How to Create a Cool Woodland Terrarium


Building a terrarium is an easy way to enjoy different environments from the comforts of your home. Usually, when you make a terrarium, you will make a desert terrarium since they are easy to maintain. In general, terrariums stay very warm, killing plants and animals that need cooler temperatures. However, if you know how to build one, you can easily make a woodland terrarium at home and successfully grow plants in it.

Step 1

Choose a container to build your terrarium. A 5-gallon glass aquarium is a good size and easy to care for. Clean the container using soap and water to ensure a clean starting environment.

Step 2

Collect pebbles from outside or purchase them from a garden supply store. Clean the pebbles with running water. The amount you need depends on the size of the terrarium you are building.

Step 3

Place a 3/4-inch layer of pebbles on the bottom of your terrarium. Be careful when adding the pebbles if you are using a glass container. Place the pebbles gently so you do not break the glass.

Step 4

Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover the bottom of the terrarium and place it over the pebbles.

Step 5

Add a 3-inch layer of potting soil on top of the cheesecloth. If you prefer, you can use soil from your yard instead.

Step 6

Plant small woodland plants such as moss, ferns and small seedlings. For the seedlings, use evergreens that are 5 inches or smaller. Use your hands to smooth the potting soil around your plants.

Step 7

Add enough water to the soil to moisten it.

Step 8

Use a clean cloth to wipe down the sides of the terrarium.

Step 9

Cover the top of your terrarium with a piece of plastic, glass or screen. If you choose to use a glass cover, use caution not to break it and cut yourself.

Step 10

Place the terrarium out of direct sunlight. Keep it mostly shaded and cool.

Step 11

Water your soil as necessary, making sure it stays moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Pebbles
  • Cheesecloth
  • Potting soil
  • Moss
  • Ferns
  • Small seedlings
  • Cloth
  • Plastic


  • "Department of Natural Resources: Creating a Terrarium"
  • "She Knows: How to Start a Terrarium"
  • "Light Science: Terrarium of Woodland Creatures"
Keywords: woodland terrarium, making a terrarium, terrarium construction

About this Author

Erin Ringwald began writing in 1998. She runs her own party planning business and helps with her husband's photography business. She's working on her Master of Education with a focus on elementary education and child development. Ringwald studied musical theater and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Wright State University.

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