‘Forest’ Things First: A Terrarium DIY for Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day, planetary pals! To give props to one of the Earth’s most vast and valuable resources, I’m making a miniature forest you can bring inside to serve as a reminder to nurture the nature around us.

Terrariums are totally low-effort (and low-cost), so even the most plant-weary person can succeed at this simple DIY!


Check out how to get your green thumb movin’ and groovin’ with the oh-so-easy how-to below…

What You’ll Need


  • Glass container
  • Pebbles
  • Activated charcoal (available at most pet stores)
  • Potting soil with moisture control
  • Plants 
  • Apron (they’re not just for staying clean in the kitchen, you know!)
  • Towel for tidying 
  • Spray bottle
  • Moss
  • Rocks/sticks 
  • Figurines

Step One


Add pebbles to the bottom of your terrarium. This acts as a false drainage layer so water can move through the soil, saving your plants from drowning.

Tip: Make an adventure out of it! Collect pebbles and stones during a hike, or add seashells and seaglass you found at the beach to the mix.

Step Two


Add a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the pebbles. This reduces bacteria, fungi, and odors that might occur, especially in a closed vessel’s humid atmosphere.

Now, your terrarium is ready for soil. Scoop it, shovel it, or get your paws dirty! Just make sure you add enough so that your plants can take root. For my small plants, I filled the container about 1 1/2 inches deep.

Step Three


Time to add some life! Place your petite plants within the soil. If necessary, add more soil around each to cover its roots. Don’t worry if some of their roots rip out when you remove them — they’ll grow back!

Step Four


If you have moss or rocks, place them on top of the soil around your plants, creating a dynamic landscape of varying textures and colors! For extra personality, add small figurines to your little world. MY critters could ‘bear-ly’ wait to make this terrarium their new home!

Some pro grow tips to keep your terrarium in tip-top shape:

  • Spritz the plants and soil with a spray bottle when your plants get thirsty. (Terrariums — especially closed terrariums — are great at retaining moisture!)
  • Do some research and choose plants that can tolerate humidity and low or indirect light. 
  • Make sure the plants’ leaves don’t touch the glass. (My terrarium is 7 x 8 x 7 inches and the plants are 1 to 2.5 inches in height.)
  • Don’t place your terrarium in direct sunlight. Harsh sunlight through the glass will trap heat and scorch the plants. Talk about burning love! 

Congrats! You now have a miniature forest for your home! A city gal like myself is stoked about this new green space. Let it nourish you as you nurture it, and remember to give your Mother the lovin’ she deserves.

+Obsessed with plants as much as us? Check out our plant-inspired finds, and let us know how you’re celebrating Earth Day below!

About Jordyn

When she's not yell-singing how she feels à la Linda Belcher, you can catch Jordyn obsessing over birds, bolo ties, outrageously-embroidered denim shirts, and anything Sailor Moon. At her chillest, she’s watching David Attenborough documentaries or reorganizing her plants and tchotchkes for the 57th time.

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