DIY: Build Your Own Terrarium!

Because a terrarium is a self-contained ecosystem, you must set it up properly the first time, using proper materials. Be sure to buy a high-quality potting mix and select the appropriate plants. 

Materials

Supplies needed:

  • One terrarium with air holes or a glass jar without a lid
  • Small gravel, pea rock or coloured glass
  • Jim Hole’s Potting Soil
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Decorative accessories (stones, drift wood, wtc.)
  • Plants (two or three for every 3L of space; avoid fuzzy-leaved plants – they hold water and are susceptible to rotting)

Preparing the soil

 Start by creating a 1 cm base of gravel at the bottom of the terrarium. The gravel provides proper drainage, which is important because the container has no holes. 

Next, cover the gravel with a layer of potting mix. At least 5 cm of mix is required, but the mix can come up as high as half the height of the terrarium. 

Note: Charcoal is not necessary. The common belief is that charcoal will ‘filter’ the soil and keep it clean, but activated charcoal becomes inactive as soon as it is exposed to carbon in the air. 

Transplanting

Space plants according to the mature height and spread listed on their tags. 

Prepare holes in the soil where the plants will go by gently scooping away enough potting mix to bury the roots to the same depth as they were growing in their pots. 

Remove plants from containers and examine the roots. Packed and tangled (rootbound) rootballs can be gently teased loose. Don’t worry if the soil falls off plants while transplanting. Losing some is fine. 

Place plants in prepared holes and gently firm the soil, being careful not to pack it. Remove any damaged leaves. 

Trimming the terrarium

Decorate the soil with bits of moss or add other finishing touches such as driftwood or decorative stones. You’re creating your own little world, so let your imagination guide you. 

Watering

Give plants a thorough watering, but don’t over water. A terrarium sustains itself, so the first watering is essential to establishing the correct moisture level. 

Watching it grow

Placing a terrarium in a direct sun might seem like a nice treat for your plants, but it’s the equivalent of steaming vegetables in a pot! 

If you didn’t use a container with air holes, don’t cover your terrarium with a lid. Although it’s possible to grow plants in a self-contained environment, it’s incredibly difficult and requires perfect light, temperature and humidity conditions. 

Visit Hole's today and find everything you need to create your own custom terrarium!