Don’t have a Green Thumb, but love plants?

Are you too busy to worry about taking care of any house plants?

Wall Terrarium Container GardensIf you would love to fill your house with plants, but don’t have them for fear of their demise under your care, then a Terrarium might just be the answer for you.  Terrariums are the ultimate mini container garden and the perfect way to bring some of the outdoors inside your home.

Plant Terrariums require very little care due to their self-sustaining environments.  The more you neglect them, the more they seem to thrive.  These enchanting little wonderlands will make you feel like you have an exotic little garden right inside your house.

Usually they are small in size. Often they are completely enclosed, while some have an opening on top.  Just about any shape of glass or clear plastic water tight container can be turned into a Terrarium.  The most common types of containers are jars, bottles, or aquariums.  You can be very creative and use an unusually shaped clear container that has a lid, cover or small opening.

Now if you are adventurous or have an inquisitive little boy, you may want to include a pet in your terrarium.  Often the pet terrariums are called a Vivarium.  What is a vivarium? Technically a Terrarium is a type of a Vivarium.  Unofficially, people tend to use the term vivarium when they are keeping reptiles or other types of animals.  The term terrarium is usually used for plant terrariums.

Some of the more popular reptiles or animals people like to keep in their Vivarium (Terrarium) are:

  • Chameleons
  • Geckos
  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Dart frogs
  • Tarantulas

Mini Container Garden Terrarium in a Jar

Types of Terrariums


Terrariums are categorized into three general types.  There is the Open Terrarium, Closed Terrarium and the Reptile Vivarium (Terrarium).

Before you build your terrarium, you will want to decide which style you want.  There are pros and cons to each.

One important aspect to look at is the kind of plants you want in your terrarium and if you plan to provide a home for little animals.

The plants that you choose should all be compatible and grow well under similar types of environments.

Carnivorous plants are popular for terrarium.  Some popular carnivorous plants are:

  • Venus Fly Trap
  • Sun dew
  • Pitch plant

Popular Terrarium plants include:

  • Small Ferns
  • Miniature African Violets
  • Moss
  • Creeping Charlie

Sand Cactus Terrarium Container Garden1.  Open Terrariums

An open terrarium is just that…open…on at least one side or the just the top.  While this may be the easiest to set up, it will require frequent watering and more attention than the closed terrarium.  The most common open terrarium is a dish or bowl.  You can experiment with different colors of layered sand with a few cacti planted on top for a beautiful and unusual arrangement.

2.  Closed Terrariums

Closed Terrariums are self contained and require very little attention once it is built.  The secret is to make sure you set up your Closed Terrarium correctly from the beginning.  This may be a bit of a challenge, but if you follow directions you shouldn’t have any problems.

Many of these closed terrariums have a small opening, usually at the top which makes it a little tricky getting all the growing materials and plants inside.  Once you have everything set up correctly with the right amount of water and located in an area to get the right amount of light, not direct sunlight, you can just sit back and enjoy the view.

You will be fascinated at how a terrarium creates the perfect balance with a micro eco-system inside an everyday container.  Watch as the moisture evaporates from the soil and plants.  You will see the moisure form on the inside walls of your terrarium.  The condensed moisture then falls down onto the plants and floor of your terrarium, adding moisture to the soil.  The cycle begins again creating a natural world for your plants to thrive with very little help from you.  A closed terrarium can often go a month or more between watering.

3.  Animal Vivarium

An Animal Vivarium is more of a natural home environment for your pet lizard, snake, turtle or what ever type of animal you want to keep.  This type of terrarium is designed to mimic the environment your pet lives in naturally.  The design is usually a desert style or tropical or rain forest type of terrarium habitat.

Open Terrarium or Closed Terrarium?

Open terrariums are easier to set up.  They need more attention from you to thrive and they require more frequent watering.

A Closed Terrarium is very efficient.  They take a little more time and thought to set up correctly, but they require very little of your time.  Since a closed terrarium provides a more humid environment, there is a danger of plant diseases to grow.  You need to look for any sick plants or leaves which you will have to remove to help maintain a more healthy environment.

Terrarium Containers

Your terrarium container should be a clear glass or plastic.  A dish garden does not need to be made of transparent materials.  The opening should be large enough to allow you to place the plants and materials inside.

Let your creative juices flow.  You are only limited by your imagination when choosing a terrarium container.  There are many terrarium kits available in the marketplace.  You may want to start with a kit before creating your own terrarium design.  Some terrarium container ideas include bottles, aquariums, fishbowls, canning jars, flower vase, brandy snifters, bowls, unusual glass sculptures and just about any clear glass or clear plastic jar.

You will never look at a glass jar or clear plastic container the same way again.  Once you build your first terrarium, you will see all kinds of possibilities around you everyday.  You will probably end up making both the open and the closed terrariums. Once you learn how to make a terrarium, you can easily become addicted.  After all, you can’t have just one terrarium.