How To Make A Terrarium

Image of terrariums.

Consider creating dry or wet terrariums for those looking for a simpler way to enjoy gardening or even organising a family activity. 

They are beautiful, low-maintenance and require minimal space. So terrariums are perfect for those who also have less outdoor space. 

We purchased most of the items at Mitre 10 but feel free to visit your local nursery or use items you already have in the house to build your terrarium. 

Make sure to choose a space for the terrarium with indirect light.

Glass bowls
Cacti & succulent plants
Cactus/succulent soil mix
Activated charcoal
Decorative gravel/rock 
Other decorations
Spray Bottle
Garden Gloves
photo of 2 containers to make a terrarium.
1. Choose Your Container

Since we are creating a dry terrarium, we will use an open glass container wide enough to accommodate our hands. It’s better to use a glass container to see the beautiful layers of materials and keep a close eye on the moisture levels.


  • Instead of buying a glass container, you can use empty jars you already have at home: sauce jars, glass vases, etc.;
  • Make sure to use a clear glass jar because a tinted one can hinder plant growth.
Photo of the first layer in the bowl.
2. Create The First Layer

Mix sand and gravel for the base layer of the terrarium. This layer helps to shape the terrain while aiding drainage and aeration. Vary the layer’s thickness by the size of the container. 

Photo o  the 2nd layer added: activated charcoal.
3. Add The Activated Charcoal

The activated charcoal will help keep the terrarium fresh by filtering nutrients, stopping algae growth, suppressing unpleasant plant odours, and adding a water drainage layer. 

4th layer of soil.
4. Add A Layer Of Soil

Add the cactus and succulent plant soil mix on top of the activated charcoal.

5th layer: adding the plants.
5. Plant

Before planting your selection of succulents/cacti/air plants, decide how you want to arrange them in the pot. 

Start with your largest plant, spread the roots, dig a little hole with a spoon or your fingers, and gently position it in the soil. Repeat the process until all the plants are in the pot. 

You may need to add more potting mix, so the plants stay in place. 

Photo of the inside of the terrarium.
6. Decorate

Have fun decorating the terrarium with pebbles, figurines, rocks, etc. 

Make it your own!

Photo of the terrariums.
7. Water

When you have completed decorating your terrarium, spray some water lightly on the terrarium with a spray bottle. 


  • If the soil is dry, spray it;
  • Don’t water too often;
  • If overwatered, you will notice water at the bottom of the container.

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