Making A Terrarium

About a year ago I was browsing through one of my favourite artist’s websites (Rowena Martinich) when I stumbled upon a picture of one of her works displayed in Jardan in Melbourne (the MOST amazing store), there in the photo on a coffee table in front of her painting was a gorgeous Terrarium – ever since then I have been wanting to make my own!  So finally I have, and here is how I went about it:

 ScissorsCrop2Tools Required:

Some kind of glass vase or vessel with an opening large enough for you to fit your plants (and ideally hand) through.
Small plants of your choice that are suited to the conditions of where you will be placing your terrarium (succulents for a more shaded position or cacti for hotter).
Soil – should be suited to your plant choice, you can get cacti/succulent soil if that’s is what you are using.
Stones/pebbles for the bottom layer – essential for drainage to avoid rot.
Coir – I used Easy Wetta Coir-Peat Brick from Bunnings.
Sand (optional) – grab a cup or two from your nearest beach or construction site :).
Horticultural Charcoal – also from Bunnings in the plant section.
Stones or pebbles – any additional if you wish to decorate the top.


  1. Clean your glass container to make sure it is free from bacteria.
  2. Add your drainage layer of stones or pebbles.
  3. Add thin layer of Coir or Coir-Peat.
  4. Add thin layer of sand – this is optional, I liked the contrast of the line of sand, and also wanted it for my ‘mini-desert-scape’
  5. Add thin layer of Charcoal.
  6. Add layer of soil – the layer of soil should be as deep as the root ball of your plants.  As a rule of thumb the layers of dirt, pebbles and sand should take up 1/3 the capacity of your container.
  7. Dig out the small holes and place your plants in – this is wear things got messy for me!  I used disposable food handling gloves as I find garden gloves too large and bulky for delicate work.
  8. Add any pebbles or stones around that you want to decorate with, and water as you would when re-potting any new plant.
  9. Lastly take a paper towel and carefully clean any soil that has stuck to the inside walls, and give the outside a wipe an polish before putting in its new home.

I am not sure the life expectancy of my terrarium as I DO NOT have a green-thumb, but each plant was around $2-$3 so I figure if they do die eventually it won’t cost much to replace the plants.  Certainly cheaper and longer lasting than a bunch of flowers in any case!  But here is a very helpful website to caring for your terrarium and also where I learnt everything to create mine:

Making a Terrarium1 Making a Terrarium3

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