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A Breath of Fresh Air: Indoor Terrarium Gardening How-To

Posted on November 29, 2013 by Miller and Smith Blog Team


Pottery Barn Terrarium

Look in any home and lifestyle magazine these days and you’ll find that indoor gardening is one of the latest fads of interior design and a cheap and easy way to achieve attractive living art. Not only do live plants add life to any room, but there’s actual proof that plants can improve a person’s health and well being by filtering out pollution and adding an extra oxygen boost for its human companions. Terrarium gardening is low maintenance and can fit any home’s style by simply choosing the perfect container to fit your decor. No green thumb needed, just follow these simple instructions and get a head start on your own chic indoor oasis. 


Live Moss Terrarium from Etsy

Materials Needed

-Container (Such as: aquariums, bell jars, cloches, compotes, goldfish bowls, lantern cloches, tureens, vases, wardian cases)

-Activated charcoal pieces

-Potting soil

-Pebbles or gravel

-Terrarium plants (Such as: African Violets, Aluminum Plant, Aquamarine, Baby’s Tears, Begonias, Bromeliads, Button Fern, Cacti, Carnivorous Plants, Copper Pinwheel, Creeping Fig, Golden Clubmoss, Jade Plant, Maidenhair Fern, Minimus Aureus, Mosaic Plant, Never Plant, Sempervivium, Spreading Club Moss, Starfish Plant, Strawberry Begonia, Strawberry Geranium, Succulents, Tillandsia Stricta, Variegated spider fern)

-Sheet moss


Succlents Assortment


1. Clean the glass container with soapy water and rinse completely to remove any bacteria that is present on the vessel.

2. For proper drainage, mix the pebbles or gravel and a handful of activated charcoal pieces and place about 1-2 inches of the mixture as the bottom layer at the base of your selected container.

3. Mix remaining charcoal with soil with your hand. Fill the container 1/4 – 1/3 full with the soil/charcoal mixture and gently pack the soil at every 2-inches to avoid air pockets.

4. Place your desired plants on top of the soil to ensure proper spacing, allowing enough room between the plants for additional soil. Use your hand to pack soil in and around the plants, covering the roots.

5. Place the moss on top of the soil and in between plants.

6. Water the terrarium and place in a well-lit area that is not directly in the sunlight.

For open container terrariums, water the plants occasionally, such as every week or two. Containers that are airtight, make sure to air it out occasionally to let in some clean, fresh air. Over time, trim any growth that spills over the top of the container. 

img72o West Elm Greenhouse Terrarium Collection