How to Make a Tiny Terrarium | Midwest Living
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How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

Whether you make terrariums for your home or for gifts, these petite gardens are sure to be a hit. Planting is simple, and twine, a leaf, and a sweet fabric flower add a pretty finishing touch.
  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Tiny terrarium

    Pint-sized canning jars make a perfect home for terrariums. Place these easy-care gardens in indirect light, and water them lightly when the soil is dry to the touch. 

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 1: Gather materials

    Before you get started, grab the following materials:

    • Petite plants (we used kalanchoe and polka-dot plant)
     Pint-size canning jar and metal ring
    • Gravel
    • Activated charcoal
    • Potting soil
    • Twine
    • Scissors
    • Leaf
    • Hole punch
    • Fabric flower

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 2: Replant

    Remove the plant from its pot and nestle it in the canning jar. Don't worry if the root ball falls apart a bit as you're placing it in the jar—the roots will soon grow into the surrounding soil. Look for terrarium plants at independent garden centers. Often miniature species, these tiny plants remain small, perfect for the close confines of a terrarium.

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 3: Sprinkle gravel

    Sprinkle a thin layer of gravel over the bottom of the jar. The gravel helps the soil around the roots drain.

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 4: Add charcoal

    Add a layer of activated charcoal over the gravel. Found in the aquarium section of pet stores and in some garden centers, activated charcoal is an essential ingredient in a long-lasting glass garden. It filters water, sweetens the soil, and prevents fungi growth in terrariums.

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 5: Spread soil

    Spread a layer of potting soil around the plants. Add potting soil to the terrarium until the soil level is even with the top of the root ball. 

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 6: Tie the twine

    Twist the metal ring onto the jar and tie an 18-inch or so length of twine around the jar.

  • Step 7: Prepare the leaf

    Use a hole punch to punch a hole in a large, sturdy leaf. We used a leaf from kalanchoe, but a leaf from the garden (or an artifical leaf) will work well, too. 

  • How to Make a Tiny Terrarium

    Step 8: Decorate

    Thread the leaf onto the twine and tie another knot close to the jar. Finally, add the fabric flower. Note: We snipped a fabric flower from a scrap of fabric. Make a simple knot at the end of the twine to prevent the flower from slipping off. Knot the other loose ends for a finished look.

    Put your terrarium where it will get enough light to satisfy the plants' needs, but keep it out of direct sun, which will overheat the garden. Check moisture levels periodically, and mist if your terrarium needs water. Plants should not dry out, but they also shouldn't be overwatered. If spots of mold or mildew appear, your garden has too much moisture; cut back on misting, and if your container is covered, remove or partially open the lid for two or three days to improve air circulation. 

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