How to Grow Container Gardens in Terrariums


Growing plants in a terrarium is a creative way to garden indoors. Choose an aquarium, fishbowl, large jar or look around for something more offbeat: all you need is a glass container with enough room for your plants to grow. Ferns, palms and mosses are easy to grow in a terrarium. Miniature African violets, Buddhist pine and boxwood also do well in terrariums. Plant Wandering Jew and prayer plants in your larger terrariums, and if you are feeling adventurous, grow a Venus flytrap or a pitcher plant in your terrarium.

Step 1

Put an inch of gravel at the bottom of your clean glass container.

Step 2

Add a 1/2-inch layer of activated charcoal to help control odor.

Step 3

Add dry potting soil, up to 3 inches deep. Create hills and angles by distributing the potting soil unevenly.

Step 4

Use a long handled spoon to dig holes for the roots of your plants.

Step 5

Plant your plants in the dirt, gently spreading out their roots, and replace the dirt over their roots.

Step 6

Mist the inside walls of your terrarium with an ounce or two of distilled water. Do not water your terrarium again until it has begun to dry out.

Step 7

Keep your terrarium in indirect sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass container
  • Gravel or aquarium rocks
  • Activated or horticulture charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Long handled spoon
  • Plants
  • Distilled water
  • Mister


  • Art Makers: Indoor Gardening--Garden With Terrariums
  • The Grow Spot: Terrarium Inspiration
  • Real Simple: The No-Fuss Garden

Who Can Help

  • Terrarium Man: Carnivorous Plant Terrarium
Keywords: indoor gardening, container gardening, terrarium gardens

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.