Gardening & plants Household

How To Make A Cheap Terrarium?

Have you ever tried to build a terrarium in your house? It’s a great idea to have a terrarium to give a beautiful natural look to your house. It will add beauty to your rooms and will give a nice pleasant look.

It is quite an easy task to build one on your own without much effort and without involving too much of expenses. Usually, a terrarium is made up of glass, though it can be made with other transparent materials as well.

How to Make a Cheap Terrarium

The best option is, however, to build it with glass material. Once you build your terrarium, you can place many types of plants inside it depending on your liking. Although you can buy terrarium directly from the market, building it on your own is always a wise option when it comes to the expenses. In this article, we will give you some useful tips on how to make a cheap terrarium.

What Is A Terrarium?

A terrarium is simply a glass container which can either be open or sealed, containing plants and soil in it. Even if the terrarium is sealed, it should be openable so that you can do some maintenance work with your plants kept inside.

Terrarium, when sealed, builds up a unique environment for the plants kept in it that helps them to grow successfully. You can grow plants in the terrarium, which otherwise may not thrive well in your area due to climatic conditions.

In the sealed or closed terrarium, a small scale natural water recycling mechanism develops automatically. Due to its transparent walls, sunlight and heat can get inside and reach to the plants. The heat and light get trapped inside due to the fact that it is sealed.

This heat trapped inside, converts the moisture inside the terrarium into vapors, which can be seen on the walls. These vapors then condense on the walls and drop back into the soil and on the plant, where it is re-utilized by the plant. Due to this recycling, a unique environment is created inside the terrarium which is ideal for many plants.


First ever Terrarium was made by a botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. It was 1842, when Mr. Ward was working on insect behavior. A fern spore was accidentally left in a jar and that jar was left unattended by him for quite some time. The fern spore germinated and grown into a plant in that sealed jar.

This was the first terrarium in the history and was then called as the Wardian Case. Later on, such boxes were given the name of a terrarium. Mr. Ward transported Australian plants to England in these cases which remained well grown during this transportation. Vice versa he transported some English varieties to Australia as well.

Types Of Terrarium

The terrarium is mainly of two types, sealed or closed terrarium and open terrarium.

Closed Terrarium

A closed terrarium is the one which sealed from all sides but can be opened from the top for maintenance. Usually, it is used to place tropical plants, such as orchids, air plants, mosses, and ferns. Since the terrarium remains closed and sealed, the environment inside becomes just similar to the tropic conditions, i.e. humid and sheltered. It also facilitates circulation of water.

Types Of Terrarium

However, closed terrarium needs to be opened once in a week, so that excess moisture gets out of it. If left unattended for a long period, the mold may grow inside, which can damage the plants. It also needs watering occasionally.

Non-condensation of vapors on the walls of the terrarium is an indication that watering is required. This type of terrarium also needs a specific soil mixture preferably made up of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite

Open Terrarium

For dry plants or succulents, the open terrarium is the best option. As the name suggests, it is open from the top. It is just like a usual pot or container, as air, light and heat can have free access to the plants kept in this terrarium.

Building A Cheap Terrarium At Home

An open glass terrarium can easily be made at home without involving any extra expense. You just need to have a glass container, which may be a used bottle. Other things required are a potted plant, some moss, stones and paint if you like to paint your terrarium. One final item required is your imagination and aesthetic sense.

Building A Cheap Terrarium

Once you have the required material you can prepare your terrarium following the process is given below.

  • Take a glass container or bottle that should be wide open at the top. Clean it from all types of residual material so that plants should not be affected.
  • Put a layer of small stones, on the bottom. If you can arrange, use different colored stones to give an artistic look to your terrarium. Now spread some moss on these stones so that all stones should be covered with moss.
  • If you like and space allows you, you can create more layers of stones and moss.
  • Place the potted plant on the base prepared by you. You also have the option to put a layer of soil on the base and insert the plant in it but it is advisable to place the plant in the pot.
  • Now cover the pot and plant base with more moss so that the pot should not be visible from outside and the base of the plant is well covered with moss, giving a natural and wild look to your terrarium.
  • Your terrarium is complete and ready to be placed in any suitable place in your room. But you may give it an artistic touch at this stage. You may paint one or two sides of the terrarium in an artistic way.
  • You can write something on the front side of the terrarium. You can add any other material that may give it a natural wild feeling. You can do anything you may like that suits and fits in the ambiance of your room. It should look attractive.

One last thing, while placing your terrarium in your room, make sure it receives direct or indirect sunlight depending on the type of plants. Don’t forget to give water timely and make sure to clean the walls of the terrarium regularly to maintain its beauty.

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