An Easy To Make Terrarium

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson

It’s been all about green this week as we have celebrated St. Patrick's Day, so let's keep with the green theme! A perfect way to show off some gorgeous lush colour is by creating an easy to make a terrarium.

I have admired these little glasshouses for a while now and am excited to have an excuse to make one; what am I talking about I don’t need an excuse - I just need a little spare time! But today is the day, and let me tell you, I don’t know what I was waiting for! These are fun, simple and so effective. Best of all they are perfect for most areas of your home, these self-contained cases are just $12 from IKEA, and I love that you can transport them around your home depending on what room needs a little pop of green.

What you’ll need...

  • Terrarium (from Ikea $12 - such a bargain!)
  • An assortment of ferns from a local nursery, smaller the better so you can have a variety of heights in your enclosure. I used Fish Fern, Maidenhair and Montana.
  • Little landscaping rocks
  • Potting mix
  • Gloves
  • Hand shovel.


  1. Add a thin layer of soil at the bottom of terrarium. 'African Violet' I find is the best indoor potting mix.
  2. Squeeze the plastic of the pots to loosen the roots and then start planting!
  3. It’s important to keep looking at the terrarium from different angles to make sure you are getting the look you want. Step back - how is it looking? Is there enough height? Is it looking full? You want a lush mini forest so keep working at it until you are happy.
  4. Your final step is to cover the roots with pebbles and add a little more texture. Pebbles also help maintain the moisture as well as looking neat.

Watering tip! All you need to do is wet the roots, don’t saturate the plants! You don’t want the roots waterlogged, so a once a week spray with some water is plenty.


  • Water ever so gently, don’t saturate or disturb the environment.
  • Leave it in a bright light spot, but not a sunny spot.
  • Cut off dead foliage as they come through
  • If the terrarium builds up too much condensation, all you need to do is open the lid until the moisture clears up and then close it off again. 
  • Open the cover of the terrarium once a week for an hour or an afternoon to let in fresh air. Let your plants breathe!

This little project is a great gift idea; they are easy to look after and can brighten a dull corner of a room with the beautiful layering of greens. A collection of these on a window sill would look gorgeous as we enter Autumn and start to invite the outside in.  It is perfect for kids to play with, ideal for herbs, violets - anything that you love to grow.