How to Build a Miniature Terrarium

Terrariums are awesome little gardens, enclosed in a container like a miniature ecosystem. They can be open or completely closed, it's up to you! This article will show you how to build your own, from what containers to use to what soil works best and what plants will grow most effectively in a terrarium.


  1. 1
    Choose your miniature container carefully. Building a miniature terrarium is a bit more tricky than building a normal terrarium, so don't rush through your selection. You can choose containers made of glass, plastic, or acrylic, as long as the container material is transparent enough to let in the proper amount of light to keep your terrarium plants alive. The other important consideration is that it has an opening wide enough for you to fill it with all the materials you want to use.
  2. 2
    Add in a layer of gravel at the bottom. Most terrariums use at least an inch of gravel at the bottom, but this probably won't work with a miniature terrarium (depending on the size of your container, of course). Instead, stick to a centimeter or so, in order to keep your plant's roots drained properly. Sitting in a puddle of watery soil will cause them to rot, and kill the plant.
  3. 3
    Add an equal amount of potting soil over top. Peat moss also works, as does a 50/50 mixture of peat moss and potting soil. Use a narrow tool to pat down the soil, but don't pack it too tightly or your plants will have trouble getting a good hold.
  4. 4
    Choose your terrarium plants! There are a number of great options, but for miniature terrariums the plant called Baby's Tears are a great choice, as are any of the wide variety of mosses. On a tiny scale, even a few grass seeds can create interesting textural effects in your garden design. Use your creativity!
  5. 5
    Add water. It's best to use distilled or purified water for this purpose, because it's probably going to be in the terrarium for a long time, and you don't want to accidentally kill your plants. Keep the miniature terrarium in sunlight, and soon you'll begin to see a miniature version of the water cycle taking place as your plants grow!


  • Growing a terrarium from seed is easiest, but it takes much longer to see results of course.
  • If you're using established plants, a tool made from a bent spoon can be very useful for lowering your seedlings into the terrarium container.


  • Avoid placing a miniature terrarium in full sun! Such a small ecosystem will easily overheat, killing your plants.

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Categories: Indoor and Patio Plants