DIY Terrarium

I love house plants. I love how they keep the house bright and welcoming, even in the dead of winter. I dream of having a sun room one day that I can just FILL with tropical plants and flowers. Sadly, when we bought our house I didn’t really consider space for house plants and I didn’t notice that we have very few sunny spots. Our south facing windows are under our front porch and everywhere else is either too gloomy or too cold (in the winter, anyway).

Over the past few years I’ve made do with a jade plant, hoya, two philodendron (I don’t think you can kill them), and the occasional vase of cut flowers from the grocery store. However, this year we got infested with gnats! I’ve never had this problem before…and I’m not even sure what they were (little black flies that resembled fruit flies) but they took over ALL my house plants. It was pretty depressing & I ended up moving everything down to the basement and decided that whatever could survive would be moved outside once it warmed up. Most everything made it except my jade…but I did a couple cuttings so hopefully I can re-grow the babies.

I’ve since moved everything out to my front porch/back deck & I think they will be fine this summer but now my house feels… empty. I’ve always wanted to make a terrarium but I needed something space-efficient. My mom-in-law bought me a gigantic kit (a huge, glass wine fermenter!) to use in my classroom…but I guess it will have to be used one day when I have that big sun room! Terrariums are so awesome and are a great way to bring nature indoors. After a quick internet search I found a handy how-to, and this is what I came up with:

  • Large empty pickle jar (one good result of eating a literal TON of pickles during my first trimester)
  • Scrap fabric (to cover lid) & Mod Podge
  • Sand or Pebbles (you can find them at your favorite greenhouse or the dollar store)
  • Filter Carbon/Charcoal (pet store)
  • Potting soil or soil appropriate for your plant choice
  • Plants! (ideally tropical, humidity-loving ferns & mosses)

I deodorized the pickle jar with some hot water and a 1/4c. of baking soda (shake it around for a few minutes and rinse it out). I covered the lid with a thin coat of mod podge & a cute piece of scrap fabric. Then I filled the jar with each of the following: sand/pebbles for drainage, a thin layer of filter carbon for purification, and then a layer of top soil. Once you place your plants where you want them surround them with a little more topsoil. Place in a warm spot with bright, indirect light.

Happy planting!

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