- Small plants and/or moss (make sure they have the same water/ light needs)
- Stones, sand, gravel
- Activated charcoal (carried by garden stores)
- Potting soil
- Decorative moss, sticks, marbles, figurines, shells, feathers, etc.
- Choose plants and find an interesting container with or without a lid. Generally cactus/ succulents work best without a lid. Shop thrift stores, flea markets, and garden stores, or you can use a clean recycled Ball jar.
- First, create drainage by placing a 1/2″ layer of stones on the bottom. Then sprinkle activated charcoal on top. This will filter the water in the terrarium and help keep it free of mold. Then add a layer of soil. Make sure the soil in the terrarium is as deep as the pots that your plants came in or a little deeper. If using succulents or cactus plants, you can mix sand in with the soil to help with drainage.
- Add plants starting with the largest first. Generally odd numbers work best (ex. grouping 3 or 5 plants). Fill in with more soil. Add moss, rocks, sticks, figurines, and other decorative elements.
- Add a tablespoon of water. If your container has a lid and starts to get “steamy” take the lid off for a while o let the humidity dissipate. If there’s no lid, let soil dry completely between watering. The quickest way to kill succulents is overwatering! Closed terrariums do best in shade or partial sun. Terrariums are meant to be self-sufficient ecosystems and do not require much more maintenance than watering about once a month.
To make your Mother’s Day terrarium really special, use a photo of you and Mom taped to the outer back of the container as the “backdrop” for your plants or use objects with sentimental meaning, like seashells collected from a family vacation. Or, I’ve used tiny architectural model figurines that looked like me and my mom walking in the magical terrarium world!
Have fun and say hello to your mother!