An oasis of plants or an elaborate garden is extremely therapeutic and calming for the soul. It’s easy on the eyes, good for the heart. From the leaves to the flowers, different patterns, colours and textures : plants are the universe’s masterpiece. Plants bring life to a space, quite literally, and they can brighten the room. Some people have a green-thumb, the natural ability to tend and care for plants. Other people have a little more difficulty with keeping their green friends alive. NO judgements here – I have not been known to keep my plants alive. Plants are living things that need tender loving care – just like humans. It takes effort, time and space. Not to mention that it takes an absurd amount of patience. So, I can understand how the idea of starting up a garden can be very daunting. However, your own personal retreat of greenery doesn’t need to be stressful or complicated.
When there’s a will, there’s a way.
And the way is : JAR TERRARIUMS.
Indoor gardening is becoming more popular. It’s a fun and creative way to get started with gardening and incorporating plants into your home decor. A win-win situation, if you ask me. Jar terrariums are the perfect introduction to indoor gardening. They’re as small or as big as you want them to be (depending on the jar that you use). They’re easy to make and take care of, great for beginners. To top it all off, they’re immensely eco-friendly : you can upcycle or reuse your glass jars!
DISCLAIMER : Making jar terrariums is highly addictive. Once you start making one, you’ll want to make more to add to the collection. It’s like a gateway plant – but we’re definitely not mad about that.
What you are going to need :
1. Glass Jar with a Lid
Size doesn’t matter here, get creative with your jars. Choose a glass jar that’s any size, shape or design that you desire! Keep in mind that a glass jar with a large opening is preferable for maintenance but a jar with a small opening is possible too – you might just need to have tweezers on hand. Take a look at the many glass jars that we have available here –> www.jarsinmalaysia.com/terrarium-jars at Jargeous.
2. Sphagnum Moss
Although it may be hard to pronounce, this moss is easy to find. Moss is readily available in any nursery that you go to. If you’d like a little bit of an adventure, you can go harvesting moss yourself – especially if you live in a humid climate. Just be responsible about it and only take small pieces to avoid compromising the plant.
3. Small Pebbles
The bottom layer of the terrarium is basically all pebbles. This layer is intended to work as a drainage area for excess moisture.
4. Potting Mix
Potting mix or potting soil is the most superficial layer in which the moss, or other plants, will actually start to grow on. This is the base ground.
5. Terrarium Plants (optional)
Mix it up, start a little party for the terrarium. No party is complete without a guest list. Throw in some friends for the moss to mingle with. To name a few: ferns, cactus, succulents, begonias, orchids, aquamarine, venus fly traps, grasses and more. There are so many to choose from!
Side note: You can get real fancy with decorating your terrariums. Gain some inspiration by going online and scrolling through some pictures. Let the creative juices flow!
Step-by-step Guide: DIY Terrariums
Take your glass jar and thoroughly wash and dry it down. Line the bottom of your jar with a layer of small pebbles. Ensure that the layer of pebbles is approximately 5-7cm for adequate drainage.
Place a layer of sphagnum moss to entirely cover up the pebbles beneath. Make sure that the moss is dry, you can do this by air-drying it [the moss] out in the sun before placing it in the jar.
Set out a damp layer of the potting mix or potting soil on top of the dried moss. Just a thin layer, a few centimeters will do.
Arrange your terrarium plants (moss, flowers or grass) on top of the potting soil layer. Add on any decorations that you like to make your little terrarium home.
Using a spray bottle filled with water, lightly spray the terrarium down. Maybe 5-10 sprays, enough for a thin layer of excess water to drop down into the pebbles. Finish it off by putting on your glass jar lid.
Set your terrarium in an area that gets some sunlight (about 1-2 hours of sunlight daily) or under artificial lighting. You don’t need to be too generous with the lighting, because a terrarium is like a mini greenhouse. Direct sunlight or too much sunlight will trap heat and hurt the plants.
Caring for your terrariums
Terrariums are pretty independent. They don’t require much tending or attention. However, that doesn’t mean you can neglect your beautiful creations! Monitor the jar and make sure that you always see little droplets of condensation accumulate within the jar. If you don’t see any, be sure to give the plants a lovely light misting. Typically, this will only be required once every 1-2 months.
Note : Always use a spray bottle to water your terrarium. Do not pour water into the jar as overwatering can happen very quickly. A little goes a long way with these jars of joy.
Keep an eye out for any wilting leaves or dead plants. If any of these occur, remove the leaves/plants immediately to maintain the ecosystem’s health. One bad apple can spoil the bunch.
Last but not least, have fun! As mentioned earlier, this is supposed to be a stress-free, enjoyable experience. It’s also very addictive. After making your first terrarium, you’ll want to extend the family. So start experimenting. Try out different plants to form themes: fairy garden, rocky roads, woody hikes, island getaways and more. They can be on a table, floating from a fixture, on a shelf, anywhere! Try out different jars too: tall and wide, mason jars, 2 way jars, rounded/oval jars, tiny jars, candle jars and more. All of which is available at Jargeous! High-quality and affordable jars with unique designs. Learn more about Jargeous, the one-stop shop for glass jars here –> www.jarsinmalaysia.com/terrarium-jars.
Enjoy your jar of joys and happy gardening!
Written by @DrFatinDaud
Dr Fatin Najwa binti Daud is a junior doctor, content creator and copywriter residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She previously worked in marketing, specifically digital marketing, and business development. Dr Fatin is highly passionate about medicine and education. Her other interests include activism, humanitarian work, fashion and sports. You can find Dr Fatin Daud on LinkedIn.