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Choosing a terrarium container

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Want to build a terrarium? Where to start?

Let's start with the container. The container you choose will contribute to the longevity of your terrarium and ultimately be the decider on what style and plants will be included in your terrarium. There's an over whelming amount of glassware that can be used for the purpose of terrariums but before you choose the type of plants and style terrarium let's consider a few things.


beautiful terrarium sitting amongst DIY products

The space in which you wish to keep your terrarium - Whether is it a bookshelf with squat shelves, an open plan living area with large coffee table or beside your bed on a small bedside table you need to decide what sort of glass vessel will fit that space. A tall slim terrarium for instance may look rather out of place on a round low line coffee table and a big round fishbowl type terrarium may not fit on narrow bookshelves. Always think of where you would like to keep the terrarium as the jump off point to begin your new project, choose to integrate your terrarium into your home or office with design in mind.


Lid or no Lid?!? - technically speaking a terrarium is self-sustaining therefore requires a lid to create a water cycle and hold lovely humidity for tropical plants and mosses. However, you can plant in glassware that is open to our environment if you choose plants and location wisely, please note open terrariums or container gardens as I prefer to call them require more frequent watering and do not create a water cycle.


That in mind choose cacti succulent and other arid loving plants for open containers and tropical humidity loving plants and mosses for enclosed terrariums.



hands building a terrarium together.

Access to the container for planting and maintenance - If a jar has a very small opening there's a good chance your hand won't fit inside therefore the terrarium would need to be made completely with tools, think bottle in a ship. I always suggest using something you can at least fit your hand into for first time builders, also maintenance over the years will be so much simpler with a wider access point.


Where to find Terrarium containers? - shopping for a terrarium is lots of fun, my personal favorite is finding vintage or secondhand glass bottles and vases. you can also recycle old fish tanks or preserving jars.

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