosed terrariums, we recommend using a glass vessel that does not have drainage. It can be an enclosed terrarium, a lantern, a glass cake plate, and lid or even a mason jar. Any dish or pot can be used for an open container. A teapot and cups can be re-purposed with succulent plantings and mini accents, for example. Liven up your space with your own mini wonderlands or give as gifts from the heart.

Supplies Needed

  • 1 small bag pea gravel

  • 1 small bag activated charcoal

  • 1 small bag TGP Choice Potting Mix

  • Appropriate plants for closed or open container

Potting Mix & Pea Gravel


5 Simple Steps to Terrarium Success

Layer the bottom of the vessel with about 1” of pea gravel for drainage.

Add a thin layer of activated charcoal to keep the soil healthy and minimize bacteria.

Add 2-3” of potting soil for your plants. The soil depth in the new container must match the depth of the current potted plant soil.

Arrange your plants. For the humid environment of a terrarium, ferns and miniature house plants are appropriate as they are shade-loving and can tolerate the closed containers. Small-sized succulents and sun plants thrive in the open, drier climate of dish gardens. Plant roots may need to be trimmed lightly or have some soil shaken off to fit. Prune foliage as needed to keep a plant small for an enclosed terrarium.

Add stones, miniature accents, ceramic mushrooms, twigs, shells, fairies, gnomes, feathers, bark and more to give your garden a unique personality.


Enclosed containers need far less watering than open containers. We recommend using a baster for easy control of watering. Water well when you first install your plants. Tropical terrariums should be consistently moist. Do lift the lid once in a while to allow fresh air in.

Open containers should be checked for moisture regularly. Depending on your plant choices, you may need to water every couple of days or perhaps once a week. Succulents prefer a dry environment but should be watered about every two weeks.