While browsing Etsy a couple years ago, I came across the coolest terrarium. That wasn’t something I was necessarily looking for, but I loved it. I looked at the price and thought “I feel like I could probably make that.” I’m no stranger to this thought, and let me just tell you: It doesn’t always end well! But I opened Pinterest and did some googling and made a plan. It was spring and most stores were putting out gardening supplies. I gathered most of the supplies below from Wal-Mart and a local nursery.
Though closed terrariums require the least amount of maintenance, I chose to create an open terrarium after reading that they’re less prone to condensation and fungal diseases. I was shopping for a gift in my favorite local boutique, Pink Antlers, when I cam across a bowl/vase that I thought would make the perfect container. It was small, which was exactly what I needed, but the gold stand really set it apart and I liked that it gave it some extra height.
Since there are no drainage holes in terrariums, you need to create a drainage layer. I added a layer (just under 2 inches wide) of dark gray pebbles to the bottom of the container.
Aloe, hens & chicks, cacti, and air plants all do well in open containers because they prefer the arid environment. I grabbed two tiny succulents: aloe and hens & chicks.
I then held a plant where I wanted it with two fingers. Using my other hand and a spoon, I added potting soil specifically for cacti/succulents around the roots of the plant until it could stand on its own. I repeated this process with my other plant as well. The layer of soil ended up being similar in width to the layer of pebbles.
I bought this at a nursery and added a thin layer to the top that covered the soil. I love the way the color and texture contrast next to the plants. You could add a layer of decorative rocks on top of the charcoal, but I liked the color of the charcoal too much to cover it up!
Preserved Fountain Vine
Last, I ran across a small pack of fountain vine when headed to the checkout at the nursery. I thought I would try it for some extra color.
For maintenance, I just keep it in a light-filled room and water every few weeks with a spoonful of regular tap water. I periodically dust the glass on the outside.
Below is what it looks like now. The aloe got really large and didn’t allow the hens and chick to thrive. I miss the purple color but don’t think there’s room to replace it at this point. I’m considering putting the aloe in its own small pot and starting the terrarium over with two new plants!