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Raising Terrarium Making to an Art form


Terrarium Making can be just like any other pursuit or hobby. You can do it just for fun or you can take it to a whole new level. I received this picture from a web visitor (Badia A.) who made the terrarium and it is a perfect example of raising the hobby of terrarium making to an art form.


This terrarium achieves something that is very rare in any pursuit - minimalist beauty. It can be a very difficult thing to do.

Terrarium as Art


Four things to think about if you want to carry terrarium making over to an art form

Here are my thoughts on four very important aspects you can think about when making a terrarium.

1. The container is not just a container. It is an integral part of the whole composition and just as much time and energy should go into the choice and or building of the container. Something like this often has to slowly simmer within you. One day you are just out shopping and you see something and think "Wow, that would be perfect as a container for a terrarium." This has happened to me.

2. Simplicity is key. This is actually very hard to do well. With any pursuit it is very easy to add more and more things. It's kind of like the urge to keep doing things. But to pare things down is very hard. It's actually much like writing in that less is more. Keep this rule in mind when making terrariums.

3. Plant Selection - There are several factors to consider when selecting the plant or plants for your terrarium. First off, what does it look like? What are the colors? Then you have to consider size and shape. This is a factor in the making of your terrarium and in the future growth of your terrarium. And there are unknown factors such as what the plants will need in terms of water, nutrition and sunlight. Finally you have to think about how well the plants will get along together. What I mean by this is that some plants may be low light while others require a lot of sunlight. They would not do well together in a terrarium because of their differing needs. This also applies to watering and fertilizing.

Quick list of plant happiness:

  • get plants that all have similar requirements in terms of water, sun and soil
  • When using multiple plants try varying the shape, size and color so they accentuate each other. Different heights are a big factor.
  • Keep in mind that the plants will grow so you need room or get plants that are fully matured.
  • Decide if you want to have easy access to the inside of the terrarium so you can maintain, prune and make changes (This has an impact on what you choose as a container)

4. Plant arrangement - A terrarium, as an art form is quite unique in that you can't just manipulate the objects into the shape and form that you want. You have to take into consideration the natural shapes and colors of the plants themselves. And while this may be constrictive in some ways it is also part of what makes it an art form. I would say that it is very similar to the art of Bonsai. Nature plays a role in your art work and you have to be aware of this.

A terrarium

New project: A terrarium in a terrarium

We put together this fun little terrarium. It has moss, plants, and even origami butterflies. And one terrarium right inside the other. Fun and easy. I show you step by step. How to make a terrarium inside a terrarium




Terrarium kit

Premium Kit for Small Terrarium (Succulent, Cactus, and Fairy Garden)

Perfect kit for a first time terrarium gardener or to give as a gift. Provides the exact amount of the specific "ingredients" necessary to build a thriving small terrarium. Will work for closed terrariums, open terrariums, fairy gardens, as well as with succulents and cactii. Kit includes terrarium potting soil, activated charcoal, two different sizes of semi-polished river rocks, shag moss, and complete but easy to follow step-by-step instructions. The ingredients supplied are in the following approximate amounts: 9 oz. soil; 8 oz. small river rocks; 8 oz. larger river rocks; 1 oz. activated charcoal; 1 oz. sheet moss. Great for anyone wanting to set up a terrarium without having to go and find all the different pieces separately. Please note that the kit does NOT include a container or plants. Please also note that this kit is for a SMALL terrarium. We recommend using a mason jar if you are making a closed terrarium or a container with a 4 - 6" diameter if you are making a succulent or cactus terrarium.