Terrarium Guide

One of the most exciting ways to reinvent an object is to fill it with life. Whether it’s that old jar that’s been sitting around, or that cool cloche you bought and are wondering what to do with, it can be transformed into a miniature landscape in a few simple steps. Below you’ll find a guide to building up the layers of a terrarium, from the soil base to the plants. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different containers, plants, and found objects.

leafjoy littles houseplants
leafjoy littles®

The leafjoy houseplant line now offers unique varieties in adorably small 9cm containers. leafjoy Littles are perfect for novice plant parents desiring to nurture and learn about houseplants without the pressure of caring for larger, more expensive plants. These smaller plants are just as resilient as their larger counterparts and are a great choice for DIY houseplant projects like terrariums or kokedama. Shop for leafjoy littles by clicking the button below. If you want to learn how to make your own kokedama, check out our DIY Kokedama Page!

DIY: Terrarium Video

Check out this short step-by-step video for quick and easy terrarium build.


• Glass container
• Decorative Pebbles
• Charcoal
• Moss
• Indoor potting soil
• 2-3 small plants (we used leafjoy littles®)
• Decor such as pebbles, rocks, and crystals

PLANTS & DECOR: Mix plants, rocks, found natural objects and moss to create your own tiny landscape. Add more soil as needed to support the root systems of larger plants.
SOIL: Use a high quality potting soil for the planting medium. You may want to mix a bit of sand with the soil if the plants you choose prefer it.
MOSS: A layer of textured moss keeps the soil from slipping down into the bottom layers, preventing good drainage.
CHARCOAL: A layer of activated charcoal will provide additional help with drainage as well as acting as a natural filter to deodorize the terrarium and absorb toxins.
ROCKS: Use small to medium sized rocks as the first layer to provide good drainage for the layers above.


• If the container you choose is open, use plants that like lower humidity like cacti and succulents. These plants will need a bit more sunlight, but avoid direct sunlight, as the terrarium glass can act as a magnifying glass and burn the plants.

• If the container you choose has a small opening or a lid, use plants that like higher humidity like ferns and mosses. We find that a container with a removable lid like a cork or jar lid is a good option because you can regulate the humidity level inside as needed.

• Provide more soil when using ferns and leafy house plants. You may want to mix in some sand for cacti and succulents.

• Use a container with a wide opening for easy planting. If planting a container with a narrow neck, long-handled tweezers or other long-handled tools may help in planting.


Most open terrariums will need to be watered at least once a week, while closed terrariums,
if well sealed, may never require watering after the initial planting, watering and closure.


Most terrarium plants (especially in closed terrariums) will do best in indirect light.


Use a mister or spray bottle to create humidity in an open or partially open terrarium.


Most terrarium plants won’t require much maintenance, but over time you might need to clean out any dead plant material and trim any plants that are getting too large. This will help keep all your plants happy and healthy.

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