How to Make a Tropical Terrarium on a Budget

Tropical plants in a jar makes great decorations and great gifts!

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Here's what we'll be creating!

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Supplies: top left to right: tropical plants, seashells & sand dollars, glass stones, glass beads, sand, small pebbles. Also grab some chopsticks or cutlery, a jar, charcoal, soil and a funnel.

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Plumosa fern (top back), nerve plant (red, also comes in white), brake fern (bottom left), English ivy (middle bottom), club moss (bottom right), pink polka dot plant (right).

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Use a glass container! I bought one plastic container because I loved it's shape and lid and when I woke up, it was broken. It may have been the pressure next to the rocks in a condensed container. :(

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Place your rocks at the bottom of the jar. These are glass stones from the dollar store. You can also use rocks from outside. Stack a couple layers to provide drainage and a nice look.

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Put a layer of charcoal next. This helps keep the jar mould-free. I bought a bag from a garden centre for about $8 which was enough for 10-15 jars.

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Add a layer of soil on top of the charcoal and push it down. The soil was $2 for a bag that lasted for about 11 jars. Add a layer of glass beads or sand if desired- only around the edge.

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This is a photo from a different jar with purple sand. I made a funnel out of paper to direct the sand to the edges. I got the sand, glass beads and pebbles from the dollar store for about $1.25 each.

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Place a layer of soil on top of the sand/bead layers. Put enough soil to dig holes for the plants. Plant as many or as little plants as you'd like. Use chopsticks/cutlery for hard to reach places.

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You can even break apart some plants if their roots allow. Each mini tropical plant was $1.79 and I was able to separate some of those.

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Check with a garden centre employee or research what types of plants can go in a terrarium and make sure you specify if you have a lid or not.

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Decorate with seashells, rocks, figurines, pebbles, etc. If the plants get too big, trim them!

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Here's another jar I made.

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Experiment with different colours, plants and jars!

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Lightly mist the plants when needed and keep the lid on only at night. Do not place in direct sunlight or they'll fry! Look at drainage & soil colour for moistness test. These types can't dry out.

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I got the jars from a discount home goods store and from the dollar store. I estimate each completed terrarium cost under $10 each.

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