Making terrariums

A short guide to setting them up fast

Editor’s note: This article is one in a short series on plants. This piece focuses on building terrariums. Look on whatever platform you use to access The Knightly News for more advice coming up on plants and planting. Our last one was on planting a vegetable garden. Read it here.

Thumbnail of reporter Olivia Gregory

By Olivia Gregory

Knightly News Reporter


Want a cool hobby that’s interesting and decorative, and brings nature into your home or office?

Build a terrarium.

Terrariums are miniature gardens, placed inside glass containers that usually, but aren’t always, sealed.

Over the last few years, creating terrariums has become highly popular among all age groups, hobbyists and terrarium-materials suppliers note.

Many people use them as home decoration, gifts for friends and wedding favors, according to an article in The Straits Times.

As early as 500 B.C., people kept plants under bell-shaped glass jars for decoration and exhibits, but it wasn’t until 1827 that the concept of making terrariums was advanced by Dr. Nathaniel Ward, according to

For anyone interested in getting into the art of creating a terrarium, Home Depot provides excellent information on how to get started. The company’s website provides a video and text information on how to do it. The difficulty level is beginner. The guidance notes that a beginner can build a terrarium in about two hours. (Click on the link in this paragraph.)

The material explains what a terrarium is and the different types of terrariums.

Some terrarium-building guidance follows.

A terrarium. Ferns are popular in them. Photo used under Creative Commons Share-Alike License 2.5 Generic.

Select a container

Start by picking your clear-glass container.

Furnishing the floor

After picking a container, it’s time to add pebbles, dirt, sticks, rocks and moss.

Pick plants

Now you’re ready to decide which plants to add to the terrarium.

The following are some good plants to add:

  • Small ferns
  • Creeping figs
  • Pothos
  • Polka dot plants
  • Golden clubmoss
  • Dwarf black mondo grass

Air plants help

To wrap up the information, Home Depot mentions a few ideas for unique terrariums. One suggestion is to add air plants, which are plants that don’t require soil to stay alive.

Where to buy plants and terrarium containers

If someone were interested in owning a terrarium without putting in the work to make one, then he or she could buy one online from Home Depot or another retailer.

A few websites to order them from are, and

Not only can making terrariums be a fun hobby, but it can also be a fun activity for the family to do together.

Olivia Gregory, a Central Penn corporate-communications graduate, is a multimedia artist. She remains a reporter for The Knightly News.

Have a comment or a story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media-club co-adviser Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.