How to Create a Plant in a Glass Bottle


Creating a plant in a glass bottle, or a bottle terrarium, is a creative project for all ages. You can choose any glass bottle you like, as small or as large as you want your terrarium to be, but be sure to select a bottle that is clear glass so you can see the plants inside. The key is to select a glass bottle that has as wide a mouth as possible, because the smaller the opening, the more challenging your project will become. You'll also need to select plants that grow small so they will thrive inside the glass bottle. Some good plant choices for a bottle terrarium are Swedish ivy, flame violet, creeping fig, baby tears, wintergreen and Irish moss.

Step 1

Wash your glass bottle thoroughly, especially if it contained food substances or liquids. Rinse away all traces or residues of soap and dry the bottle.

Step 2

Place a 1- to 2-inch layer of small pebbles or pea gravel on the entire bottom of the inside of the bottle. Spread a 1-inch layer of sphagnum moss on top of the pebble layer. If your glass bottle has a small mouth, use chopsticks or thin wooden skewers to arrange the materials inside the bottle.

Step 3

Add 3 inches or more of all-purpose potting soil on top of the sphagnum moss. Place a thick enough soil layer so you fill the bottom one-third of the glass bottle.

Step 4

Make small holes in the soil layer for your plants. Use your chopsticks or skewers to arrange the plants; press the roots down into the soil.

Step 5

Water the terrarium gently, moistening down all the materials to the moss layer. Look to ensure the water is draining freely to the pebble layer. Place the cap on the bottle.

Step 6

Water your terrarium once per month to maintain a condensation layer on the inside of the bottle. If the inside of the bottle becomes too wet--meaning that instead of dew droplets on the glass, you have sheets of water--remove the cap for one day to allow the bottle to dry out slightly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't place your bottle terrarium in full, direct sunlight, because this will cause the temperatures inside the bottle to become too hot. Instead, place your terrarium near a window in partial, indirect sunlight or in a spot completely protected from the sun, depending on your plants' sunlight needs. Don't fertilize your plants in the glass bottle. This will cause them to grow too quickly and too large for the terrarium environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear glass bottle with cap or stopper
  • Small pebbles or pea gravel
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Chopsticks or thin wooden skewers
  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Small plants
  • Activated charcoal (optional)


  • Terrarium Man: Bottle Terrarium

Who Can Help

  • Build Your Own Terrarium
Keywords: bottle terrarium, plants in glass bottle, plant terrariums

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.

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