Is your inner ethereal garden witch itching to grow something green and spoopy this fall? Have no fear, for spooky terrariums are here! Today I’m going to walk you through building your own terrarium to bring the green inside (since everything outside is going to ground for the season). The first thing you are going to need is an interesting container for your terrarium. Many craft stores will have fish bowls or glass jars that will work well, but I highly recommend checking out garage sales for unique old glass pieces for super cheap prices.
After you’ve got your fancy clear container, glass or plastic, you’re going to need some filling. In a terrarium, layers are key to a happy, healthy ecosystem. I’m filling the bottom with clay balls that have been soaked in water, and then placing a layer of small rocks on top.
This bottom layer is called the substrate layer, and this is where water will drain after you’ve watered your plants. Ideally, your plants will be able to suck water up out of this holding area, without sitting in a pool all day. On top of your substrate, you can put an inch of soil, to give nutrients to your plants.
Now for the best part, the plants! The size of your container will determine how many plants you want to include and what size they get when full grown. For this terrairum, I’m taking cuttings from a turtle vine (callisia repens) and cuttings from a miniature oakleaf fig (ficus pumila ‘quercifolia’). These are moisture loving plants that will root quickly and also have pretty small leaves. To help them take off, I’m dipping the roots of my cuttings in rooting hormone before placing them in the soil.
Now for the final touch, something to make the terrarium all yours. Since it’s October, I’m going to make this terrarium spooky by adding in a doll head. Perfect.
Finally, the placement. Find an area in your home that gets some natural light, but not direct sunlight. This is especially true if you have a lid on your terrarium. (You don’t want to cook your plants.) Play around with where it lives until you find a spot where it thrives. Just like people, every plant has different wants and needs to live their best lives.